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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
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Our Hospitality
(1923)

 

Our Hospitality (1923) is a fine southern comedy-drama of a family feud and early locomotive days, and can be considered a companion piece to The General (1926).

coverKino International
2011 Blu-ray Disc edition

Our Hospitality (1923), color-tinted black & white, 75 minutes, not rated,
and Hospitality (1923) [alternate version], black & white, 49 minutes, not rated,
with The Iron Mule (1925), black & white, 19 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, K715, UPC 7-38329-07152-3.
Pillarboxed 16:9 AVCHD MPEG-4 format, one single-sided Blu-ray Disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound, LPCM 2.0 stereo sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard BD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, $34.95.
Release date: 22 March 2011.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 8 / additional content: 7 / overall: 7.
This Blu-ray Disc edition of Buster Keaton’s Our Hospitality (1923) has been prepared from a new high-definition video transfer of an archival duplicate 35mm print previously held by Douris UK Ltd. The source print is not visually as sharp as is desired, with a lack of image detail that is readily apparent is some shots more than others. There is a slight amount of fine scratches, dust and other flaws in the lightly color-tinted source print.

The film is presented with a 5.1 surround sound music score by Carl Davis, and with a 2.0 stereo music score by Donald Hunsberger.

Among the supplemental material is a previously unreleased 49-minute alternate version of the film thought to have been prepared by Keaton to test the noncomedic story elements, a short documentary on the film by Patricia Eliot Tobias with David B. Pearson (26 minutes), an Al St. John comedy short, and two photo galleries.

The alternate version of Our Hospitality, transferred from a 16mm reduction print that was produced from a 35mm positive that was already in active decomposition when duplicated. The print was recovered in 2008 by Paul E. Gierucki. The presentation is introduced by Courtney Patterson from material written by Patricia Eliot Tobias with David B. Pearson. The introduction notes that there is no footage in this alternate print that is not in the longer standard print known to modern audiences, only that the footage was alternately edited. There are fragments of footage that have been lost (presumably to splices) in the standard print that are present in the 16mm print, but not substantially so. The introduction also shows us that the Hospitality reduction print captures the lower right of the original 35mm frame, with the top edge and a substantial portion of the left side of the original image missing. The print is riddled with nitrate decomposition. This alternate version is presented with a music score performed on theatre pipe organ by Lee Erwin.

Only a slight visual improvement over Kino’s other DVD editions, this is the best available home video edition of Our Hospitality but it isn’t the stunning HD quality one might expect from Blu-ray Disc due to the compromised quality of the duplicate source print.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
This Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition is also available directly from KINO LORBER.
coverKino International
2011 DVD edition

Our Hospitality (1923), color-tinted black & white, 75 minutes, not rated,
and Hospitality (1923) [alternate version], black & white, 49 minutes, not rated,
with The Iron Mule (1925), black & white, 19 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, $29.95.
Release date: 22 March 2011.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 8 / additional content: 7 / overall: 7.
This DVD edition of Buster Keaton’s Our Hospitality (1923) has been prepared from a new high-definition video transfer of an archival 35mm print, and features a 5.1 surround sound music score by Carl Davis and a 2.0 stereo music score by Donald Hunsberger.

Among the supplemental material is a previously unreleased 49-minute alternate version of the film thought to have been prepared by Keaton to test the noncomedic story elements, a short documentary on the film by Patricia Eliot Tobias and David B. Pearson (26 minutes), an Al St. John comedy short, and two photo galleries.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
This Region 0 NTSC DVD edition is also available directly from KINO LORBER.
coverKino on Video
1999 DVD edition

Our Hospitality (1923), black & white, 75 minutes, not rated,
with Sherlock, Jr. (1924), black & white, 44 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K123DVD, UPC 7-38329-01232-8.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 10 chapter stops, snapper DVD case (rereleased in standard DVD keepcase [retail], and slimline DVD keepcase [boxset]), $29.95.
Release date: 23 November 1999.
Country of origin: USA

This old Kino edition has been mastered from the video transfer originally prepared by David Shepard for the VHS and laserdisc editions of this film. The print is of very-good quality.

The film is accompanied by a 2.0 stereo music score compiled by Donald Hunsberger.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other silent era BUSTER KEATON films available on home video.

Other silent film music scores by CARL DAVIS available on home video.

Buster Keaton filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
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