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Bird of Paradise (The Selznick Collection) [Blu-ray]

59 customer reviews

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Bird of Paradise

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Editorial Reviews

Joel McCrea (The Most Dangerous Game) stars as a handsome South Seas soldier of fortune who falls in love with Dolores Del Rio (Flying Down to Rio), the daughter of a Polynesian native chieftain. Alas, their idyllic romance is destined to come to a sudden and violent end: tribal custom decrees that Del Rio is to be sacrificed to the local volcano. After initial resistance, the heroine nobly resigns herself to her fate, realizing that there is no place for her in her lover's world. From the legendary Academy Award nominated director King Vidor (War & Peace, The Champ) and producer David O. Selznick (Gone With The Wind, King Kong). This is the ONLY authorized edition of this classic film from the estate of David O. Selznick, restored and remastered in high definition from the George Eastman House.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Joel McCrea, Dolores Del Rio
  • Directors: King Vidor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007HO38R4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,971 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Director King Vidor found Richard Walton Tully's play of the same name on which this film is based hopelessly dated and uninteresting. Producer David O. Selznick countered thusly: "I don't care what story you use as long as the title remains intact and Del Rio jumps into a flaming volcano at the finish". The stunningly exotic beauty of Dolores Del Rio made her the first Mexican actress ever to become an international film star. Del Rio had weathered the transition from silents to talkies, but due to her accent and somewhat rudimentary acting ability, her roles had to be carefully chosen; this is probably her most memorable available to the public on video. Filmed on location in Hawaii, the movie's plusses lie in its appeal to the senses, namely in the striking black-and-white photography by Clyde De Vinna - he won an Oscar in 1928 for his work on WHITE SHADOWS IN THE SOUTH SEAS - and Max Steiner's richly evocative background score, designed to illustrate everything from Polynesian native dancing to idyllic, romantic interludes. The film was made rather quickly - stars Del Rio and McCrea had other commitments - and the script was was literally slapped together. BIRD OF PARADISE cost RKO more than a million dollars to make, a high expence in 1932; this lush, albeit antique romantic drama has long been overshadowed by the largely inferior 1951 Technicolor remake with Debra Paget and Louis Jourdan.
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Format: Blu-ray
Producer David O. Selznick is an American producer known for many of his successful ventures in Hollywood. From producing "Gone with the Wind" (1939) which earned him an Academy Award and his collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock which earned him a second Academy Award for "Rebecca" (1940), Selznick is known for many other classics.

And some of these classics such as "A Star is Born", "Nothing Sacred", "A Farewell to Arms" have been released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Kino Lorber and now, King Vidor's 1932 film "Bird of Paradise" will be released on Blu-ray and DVD. This authorized edition from the estate of David O. Selznick is from the collection of the George Eastman House.

"Bird of Paradise" a film adaptation of Richard Walton Tully's successful play.

While King Vidor was known for silent films years prior such as "The Big Parade" (1925), "Bardelys the Magnificent", "The Patsy" (1928), to name a few, "Bird of Paradise" was a romance/adventure film that was a talkie, would incorporate an orchestrated film score courtesy of legendary composer Max Steiner (known for his music in "Casablanca", "Gone with the Wind", "The Gay Divorcee", "Now, Voyager") and a film that would showcase successful Mexican actress Dolores del Rio ("Flying Down to Rio", "The Abandoned") and Joel McCrea ("Sullivan's Travels", "The Most Dangerous Game").

"Bird of Paradise" was an intriguing RKO film for its time as it created some scandal because lead actress Dolores del Rio (playing a Polynesian) was in a scene where she is swimming naked. In fact, throughout the film, she is wearing nothing but a lei covering her upper torso and at the time this film was released, before the Hayes Production Code was enforced.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By The Other Eccles on May 18, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
At last, I thought, I will have Bird of Paradise--one of my favorite films--in a Blu-ray disc that captures the spectacular picture and sound that I remember from several viewings of Selznick's personal print back in the 1970's. Boy was I wrong! Selznick's 35mm nitrate print was made after the film was out of release and the original negative showed signs of wear, but it still offered striking image quality and superb sound.

The image quality (if you can call it that) on the Kino Blu-ray is a rain of white marks and the sound is terribly distorted--two indications that the transfer was done from a negative, and not a very clean negative. Thunderbird films made a 16mm negative from the nitrate print years ago and I'll bet it's that negative used for this disc. Kino had obviously transferred sound from negatives for Carnegie Hall and some of the Benchley short films. You'd think they would have learned by now that you can't do that, especially to Max Steiner's magnificent score.

The statement on the package that says, "Mastered in HD from an original nitrate 35mm print, preserved..., etc." cannot be true as read, and the result of the transfer is unwatchable and certainly unlistenable. I have an excellent tape of the entire soundtrack made from a nitrate print 40 years ago. I would try to sync it up if only the picture quality warranted the effort.

And to anyone who excuses it for being an 80-year-old film: Don't! This is not how films looked and sounded 80 years ago and there's no excuse for passing this off as good quality.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tivette on April 14, 2011
Format: DVD
Bird of Paradise (1951) with Debra Paget, Louis Jourdan and Jeff Chandler is an all-time FAVORITE love story that is full of drama in an idyllic setting. A beautifully told story that was haunting for many of its points of Hawaiian life and customs, and what can happen when it comes up against another culture, our world. Jeff Chandler was quite a hunk of a man in his day and still leaves me wishing there were more men like him in Hollywood today. Anyway, I plan to get my copy soon as this is an old favorite love story of another age. I'm glad Hollywood has not remade this fantastic story and leaves this priceless jewel alone for us to enjoy. BTW, Louis Jordan was quite the hapless lover (Andre Laurence, a college friend of Tenga) who dared to love Debra Paget (Kalua), the perfect Hawaiian flower, and Jeff Chandler (Tenga) plays her brother and best college friend of Louis Jordan's character. The great Kahuna was quite the menace, and I felt portrayed the power over life and death--played by great actor, Maurice Schwartz (1890-1960), who was considered the Lawrence Olivier of Jewish theatre in his day. Treat yourself to this timeless story and you'll watch it again and again.
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Bird of Paradise (The Selznick Collection) [Blu-ray]
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