BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT & MONTE CRISTO: THE LOST FILMS OF JOHN GILBERT
Today, more than 80% of silent cinema is considered lost forever. Some films were claimed by the flammable and unstable film stock of the day. Others were, once upon a time, thought to be worth less than the cost of keeping them. Yet, miraculously, unique copies of celebrated films previously thought lost are occasionally found and restored to delight a new generation. BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT joins MONTE CRISTO as two resurrected classics, both top-of-the-line productions starring John Gilbert, one of the most handsome, passionate and popular stars of the 1920s.
BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT (1926) is directed by King Vidor (THE CROWD, DUEL IN THE SUN), who had scored a smash hit the year before with THE BIG PARADE, starring Gilbert. In this adaptation of a novel by Rafael Sabatini, Gilbert plays and the Marquis de Bardelys, a casual womanizer and accomplished swashbuckler, who becomes entranced with Roxalanne de Lavedan (Eleanor Boardman). Lavishly mounted and superbly directed with spectacular action scenes, BARDELYS is a hugely entertaining action romance given an A-plus MGM production. The sole surviving print was found in France in 2006; the English titles are restored according to the original script. A gap in the recovered footage is bridged with stills, titles, and footage from the original trailer so the story is complete; the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra provides a lovely score of period photoplay music.
In MONTE CRISTO (1922), Gilbert portrays Edmond Dantes, the sailor unjustly imprisoned for twenty years, then reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo. This adaptation of the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, was directed by Emmett J. Flynn, and lavishly produced by Fox Film. The sole surviving copy of MONTE CRISTO is a worn and choppy print found in the Czech Republic, but nearly complete. English titles have been restored with the help of the original script. Pianist Neal Kurz arranged and performs a score of obscure yet beautiful French music of the period.
This deluxe 2-disc set features a full-length audio essay on BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT by silent film historians Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta, who also produced the documentary supplement, REDISCOVERING JOHN GILBERT, featuring an on-camera interview with John Gilbert’s daughter and biographer, Leatrice Gilbert Fountain.
Format: DVD-NTSC / Region 0
(No Regional Code)
BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT
Director: King Vidor
Producer: Irving Thalberg
Screenplay: Dorothy Farnum, adapted from the novel by Rafael Sabatini
Cinematographer: William Daniels
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Technical Director: Robert Florey
Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Cast: John Gilbert, Eleanor Boardman, Roy D’Arcy, Lionel Belmore, Emily Fitzroy, George K. Arthur, Arthur Lubin, Theodore von Eltz, Karl Dane, Fred Malatesta, John T. Murray, Joseph Marba, Daniel G. Tomlinson, Emile Chautard & Max Barwyn
• 90 minutes
• B&W, Tinted
Director: Emmett J. Flynn
Producer: William Fox
Screenplay: Bernard McConville, from the adaptation by Alexander Salvini of the play by Charles Fechter and the novel Le Comte de Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Cinematographer: Lucien Andriot
Art Direction: William Darling
Fight Coreographer: Henry J. Uyttenhove
Production Company: Fox Film Corporation
Cast: John Gilbert, Estelle Taylor, Robert McKim, William V. Mong, Virginia Brown Faire, George Siegmann, Spottiswode Aitken, Ralph Cloninger, Albert Prisco, Gaston Glass, Al Filson, Harry Lonsdale, Francis McDonald, Jack Cosgrove, Maude George & Rénée Adorée
• 106 minutes
• B&W, Tinted
REDISCOVERING JOHN GILBERT
Producer: Tony Maietta & Jeffrey Vance
• 32 minutes
• Full-length audio essay on BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT by silent film historians Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta
Total Running Time: 03:48:33 (2 Discs)
Language: English intertitles
Musical Score: The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Antonio Coppolla, & Neal Kurz
Booklet Text: Jeffrey Vance & Tony Maietta
Published By: Flicker Alley
Institutional Price: $300 (plus shipping)
To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.