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Flesh & the Devil [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson, Barbara Kent, William Orlamond
  • Directors: Clarence Brown
  • Writers: Benjamin Glazer, Frederica Sagor, Hanns Kräly, Hermann Sudermann, Marian Ainslee
  • Producers: David Gill, Irving Thalberg
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: September 5, 2000
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301969138
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,380 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Flesh & the Devil [VHS]

Customer Reviews

No doubt there's something for everyone here, both for silent and general film or Garbo fans alike.
Barbara Underwood
Of course, this film was the one that sparked the real life romance between Greta Garbo and John Gilbert.
mwreview
I bought my copy of the Signature Collection elsewhere for much less than this set is currently priced.
Rogelio E. Toledo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 9, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although part of the large scale GARBO:THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION featuring 7 of her 1930's films, THE GARBO SILENTS is available seperately for the silent film enthusiast or for those who don't want to purchase the whole package. It joins the sets of Buster Keaton and Lon Chaney films released earlier by TCM Archives. As with those sets the production values are high, the extras plentiful, and the set offered at a reasonable price considering what it contains.

I do however have a few issues with this new release. First up is the exclusion of the new documentary GARBO from this set (it's part of THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION). It is listed as being included according to the TCM website but instead there's a documentary on the recent rescoring of the movies by a group of young composers. While that is interesting and important, the documentary on Garbo is more important and would get more people to buy the set. The packaging is annoying too with two of the three films presented on a double sided DVD (which can come apart) although I suppose it does keep the price down.

Then there's the choice of films. I'm sure every Garbo fan has something to say about this. I would like to have seen WOMAN OF AFFAIRS included as I think that remains one of her very best silents with fine work from a young Douglas Fairbanks Jr. I also wish that they could have used the tinted print for THE MYSTERIOUS LADY that was used for the VHS release since the quality of this print is no better than that one which had damage issues. The musical accompaniment for this edition is much better than the old release and overall it's up to TCM's high standards.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on September 19, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Flesh and the Devil is my favorite silent film and one of my favorite movies period. Of course, this film was the one that sparked the real life romance between Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. Motion Picture Magazine, at the time, was right on it. In the December 1926 issue, an article on Garbo and Gilbert sported the following subtitle: "When Clarence Brown Filmed the Love Scenes with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert for 'The Flesh and the Devil,' He Was Working with Raw Material." Yes, especially for its time, the love scenes are red hot (accounts from the cameramen claimed that Garbo and Gilbert kept going even when the cameras stopped). I think this film, however, is often overshadowed by the Gilbert/Garbo romance and the tragedy that would follow. I find this film to be a classic based on the relationship between the two best friends in the film, the incredible acting, and the seductive atmosphere it presents. The interesting backdrops (sometimes of a fantastical nature) lend further charm to the story.
The film seems to take place in 1800s Germany. It certainly takes place before the First World War, as there is a sense of confidence and security among the characters and their families at the beginning of the film. It was a time when the privileged classes lived in a sheltered world of their own and when honor meant everything. The two best friends Leo (Gilbert) and Ulrich (played by Lars Hanson) are from this wealthy "Junker" class. Leo is the free-spirited, spontaneous one, Ulrich the sensible, naive one. Their seemingly unassailable friendship is threatened by the "devil" herself, Felicitas (Garbo). Unaware, at the time, of the seductress' marriage, Leo soon finds himself in a duel with her husband.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Underwood on September 18, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had been waiting for some of the late silent era's best films to be released on DVD, in particular those with Greta Garbo, and while hoping that there would be more, I'm still very pleased with the 3 Garbo films in this set. The picture quality of "The Mysterious Lady" is not much better than my old VHS, but apart from this, I'm very pleased with the overall quality on these discs, particularly the wonderful musical scores for each one, some unusual and inventive photo montages and other special features. Anyone interested in music would probably also find the half-hour documentary "Settling the Score" an unexpected and rewarding highlight, as I did. It depicts the TCM Young Film Composers Competition, some work from each entrant and how the final score for "The Temptress" was done. It helped me get a lot more insight into this challenging and fascinating work, and it left me with a much deeper appreciation and respect for good silent film scores.

No doubt everyone has one or more Garbo favourites, and perhaps TCM had trouble deciding which ones to include in this set. For some powerful emotional drama, "Flesh and the Devil" is probably one of the best and a good choice, especially as it features the two biggest stars of the time who were drawing large audiences: Garbo and John Gilbert. For a love story with espionage and suspense, it doesn't get much better than "The Mysterious Lady", and finally, "The Temptress" shows an interesting angle on Garbo's character. Her sensuous and alluring beauty brings men's lives to ruin, but she is unaware of any wrong-doing on her own part; and in fact, when she does see what problems she has unintentionally caused, she ends up a pathetic alcoholic on the streets of Paris, making one last sacrifice out of love.
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