A UNIQUE ASSORTMENT OF SILENT SCREEN GEMS THAT REVOLUTIONIZED CINEMA AS WE KNOW IT. TRULY AMAZING COLLECTIONS FOR CINEMA FANS! **Each DVD Includes a reproduction of the ORIGINAL movie poster!!! (11 of the 12 titles have a... more » poster inside) Includes the following screen gems: The Phantom of the Opera - Lon Chaney
Nosferatu - Max Schrek
The General - Buster Keaton
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - John Barrymore
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Lon Chaney
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Conrad Veidt Intolerance - D.W. Griffith
G. vonDuering | SF Bay Area, CA United States | 02/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Of course, it needs to be noted that almost all of these are available in restored editions thatare much better than this one, but on the whole, this set isn't too bad -- although none of these is in really good condition, and aside from the (about 9" x 14") poster reproductions, there are no extras.
Here's the breakdown (IMHO, YMMV, you are the best judge of what you can tolerate):
Birth of a Nation -- 103 min., no tint, print is blurry and washed out
Intolerance -- 167 min,, tinted, scratching, some blurring, some popping and distortion in soundtrack
Orphans of the Storm -- 150 min., no tinting, good print
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari -- 70 min., no tinting, washed out, visible
Nosferatu -- 80 min., no tinting, dark, poor quality (this is probably the worst of the group)
Metropolis -- 89 min., tinted and toned, poor condition
Hunchback of Notre Dame -- 96 min., tinted, badly scratched print, poor definition -- but it's watchable
Phantom of the Opera -- 79 min., ball scene tinted, some parts dark and lack definition, but frequently good definition
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde -- 82 min., dark, some loss of definition, some scratching, nothing really bad
The Beloved Rogue -- 98 min., no tinting, some loss of detail, some scratching, not too bad
Battleship Potemkin -- 73 min., no tinting, washed out in spots, not too scratched (the cover has the wrong runtime, there is an additional 46 min. documentary on Eisenstein).
The General -- 107 min. no tinting, blurry, scratched, mostly not too bad.
With all that said, Nosferatu is the only one that's really poor quality (for an unrestored film of the silent era). If you've seen the restoration of Caligari, you probably won't be able to tolerate this one, and this is even more true of Metropolis -- this cut is related to the drastically cut version that was shown in the US (the tinting and toning of some of the scenes is interesting). This is probably the shortest cut I've seen of Birth of a Nation.
All the others I found adequate, but if you really love one of these movies, this version probably won't satisfy you. "
The Father of Film
Brad Baker | Atherton, Ca United States | 10/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mack Sennett, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Erich von Stroheim, Tod Browning, John Ford, Allan Dwan, Wallace Reid, and Lionel Barrymore were just a handful of the talents employed by D. W. Griffith before their future successes in the motion picture industry. D.W. Griffith filmed "Birth of a Nation"(without a screenplay) in 1915, a few miles north of Hollywood in the Chatsworth hills of San Fernando Valley. For 25 years, it's $50 million box office record was unmatched. Future movie mogul Louis B. Mayer secured the East Coast rights to "Birth" and walked away with $500,000 in profits. Fragile close-ups, deft cross-cutting, and the ultimate chase scene: "Birth of a Nation" became the genesis of modern film. But as Griffith himself said, he didn't direct movies, he promoted an "art form". He was right. In 2002, Kino Films released the 7-disc DVD "Griffith Masterworks". Thia digital transfer gives you more than 30 complete films, newsreels, documentaries, photos, commentaries by Orson Welles, and much more. You also get a 6-minute filmed interview with actor Walter Huston and D. W. Griffith himself. They smoke cigarettes and chew the scenery(very interesting). This DVD set has over 10 hours of material(much of it rare, uncensored, and never available before). In 1949, D. W. Griffith lived alone in the Knickerbocker Hotel, spending nights wandering local Los Angeles bars. It is said that he often gazed out his hotel window down onto the corner across the street; the intersection of Hollywood and Sunset boulevard. This corner was once the site of the Babylonian set used in his "Intolerance". A few months later he died. Today in Hollywood, there is no major plaque, no monument, no testimonial commemorating the man who transformed a sleepy, dusty L.A. suburb into today's trillion dollar capital of the motion picture industry. D. W. Griffith will never be forgotten. I only hope that he will be remembered."
Impressive with Tons of Extras!
mwreview | Northern California, USA | 08/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set is very impressive. Not only does it offer the masterpieces of D.W. Griffith's career (including, of course, Birth of a Nation) but it also has all the shorts from the two videos "Selected Biograph Shorts," additional shorts, a biography and news items, and memorabilia. I am very happy to finally be able to see "In the Border States" and "The House with Closed Shutters." They both star my favorite actor, Henry B. Walthall, and I was searching for these shorts for awhile. I believe this set represents the first time these shorts have been made widely available. Considering their age, they look great on this set. In addition, this collection offers a 6 minute discussion of Birth of a Nation between the director himself and Walter Huston (who played Lincoln in Griffith's 1930 talkie Abraham Lincoln), clips of Griffith's funeral, radio eulogy by Erich von Stroheim, and many other "special features." The memorabilia includes lobby cards and programs for Birth of a Nation, articles from Photoplay magazine which are copied well and easy to read, and photos, postcards and magazine covers of Griffith's leading ladies. I only wish the leading men received the same treatment, but one can't have everything. A silly short starring Griffith ("Rescued From the Eagle's Nest" from 1908) and a very fake looking bird is included. The presentation is very well-done with video clips and period music on the menu pages. The packaging is also handsome and displayable. I was hoping little booklets would be included with each disc, however, there are only slips of paper with the film listings and pictures. Still, the bonus shorts and tons of extras make this a must for any Griffith or silent film collection."
mwreview | 07/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though i am only thirteen i have had a passion for movies ever since i was young and have been increasing my collection (upwards of 400 now) of fantastic movies, this is one of my finest additions. D W Griffiths work may have been racist or one sided but his work changed world film, one of these movies even made the American Film Institute's(AFI) Top One Hundred Films of the past 100 Years ( Birth of a Nation)! All of these movies (except Biograph shorts 1909-1913) made the their way into the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and for me to find them all together was a dream come true. If you are a movie fan who is interested in the silent film era do yourself a favor and make this fantastic addition to your collection today. -Movie Man 22"
D.W. Griffith Would Be Proud
mwreview | Northern California, USA | 08/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kino did the legendary director right by this handsome set. The films are of a remarkable quality considering their age and every little detail is looked after. The menu pages, for example, are very creative. The Biograph Shorts have previews of each film set in an old fashioned background with typical silent movie music to give the viewer the feel of sitting in a old-time nickelodeon. The Orphans of the Storm menu page has a curtain that lifts up. The people at Kino really took the time to produce an excellent presentation, and it shows. In addition, with each DVD in this set, you get lots of rare shorts (some never before released), memorabilia, photos, and even contemporary articles. Incidentally, if you only wish to own a particular DVD from this set, each are also sold separately; however, if you think you may want all these DVDs eventually, don't hesitate to buy this set."