DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS: A MODERN MUSKETEER

DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS: A MODERN MUSKETEER is a five-disc DVD collection that includes eleven of the delightful modern-dress comedies, westerns, satires, dream-fantasies and romances which made Douglas Fairbanks a popular hero, before he launched into the costume spectacles for which he is best remembered today.

Douglas Fairbanks came from Broadway to the movies in 1915, when high salaries were luring well-known stage performers to the new feature-length film productions.  Although many performers failed to “register” on camera and soon returned to New York, Fairbanks quickly became a supernova.  His energetic, optimistic character, his ingratiating smile and his graceful, acrobatic stunts (he performed his own) rapidly made Fairbanks one of the most admired stars in the world.  By 1917, he had established his own production company.  In 1919, together with Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and D. W. Griffith, Fairbanks formed United Artists Corporation.

The set begins with four films produced in 1916 through Triangle-Fine Arts: HIS PICTURE IN THE PAPERS, THE MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH, FLIRTING WITH FATE and THE MATRIMANIAC. The collection continues with three films produced by Fairbanks for Artcraft/Famous Players-Lasky Corp. in 1917 and 1918: WILD AND WOOLY (1917), REACHING FOR THE MOON (1917) and A MODERN MUSKETEER (1917).  Finally, four wonderful features that Fairbanks produced for United are included: WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY (1919), THE MOLLYCODDLE (1920), THE MARK OF ZORRO (1920) and THE NUT (1921).

This DVD collection showcases the lively “All-American” character that Douglas Fairbanks would continue to draw upon in his later adventure epics of the 1920’s.  The common theme of these films can best be expressed by “Doug” himself: “There is one thing in this good old world that is positively sure – happiness is for all who strive to be happy – and those who laugh are happy.”  In addition to Fairbanks’s great talent and charm these ebullient films are also informed by the work of gifted collaborators like directors Allan Dwan and Victor Fleming, screenwriters Tod Browning, D.W. Griffith and Anita Loos, art director (and future director) Erich von Stroheim and co-stars such as Noah and Wallace Beery, Bessie Love and Constance Talmadge.

Rusty Screwdriver

All films have been digitally mastered from 35mm or original-negative sources, with music scores created specially for this edition. A MODERN MUSKETEER, long thought to survive only as a fragment, is finally complete in a new restoration by the Danish Film Museum and with an optional audio essay by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta. THE MARK OF ZORRO is digitally re-mastered from an original 35mm fine grain. Both of titles feature new orchestral scores by Rodney Sauer and the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

 

A NEW YORK TIMES Notable DVD of 2008


2009 IL CINEMA RITROVATO DVD JURY AWARD 
Best Box Set: Silent


 
 
 
 

  Contents

Format: DVD-NTSC / Region 0
(No Regional Code)

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HIS PICTURE IN THE PAPERS
(US, 1916)

Director: John Emerson
Screenplay: John Emerson & Anita Loos
Cinematographer: Victor Fleming
Art Direction: Erich von Stroheim
Production/Distribution: Triangle-Fine Arts
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Clarence Handyside, Rene Boucicault, Jean Temple, Charles Butler, Loretta Blake, Homer Hunt, Helena Rupport

• 62 minutes
• B&W, Tinted

     _________________________________________

THE MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH 
(US, 1916)

Director: Christy Cabanne & John Emerson
Screenplay: Tod Browning & D.W. Griffith (as Granville Warwick)
Titles: Anita Loos
Cinematographer: John W. Leezer
Production/Distribution: Triangle-Fine Arts
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Bessie Love, Alma Rubens, A.D. Sears, Charles Stevens, Tom Wilson

• 27 minutes
• B&W, Tinted

     _________________________________________

FLIRTING WITH FATE
(US, 1916)

Director: Christy Cabanne.
Screenplay: Christy Cabanne (uncredited). Story: Robert M. Baker.
Cinematographer: William E. Fildew.
Production/Distribution: Triangle-Fine Arts.
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, W.E. Lawrence, Jewel Carmen, Dorothy Haydel, George Beranger, J.P. McCarty.

• 57 minutes
• B&W

     _________________________________________

THE MATRIMANIAC
(US, 1916)

Director: Paul Powell
Screenplay: Anita Loos. Story: Octavus Roy Cohen & J.U. Giesy
Cinematographer: Victor Fleming
Production/Distribution: Triangle-Fine Arts
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Constance Talmadge, Wilbur Higby, Fred Warren, Clyde E. Hopkins, Winifred Westover

• 46 minutes
• B&W

     _________________________________________

WILD & WOOLY
(US, 1917)

Director: John Emerson
Screenplay: John Emerson & Anita Loos. Story: Horace B. Carpenter
Cinematographer: Arthur Edeson
Production/Distribution: Douglas Fairbanks Pictures for Artcraft/Famous Players-Lasky Corp
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Eileen Percy, Walter Bytell, Joseph Singleton, Calvert Carter, Forrest Seabury, J.W. Jones, Charles Stevens, Sam De Grasse, Tom Wilson, Ruth Allen, Ed Burns, James Wharton James

• 72 minutes
• B&W, Tinted

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REACHING FOR THE MOON
(US, 1917)

Director: John Emerson
Screenplay: John Emerson & Anita Loos. Story: Joseph Henabery
Cinematographer: Arthur Edeson & Victor Fleming
Production/Distribution: Douglas Fairbanks Pictures for Artcraft/Famous Players-Lasky Corp
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Eileen Percy, Richard Cummings, Millard Webb, Eugene Ormonde, Frank Campeau

• 69 minutes
• B&W, Tinted

     _________________________________________

A MODERN MUSKETEER
(US, 1917)

Director: Allan Dwan.
Screenplay: Allan Dwan, from the story D’Artagnan of Kansas by F.R. Lyle, Jr.
Cinematographers: Hugh McClung & Harry Thorpe
Production/Distribution: Douglas Fairbanks Pictures for Artcraft/Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Marjorie Daw, Kathleen Kirkham, Eugene Ormonde, Edythe Chapman, Frank Campeau, Tully Marshall.

• 69 minutes
• B&W, Tinted

     _________________________________________

WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY
(US, 1919)

Director: Victor Fleming & Theodore Reed
Screenplay: Lewis Weadon & Victor Fleming (uncredited). 
Titles: Thomas J. Geraghty.
Story: Douglas Fairbanks (uncredited)
Cinematographers: Harry Thorpe & William C. McGann
Production/Distribution: Douglas Fairbanks Pictures for United Artists
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Kathleen Clifford, Frank Campeau, Ralph Lewis, Daisy Jefferson, Bull Montana, Herbert Grimwood, Albert McQuarrie

• 75 minutes
• B&W, Tinted

     _________________________________________

THE MOLLYCODDLE
(US, 1920)

Director: Victor Fleming
Screenplay: Douglas Fairbanks (uncredited). Story: Harold MacGrath. Scenario Editor: Thomas J. Geraghty
Cinematographers: Harry Thorpe & William C. McGann
Production/Distribution: Douglas Fairbanks Pictures for United Artists
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Ruth Rennick, Wallace Beery, Paul Burns, Morris Hughes, George Stewart, Charles Stevens, Lewis Hippe, Betty Bouton, Adele Farrington, Albert McQuarrie, Freddie Hawk

• 85 minutes
• B&W, Tinted

     _________________________________________

THE MARK OF ZORRO
(US, 1920)

Director: Fred Niblo
Screenplay: Douglas Fairbanks & Eugene Miller (uncredited), from the story The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston McCulley
Cinematographers: Harry Thorpe & William C. McGann
Production/Distribution: Douglas Fairbanks Pictures for United Artists
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Noah Beery, Charles Hill Mailes, Claire McDowell, Marguerite De La Motte, Robert McKim, George Periolat, Walt Whitman, Sydney DeGray, Tote DuCrow

• 107 minutes
• B&W, Tinted

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THE NUT
(US, 1921)

Director: Theodore Reed
Screenplay: William Parker, Lotta Woods & Douglas Fairbanks (as Elton Thomas). Story: Kenneth Davenport
Cinematographers: Harry Thorpe & William C. McGann
Production/Distribution: Douglas Fairbanks Pictures for United Artists
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite De La Motte, William Lowery, Gerald Pring, Morris Hughes, Barbara LaMarr, Charles Chaplin (uncredited), Mary Pickford (uncredited)

• 75 minutes
• B&W

     _________________________________________

Bonus Material

• Facsimile of Douglas Fairbanks’ contract with Triangle-Fine Arts.

• Optional audio commentary on A MODERN MUSKETEER (1918), by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta.

• 32 page booklet with chapters on each film in the set.

• Bonus galleries of rare stills from Fairbanks’ personal collection, courtesy of the Douglas Fairbanks Collection, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

• Original pressbook materials from HIS PICTURE IN THE PAPERS, WILD AND WOOLY, REACHING FOR THE MOON, A MODERN MUSKETEER, THE MOLLYCODDLE, and THE NUT, reproduced courtesy of Jeffrey Vance.

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Total Running Time: 12:35:17 (5 Discs)

Language: English intertitles

Musical Score: Eric Beheim, Philip Carli, Frederick Hodges, Robert Israel, Rodney Sauer & the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra & Franklin Stover

Booklet Text: Tony Maietta & Jeffrey Vance

Published By: Flicker Alley

Institutional Price: $600 (plus shipping)

To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.