Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Beaudine Anderson, Mary Astor, John Barrymore, Andr Beranger, Michael Dark
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama
Starring John Barrymore and Mary Astor. John Barrymore stars in this 1924 silent film about a man who goes from rags to riches in the 18th century. He enjoys life at the top until he insults his good friend, the Prince o... more »
E. D. Deuss | Phoenix, AZ | 10/25/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This version of "Beau Brummel" is not from Warner Home Video (WHV) -- and it shows! It's from some outfit called Televista, whom I have not heard of. The keepcase design on the back is poor, with type very hard to read (colored type on a black background -- bad type color!, and a poor choice of typeface.)
The print itself is lousy+. What is infuriating above all is that this silent film was projected through a sound aperature, which cuts off part of the top and lefthand sides of the frame (all of the inter-titles are off center, and the tops of most of the heads are partly cut off).
I feel I spent way too much for this version, and I hope that WHV will come out with their own version. I suspect, considering the quality of this film, that it is a 16mm copy of a much-used 35mm print. It is hard to watch, with such low quality, and certainly no care was taken to put it on this DVD. Do not waste your money on this one!"
HIS LEFT PROFILE
Brad Baker | Atherton, Ca United States | 10/10/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Beau Brummel is a dandified gentleman who enjoys the respect of the English royalty and the attention of the local ladies. He pinches his snuff,and poses in his tights. Things go rather well until a tussle with a girl causes him to insult the regal(and portly) Prince of Wales. Now dear Beau becomes a cast-off, enjoyed only by his sweet Lady Alvaney. The years pass, and Beau transforms into a doddering old man. How could he know that his beloved Lady still loves him? A perfect suit for the elegant Shakespearean John Barrymore, 1924's "Beau Brummel" signaled the actor's first Warner Bros. effort. More would follow. Barrymore carried on an active affair with his co-star, Mary Astor(just 17), throughout the production. A marriage was fortold(It would not happen). "Beau Brummel" offers an unending array of "left profile" shots of the famous Barrymore; but his rich clothing and constricting pants would be a source of discomfort and embarassment in years to come. He would soon avoid the "prissy" roles of this early career. Barrymore much enjoyed his "transformation" scene at the end( he always did), as he steps out of his "ageing self"; observing what's left of his time-battered body; loved only by his faithful servant. Televista provides a first DVD release of "Beau Brummel(a spotty video tape has been available for a few years)". This disc continues the murky problems of the tape, and is clearly un-restored. Historically Barrymore's first major Hollywood production, the film is sadly slow-moving, and almost without any drama. The sentimental ending is surely enjoyable, but it cannot compete with the dreay soap-opera that comes before."
5 stars for the movie, not this print
calvinnme | 01/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like another reviewer, I just saw the restored TCM version of 1924's "Beau Brummel" with its new score by a recent winner of the TCM Young Composer's competition. It certainly does this great silent justice in both the score and the video restoration. The particular DVD version for sale here is not restored - it appears to me to just be the VHS version transferred to DVD, and I wouldn't recommend it at all. The film itself is a great showcase for John Barrymore's talents. He gets to play the spurned romantic, the comic rogue who is always laughing at everyone else, the beaten man in decline still hanging on to his dignity, and finally an insane aged man completely unaware of reality.
Brummel starts out as a young man in love with Lady Margery (Mary Astor). The feeling is mutual, but Margery's mother is ambitious and insists that Margery marry the wealthy Lord Alvanley. She considers Brummel not good enough for her daughter. To soothe his grief, Brummel plunges down the path of a self-destructive and hedonistic lifestyle, indulging in the finest food, drink, clothing, and women, but nothing can kill the sting of his losing Lady Margery. Alec B. Francis, as Brummel's gentleman's gentleman Mortimer, actually has a role equal in importance to Mary Astor's role, and he shines in it. Early in the film Mortimer corrects a visitor when he refers to Brummel as his master. Instead, Brummel is his life. He stays with Brummel when he can no longer pay him, and even after he is wrongfully discharged and he returns to England, he continues to send money for Brummel's upkeep. This is a long film for a silent at over two hours in length, but it doesn't drag at all.
This year is Warner Bros. 85th anniversary. Let's hope this film was restored with an eye to putting an official version on DVD. You'd think that since this is one of the few early silent films still in existence that was made by Warner Bros. that is not a Rin-Tin-Tin film, that this would be the plan."
Lovely movie...but the transfer is criminal!
E. Bennett | United States | 03/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have watched John Barrymore in talkies (particularly 'Grand Hotel'), but this was my first opportunity, as a silent fan, to enjoy him in a silent film. For years, the only 'Beau Brummel' movie version I had known was the MGM spectacle with Stewart Granger, Peter Ustinov, and Elizabeth Taylor, which I saw as a child when it was on TV. The Barrymore version is nearly superior to the 1954 film, due to the performances of the Great Profile (and what a stunning profile, shown to such an advantage) and a luminescent, heartbreaking Mary Astor. The screenplay is good, and maintained my interest. It also went to the depth of Barrymore's abilities to watch him go from the handsome young Army officer, to his heyday as the 'Beau,' then poverty, and finally, so aged and broken that he appears older than his loyal manservant. (Several times, I thought of the older Barrymore as he appeared only 8 years later in 'A Bill of Divorcement.'). Considering the fact that he was in his Forties when this was made, I was amazed at how well he capably handled the transition in age. The costumes and sets are beautiful and appear stunning.
I say appear, because it is difficult to tell.
Regrettably, the transfer and the video's condition is disgusting to the point of being a crime. Frames go from light to dark; the "dirt" is obvious and headache-inducing; title cards are not only fuzzy, but the odd zoom to bring them into focus or to segue is disconcerting (I don't remember seeing it done so often in a silent, and am wondering if this is something that was actually part of the movie, or something done by the company releasing it). The soundtrack ranges from slightly ('slightly' being the key word) appropriate to more annoying tunes that sound as if they belong to the Twenties and not the time frame of the movie itself. (If I heard that one piano tinkling tune again, I was going to put my head through the drywall! And at one point, during a key scene between Brummel, Lady Margery and the Prince, a tonal type drone begins that seemed more appropriate to a modern science fiction movie. At least, I think it was some kind of music because initially, I thought it was a bad sound effect). Even the attractive photo gallery with selections from the film itself looks as though it was created by a beginner with a Power Point program!
It is my hope that some superior company will take this movie, do a complete restoration, then release it as it deserves to be. I am reading in other reviews, that there is a restored version, but it seems to have only been shown on cable at this point. I hope that someone will eventually 'take pity' on those wishing to own it, and will release a worthy copy. Until then, I recommend this only for curious silent fans. It will be taxing watching the poor transfer currently available, but almost worth it."