Our first look at this five-disc, eleven-film collection has generally been a delight, and the release of these films on DVD home video has been a long time coming for the relatively neglected Douglas Fairbanks. At first overwhelming, this collection of films released by Triangle, Artcraft Pictures and Fairbanks’ own United Artists is a great overview of the first phase of Fairbanks’ motion picture career, predominantly comprised of his light-hearted comedies, leading to the well-known action-adventure films of the 1920s.
The coarsely transferred When the Clouds Roll By, with its coarse (vertical!) pixels that are easily detected and distracting on high-definition monitors, may play acceptably on standard televisions.
The films are accompanied by musical scores performed by Eric Beheim, Philip Carli, Frederick Hodges, Robert Israel, Rodney Sauer, The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, and Franklin Stover.
Included is a 32-page booklet with an essay by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta. The supplemental material includes productions stills and pressbook reproductions, an audio essay for A Modern Musketeer, and a reproduction of Fairbanks’ first film contract. This boxset collection won an award at Il Cinema Ritrovato in 2009 for excellence.
Note: A few DVD players have encountered problems playing some discs in this boxset. Flicker Alley has inititated a program to replace defective discs from this Fairbanks set. Click here to report defective discs.
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