Richard Barthelmess stars as David Kinemon, a simple rural boy who stands against a hillbilly bully in this rural adaptation of the David and Goliath tale. Gladys Hulette is charming as Esther Hatburn, and Ernest Torrence makes a tremendous screen debut as the malicious Luke Hatburn. Director Henry King delivers again.
Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment,
ID4729DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-47292-9.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0NTSC DVD disc (reissued on 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, 14 chapter stops; snapper DVD case (reissued in standard DVD keepcase), $24.98.
Release date: 23 March 1999 (reissued in 2011).
Country of origin: USA
This home video edition, originally released on laserdisc in 1997 and on DVD in 1999, was the best available home video edition of the film, having been mastered from a compilation of the best surviving footage in two 35mm prints and a 35mm duplicate negative. Even today, it remains the best home video edition we have viewed.
The film is accompanied by an ensemble music score arranged and conducted by Robert Israel.
This edition remains our recommended DVD edition of Tol’able David for its visual quality and excellent musical accompaniment. At one time out-of-print, this edition was rereleased in on-demand DVD-R format in 2011.
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2010 DVD edition
Tol’able David (1921), black & white and color-toned black & white, 99 minutes, not rated,
with Chicken Feathers (1927), black & white, 14 minutes, not rated.
Grapevine Video, no catalog number, UPC 8-42614-10411-4.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0NTSC 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 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 12 chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $14.95.
Release date: 30 September 2010.
Country of origin: USA
This edition has been mastered from a good to very-good 16mm reduction print that has many of the commonly observed characteristics of the format — closed-up shadows, soft picture details, blasted-out image highlights, frame instability, etc. The reasonable range of middle greytones renders OK picture details from time to time. The natural-speed, full-frame video transfer is OK but cannot add image quality when it isn’t in the source print.
The film is accompanied by a soundtrack compiled from preexisting mono recordings: utilitarian at best.
The disc is supplemented by a Jack Duffy comedy from an OK 16mm reduction print, but the video transfer is a little jittery.
We still recommend the Image edition noted above, but this OK edition might do for those who like the look of 16mm prints and cannot find a copy of the other edition.
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0NTSC DVD-R edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.