Brooks and Bow
Mr Peter G George | Ellon, Aberdeenshire United Kingdom | 08/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Both of the films on this DVD are enjoyable and worth seeing, but neither can be classed as being among the great films of the silent era. These films are no doubt typical of the sorts of films people saw on a day-to-day basis. The silent films which are most seen today are the classics so it is interesting, for a change, to see some more routine programmers. The Show Off is the story of a truly obnoxious man played by Ford Sterling who is pompous and foolish. For some reason, which is not at all clear, Lois Wilson decides to marry him. This leads to all sorts of comic misadventures and disasters, including a very funny car journey with the incompetent Sterling causing chaos on the streets of Philadelphia. Louise Brooks is not the star of this film, but she has enough screen time to satisfy her fans. She is easily the best actor in the cast and, of course, looks stunning with her familiar bobbed hair. The print of The Show Off is very good. It is black and white and really clear enabling all the details of the film to be seen. The print shows hardly any damage, but there are some brief scenes where the sprocket holes become visible. The music by Timothy Brock is entertaining and fits in well with the mood and the period of the film.The Plastic Age is a college film. It concerns the attempts made by Donald Keith to juggle his studies and ambition to become a track and football star, with his romancing a `fast' jazz age girl, who else but Clara Bow. Keith plays a somewhat insipid character especially when compared to Bow who is so vivacious. It's hard to see what she sees in him when all he seems to say is `Gee.' Bow was a marvellous star, but this film was made before she really hit the big time. Thus although she has a decent amount of screen time, this remains a film about Keith, which is a pity as she is far more interesting than he is. One of the great pleasures of the film is the chance to see Henry B. Walthall (the little Colonel in Birth of a Nation). He plays Keith's father, and is wonderful as a stern but loving father concerned that his son devotes his time to study and sport rather than girls. The print of The Plastic Age is unfortunately not nearly as good as that of The Show Off. It is tinted mainly in sepia but using blue for night scenes. It is an acceptable print but lacks the clarity and detail of the print used for The Show Off. The Plastic Age is accompanied by a good score performed by Eric Beheim. This is a good value DVD with two entertaining silent films showcasing some of the early work of two of the great silent stars, Louise Brooks and Clara Bow. Fans of these two actresses should not be disappointed."
Brian | CA USA | 05/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great silent movie! The DVD is EXCELLENT quality. I wasn't sure if it was correct projection speed when I ordered it, but it turned out to be - and what a movie! The orchestral score is perfect. All the characters are developed nicely and this was a great role for the leading actor; memorable screen presence. The movie wouldn't be nearly as good without Louise Brooks, but I was hoping for more screen time from her.
This is a great movie from the Roaring Twenties with a lighthearted plot that is effective and fun."
Definitive Double Bill
A. Rodriguez | Cream City, WI USA | 12/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The quality of The Show-Off is stellar while the transfer quality of The Plasic Age is as good as they could get it (there is some aging discoloration). I came away from the viewings with a concrete opinion of what separates Louise Brooks from the silent greats of her time. Ms. Brooks --through her onscreen pressence, natural talent and breath-taking beauty-- can take small bit roles and morph them into major parts. She does this sans the usual golden-locked cheeky or raven-haired mall acts of the day. She's herself (love her or loathe her)... thank the film gods for that. If you're a fan of Lulu and/or the silent age, you owe it to yourself to add this double bill to your collection."