Two Thumbs Up for this Double!
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 05/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This excellent DVD features a wonderful silent film from 1919 and one of the first Hollywood musicals from 1929, when "talkies" were introduced, and although I was expecting two silent films, I was not one bit disappointed. Knowing next to nothing about Erich von Stroheim (except that I had to see some of his work one day!) I watched and enjoyed both films without any expectations or preconceived ideas, and simply cannot fault either film.
Blind Husbands is visually lovely, the music is perfectly suited, and it is a poignant story with the morale that it's not always "the other man" who is solely to blame in marriage difficulties. It moves along at a comfortable pace as it unfolds and shows the emotions of each character just at the right moment. It's impressive that von Stroheim wrote and directed, as well as played a lead role. As an actor he comes across subtly yet strongly in this film, and overall I rate this film as a top quality silent movie.
The Great Gabbo is a Talkie and shows that von Stroheim was also very competent in speech, playing a very difficult and troubled showman; a ventriloquist, whose dummy almost steals the show. The dummy dialogues and scenes are superb and delightful, balancing the negative and rough character played by Stroheim. Then the musical really gets going; visually surprising, intriguing and fascinating, with very high quality music and songs as good as any famous Hollywood musical since (and personally, I enjoyed this one more than many others musicals) The picture quality is extremely good, being in pristine black and white, and while the sound might sound a bit tinny to sensitive ears, I still think it's a superior work of remastering. While the music and dummy entertain us, a very moving love story also unfolds, leaving the viewer feeling very satisfied after both of these memorable movies.
The DVD also has some interesting special features; photos, interviews and other snippets, including two recipes by Stroheim such as Almond Strudel which sounds worth a try! Definitely a worthwhile DVD - thanks, Kino Video!"
Famous color sequence is in black and white.
Prometheus | USA | 05/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even thought the Great Gabbo is supposedly restored the famous color sequence is in black and white."
GREAT VON STROHEIM TITLES!!!!!
larryj1 | AZ, USA | 04/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the best restoration of these two titles likely ever to be seen and I'm very grateful for what is left of these films. Blind Husbands is great and The Great Gabbo is absolutely fascinating. I could listen to Von Stroheim's voice for hours. I don't know if Blind Husbands had an End title, but if it did, the use of an End title with a 2003 copyright is infuriating."