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La Roue
(1922)

 

In production since 1919, Abel Gance’s mammoth undertaking premiered in 1922 — presented in Paris over three separate showings — at 32 reels.

coverFlicker Alley
2008 DVD edition

La Roue (1922), black & white and color-toned and color-tinted black & white, 270 minutes, not rated.

Flicker Alley, FA0008, UPC 6-17311-67379-5, ISBN 1-8939-6737-9.
Two single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 25 chapter stops, two-disc standard DVD keepcase, $39.95.
Release date: 6 May 2008.
Country of origin: USA

This edition reveals an excellent full-frame video transfer that has chiefly utilized a 35mm master positive of the common 12-reel version of the film, supplemented with a 35mm eight-reel print of the Russian release version, and two incomplete color-tinted 35mm nitrate prints of a longer French version of the film. Two short scenes are presented from a 9.5mm reduction print — the only known footage to survive of these scenes. Some sections of the source prints are marred with the expected amount of dust, speckling, emulsion scratches and processing artifacts. This edition, produced by Eric Lange, David Shepard and Jeffrey Masino, with support from Turner Classic Movies, represents the most-complete version of La roue to be seen since the 1920s.

The film is presented with a superlative stereo orchestral music score composed and conducted by Robert Israel.

Among the edition’s supplemental materials is a short behind-the-scenes documentary, Around “The Wheel,” by poet Blaise Cendrars (8 minutes), which includes some wonderful shots of Abel Gance directing, and booklet essays by William M. Drew (12 pages) and composer Robert Israel (2 pages).

Easily one of the three most-important DVD releases of 2008, we enthusiastically recommend this edition of La roue.

 
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 ABEL GANCE films available on home video.

Other FRENCH FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Other RAILROAD FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Other silent film music scores by ROBERT ISRAEL available on home video.
 
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