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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
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The Three
Musketeers

(1921)

 

Douglas Fairbanks stars in this adventure classic based on the famous Dumas novel, with support from Nigel de Brulier as Richelieu, Adolph Menjou as King Louis and Leon Bary, George Siegmann and Eugene Pallette as the musketeers.

Kino on Video
2004 DVD edition

The Three Musketeers (1921), black & white, 118 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
One single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD disc, 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, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $29.95.
Release date: 3 February 2004.
Country of origin: USA
Kino International has rereleased their DVD edition of The Three Musketeers.

We suspect that the disc is largely the same in content as their previous edition, with possible remastering at a higher video bit rate that could result in a slightly improved picture image.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
 
This Region 1 NTSC DVD edition is also available directly from KINO LORBER.
Kino on Video
1999 DVD edition

The Three Musketeers (1921), black & white, 118 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K117, UPC 7-38329-01172-7.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 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, chapter stops; snapper DVD case, $29.99.
Release date: 13 August 1999.
Country of origin: USA

This early DVD edition was produced for video by David Shepard utilizing a very-good 35mm print. The video transfer, likely originally prepared for laserdisc and VHS videotape, is a little soft in image detail and runs at a slightly faster than natural speed.

The film is accompanied by the original 1921 music score compiled by Louis Gottschalk, performed by Brian Bennison on synthesizers.

The disc has gone out-of-print, having been replaced by the Kino edition noted above.
Sunrise Silents
2004 DVD edition

The Three Musketeers (1921), black & white, 132 minutes, not rated,
with The Hazards of Helen [episode 33: “In Danger’s Path”] (1915), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated, and It’s a Gift (1923), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated.

Sunrise Silents, V1N4-N (NTSC) or V1N4-P (PAL), no UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD-R disc, 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, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $19.95.
Release date: 2004.
Country of origin: USA
This edition from Sunrise Silents has likely been mastered from a 16mm reduction print.

The film is presented with an episode from a serial and a Snub Pollard comedy.

 
SUNRISE SILENTS has discontinued business and this edition is OUT-OF-PRINT.
St. Clair Vision
2006 DVD edition

Classic Tales of Adventure (1921-1955), black & white, 880 minutes total, not rated,
including The Three Musketeers (1921), black & white, 118 minutes, not rated.

St. Clair Vision, PDS87269-3VD, UPC 7-77966-87269-8.
Three 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 5.1 surround sound (processed from mono sources), English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 8 chapter stops; three-disc DVD keepcase, $9.98.
Release date: 2 May 2006.
Country of origin: Canada

Ratings (1-10): video: 6 / audio: 5 / additional content: 5 / overall: 5.

This edition has been mastered from a 16mm reduction print, greyed-out in its tonal range and flecked with a typical amount of speckling and dust. The image detail in the very-good print is predictably soft, but — to be fair — we’ve seen worse than this.

The film is accompanied by a collection of vintage jazz recordings from monaural 78rpm records, which begs the question why St. Clair Vision thinks that 5.1 surround sound is justified, other than to dupe an unknowing consumer into thinking they are getting a disc of value.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase helps support the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase helps support the Silent Era website.
Delta Entertainment
2005 DVD edition

Douglas Fairbanks: The Great Swashbuckler (1976), black & white and color, 90 minutes, not rated,
with The Three Musketeers (1921), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Delta Entertainment, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
One dual-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 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, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $6.99.
Release date: 29 November 2005.
Country of origin: USA
This double-sided disc features the two Fairbanks features on one side, and the documentary on the flip. The film is accompanied by a prerecorded score of jazz recordings that probably do nothing to convey the tone of the film.

The disc also contains a slight supplemental section.

 
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 DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS films available on home video.
Douglas Fairbanks filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
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