TCM Archives: The Garbo Silents Collection

Overview

The TCM (Turner Classic Movies) imprint seems now to be the outlet through which the MGM silents, at least, are getting released on DVD. The Garbo Silents Collection is a fairly ambitious 2-disc set offering three of the screen legend's 1920's classics, Flesh And The Devil, The Mysterious Lady, and The Temptress. Flesh And The Devil (1927), which takes up the first disc, and which had previously undergone restoration in conjunction with Thames Television, is presented with a full orchestral score (composed and ...
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Overview

The TCM (Turner Classic Movies) imprint seems now to be the outlet through which the MGM silents, at least, are getting released on DVD. The Garbo Silents Collection is a fairly ambitious 2-disc set offering three of the screen legend's 1920's classics, Flesh And The Devil, The Mysterious Lady, and The Temptress. Flesh And The Devil (1927), which takes up the first disc, and which had previously undergone restoration in conjunction with Thames Television, is presented with a full orchestral score (composed and conducted by Carl Davis) with an optional commentary track by Garbo biographer Barry Paris, who ranges engagingly across Garbo's life and times, and the background and history of the production. The movie itself, in a full-screen (1.33-to-1) transfer, looks stunning, far crisper and brighter than a 1927 movie would seem to have a right to be -- there are a few shots that betray their ages with scratches and other defects, but generally this is a very fine presentation of the picture, which has been given a generous 23 chapters. It is accompanied by a short feature dealing with the generation of young composers being given the task of re-scoring the restored silents of the 1920's -- one must ponder the irony that they use terminologies and colloquialisms that would scarcely be understood by the participants in any of these movies, to which they apply their best creative instinct; and we get an alternate ending to the movie, excerpted out and included in the bonus features. The first side of the second disc features The Temptress (1926), with a new score by Michael Picton and an optional commentary track by Mark A. Vieira. The movie has been given a generous 24 chapters, and the full-screen transfer (1.33-to-1), which is carefully and beautifully tinted, is stunning -- this is the way for the uninitiated to see silent films for the first time, the image absolutely aglow. There are a few scratches and blemishes, but nothing that seriously impedes the enjoyment of the material at hand. Vieira's commentary is very technically oriented, walking us shot-by-shot through the movie, explaining how things were done -- it's interesting but one wishes he were a little livelier and more emphatic in his tone. This movie also comes with an alternate ending included in the bonus features, and a commentary over that material by Vieira. Side two of the second disc is given over to The Mysterious Lady (1928), which has a newly-commissioned score by Vivek Maddala, as well as a commentary track by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta -- this movie isn't in nearly as good condition as Flesh And The Devil, though it is eminently watchable and is given an adequate 16 chapters. There are scratches and blemishes -- and especially nitrate damage -- throughout the full-screen (1.33-to-1) presentation, but it is not severe enough to significantly detract from the enjoyment of the movie. We also get a surviving excerpt from the 1928 Garbo vehicle The Divine Woman, which is in far poorer condition than the main feature. The menus open automatically on start-up and are easy to maneuver around, and the presentation is as sympathetic and accessible to the material at hand as one could wish for, though without an accompanying publicity campaign or event (such as theatrical showings of this material), one does get a sense that the makers are preaching to the converted, and The Temptress looks too good to be limited to that approach.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Settling the Score; Comentary on Flesh and the Devil by Garbo author Barry Paris; Commentary on The Temptress by Greta Garbo: A Cinematic Legacy author Mark A. Vieira; Commentary on The Mysterious Lady by film historians Tony Maietta and Jeffrey Vance; The Divine Woman: surviving 9-minute excerpt of this lost 1928 silent; Alternate endings on Flesh and the Devil and The Temptress; Photo montages on all 3 movies; Subtitles: Français & Español
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/6/2005
  • UPC: 012569674721
  • Rating:

  • Source: Turner Classic Movie
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 5:07:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 19,555

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Flesh and the Devil
1. Credits [1:36]
2. Reveille [6:15]
3. Yard Duty; Furlough [3:43]
4. At First Sight [1:34]
5. Isle of Friendship [5:20]
6. Halewitz Castle [2:31]
7. Stoltenhof Soiree; the Waltz [5:37]
8. Love's Glow [5:42]
9. Three's a Crowd [5:25]
10. Duel at Dawn; the Promise [7:53]
11. Ulrich Calls [3:42]
12. That Name, That Face [2:11]
13. Countess Eltz [4:07]
14. Seperate Ways; Temptation [3:42]
15. To Friendship; Reunion [6:31]
16. Sermon; Communion [7:13]
17. Cold Water, Warm Hearts [7:06]
18. Unpacked and Unwilling [9:49]
19. "What are You Doing Here?" [7:32]
20. Hertha's Prayer [3:35]
21. Reluctant Duelist [5:22]
22. Thin Ice; a Veil Lifted [1:29]
23. End Credits [3:22]
Disc #2, Side A -- The Mysterious Lady
1. Credits [1:07]
2. Night in Vienna [2:42]
3. Opera Lovers [6:02]
4. Coffee or Cognac? [12:17]
5. The Day After [6:08]
6. She's a Spy [3:33]
7. Railcar Rendezvous [6:32]
8. Treason; Alexandroff's Home [6:53]
9. Karl's Escape; the Pianist [6:33]
10. Room 12; Tania's Song [7:31]
11. Love and Suspicion [8:09]
12. Hidden Message [8:20]
13. Proof [3:46]
14. Master and Pupil [5:27]
15. Dead Man's Lap [2:41]
16. Away Together; Mr. and Mrs. [1:29]
Disc #2, Side B -- The Temptress
1. Credits [1:08]
2. Costume Ball [2:37]
3. Behind the Masks [5:28]
4. Dawn of Love [2:58]
5. Marquis... and Marquise [6:32]
6. Fontenoy's Dinner Party [4:57]
7. Banner Headlines; Jewels [3:30]
8. Robledo's Departure [3:06]
9. The Argentine [7:02]
10. Manos Duras [4:31]
11. Unexpected Guests [6:05]
12. Dinner Attire [3:47]
13. Serenade [4:23]
14. Bullwhip Duel [6:15]
15. Comfort and Contempt [3:18]
16. No Happiness [5:02]
17. Offer Refused [4:17]
18. Fiesta; Deadly Blades [6:33]
19. Dam Destroyed [4:52]
20. Heroic Efforts [5:51]
21. From Hatred to Love [4:57]
22. Six Years Later [5:57]
23. Elena's Vision [2:07]
24. End Credits [:35]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Flesh and the Devil
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Barry Paris (On/Off)
      Settling the Score
      Alternate Ending
      Photo Montage
   Subtitles
      Français
      Español
      Off
Disc #2, Side A -- The Mysterious Lady
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta (On/Off)
      The Divine Woman
      Photo Montage
   Subtitles
      Français
      Español
      Off
Disc #2, Side B -- The Temptress
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Mark A. Vieria: On/Off
      Alternate Ending With Commentary by Mark A. Vieria: On/Off
      Photo Montage
   Languages
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
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