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  • Miss Mend
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Miss Mend


List Price: $39.95
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Frequently Bought Together

Miss Mend + Landmarks of Early Soviet Film + French Masterworks: Russian Emigres in Paris 1923-1928 - 5 Iconic Films Albatros Productions
Price for all three: $143.88

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Product Details

  • Actors: Natalya Glan, Boris Barnet, Igor Ilyinsky, Vladimir Fogel, Sergei Komarov
  • Directors: Boris Barnet, Fedor Ozep
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: Russian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Flicker Alley
  • DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 285 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002T4DTXK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,599 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Miss Mend" on IMDb

Special Features

On the Disc: Miss Mend: A Whirlwind Vision of an Imagined America - A brand new, 25-minute documentary exploring the creative forces and cultural influences behind Miss Mend Also on the Disc: The Music Behind Miss Mend: The Invisible Orchestra - Go behind the scenes of Robert Israel’s brilliant new score in a new, 15-minute documentary featuring the actual Miss Mend recording sessions Booklet: Miss Mend and Soviet Americanism – A new booklet essay by historians Ana Olenina and Maxim Pozdorovkin.

Editorial Reviews

Miss Mend, an action-packed adventure serial in three feature-length episodes, was produced in Russia with the goal of rivaling, and possibly even surpassing, the most entertaining American movies of the 1920s. Instead of the avant-garde works of Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, Russian audiences were enchanted by fast-moving American films starring serial queens like Pearl White, swashbuckling heroes like Douglas Fairbanks, and comedians from the Keystone Cops to Lloyd, Keaton and Chaplin. Miss Mend meets them all head-on and hardly stops for breath. It features beautiful location photography, impressive stunt scenes; horse, car and boat chases, radio towers, jazz bands and even a spectacular train wreck, interspersed with visual references to German film classics like Nosferatu, Caligari and Dr. Mabuse, The film s heroine, Vivian Mend, is an elegant urban professional who earns her own living and raises a child without the help of any man. But the film, partially set in an imagined America where everything is new and progressive (from technology to social relations and lifestyles) also includes a few more-than-pointed comments on labor relations, racism, excessive wealth, gratuitous violence and even rape. Based upon a 1923 pulp novel allegedly written by an American, 'Jim Dollar' (actually the nom-de-plume of a Russian woman, Marietta Shaginian), the film adaptation is directed by Fedor Ozep and Boris Barnet, each at the start of long and distinguished filmmaking careers. Although it responded to an official call for a new art that could win over mass audiences, Miss Mend was condemned by the Soviet press of the time as ideologically lightweight and a prime example of shameless 'Western-style' entertainment. It was nonetheless a huge popular success and after more than eighty years, it remains as exhilarating as it is fascinating. Mastered in high definition from superb 35mm film elements, this English-titled edition of Miss Mend is accompanied by a newly-recorded large-orchestra score by Robert Israel. Soviet culture specialists Ana Olenina and Maxim Pozdorovkin wrote the new English titles as well as an included booklet, Miss Mend and Soviet Americanism and made a bonus 25-minute documentary, Miss Mend: A Whirlwind Vision of An Imagined America. The Music Behind Miss Mend: The Invisible Orchestra is a behind-the-scenes look at one of Robert Israel's recording sessions in the Czech Republic. This edition was produced by David Shepard and Jeffery Masino, with digital restoration and editing carried out by Eric Lange of Lobster Films, Paris.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 7, 2009
Format: DVD
Of all the products issued by Flicker Alley, MISS MEND is certainly the most unusual so far. Intended by the Soviets as a satire of Western style entertainment, this movie has a little something for every silent film fan from the French serials of Feuillade to the American cliffhangers of Pearl White and Helen Holmes. Throw in a little Fritz Lang for good measure and you have a unique offering that can't quite seem to make up its mind as to what it wants to be. It starts off as a protest film with our heroine, a lowly typist, getting involved in a worker's strike at the "Rocfeller" plant. Three "intrepid" journalists enter the fray each one pining after the heroine. We are then introduced to an engineer who is more than he seems at first and a cute little boy with a dark secret. Finally we meet the nefarious villain, Chiche, a demented capitalist who will stop at nothing to destroy Soviet Russia. This he hopes to accomplish through an early form of germ warfare. Can our heroine/heroes stop him in time? Stretch this out over 4 hours and you have a film that remains fascinating to watch although it can be hard to follow.

Flicker Alley & Co. have done their usual fine job in bringing another silent offering to us. The film, transferred from 35mm material, looks very good especially considering its obscurity (it was panned by Soviet critics for incorporating the very things it was poking fun at although the masses loved it). I may have run across it in a reference book but if I did, I don't recall it so I am delighted to become acquainted with another title that I'm unfamiliar with. The movie has been given new English intertitles and is accompanied by another fine score from Robert Israel.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Boxwood on December 7, 2009
Format: DVD
In one of the most unusual hybrids of the silent era, Soviet filmmakers attempted to fuse American filmic dynamism with anti-capitalist rhetoric, and then threw in elements of German expressionism for good measure. The end result was 1926's "Miss Mend," a three-part, four-hour plus long serial chronicling the adventures of a quartet of Americans who unravel a diabolical scheme to destroy Bolshevism. Their investigations take them from America to the newly established USSR where the plot reaches its climax and resolution.
This film is notable for its depiction of 1920s America through a Soviet lens. More than one-half of the film unfolds in a U.S. replicated in Russia, a land of worker unrest, virulent racism and power-mad capitalists looking to destroy the Soviet workers' paradise. Interestingly, all of "Miss Mend's" protagonists are Americans, including the eponymous heroine, Vivian Mend, a typist for a company who ends up siding with striking workers at the film's start. She comes to the attention of a four rival suitors: brawny reporter Barnet (played by former boxer and co-director Boris Barnet); the slightly peevish photographer Vogel; buffoonish Tom Hopkins, a clerk at the company where Miss Mend works; and Engineer Johnson, a character who is not all that he seems.
All of the actors do a commendable job handling the numerous chases and fight scenes the plotline demands of them. The character who registers the most is the central villain, Chiche. Hovering somewhere between Dr. Caligari and Dr. Mabuse, the twisted and seemingly leprous Chiche intends to use a terrifying bacteriological weapon to destroy the Soviet Union, and is not above killing children to achieve his ends.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 7, 2009
Format: DVD
In what has been a recent desert of rather uninteresting and uninspired classic film releases - boxed sets of classic films that are no more than repackaged stock, bare-bones DVD-R's at thirty dollars a pop, rereleases of the same old films with maybe one extra feature, etc. there have been a few gems pop up here and there. For example, there is the excellent silent Charlie Chase set, and now a Soviet dime-store novel as silent serial - Miss Mend. Not for those of short attention spans, this one clocks in at four plus hours in three parts. Made in Russia in 1926, it has to do with the heroine - Miss Mend - and her associates trying to stop a biological weapon attack on the Soviet Union planned by American businessmen. Before the stock market crash I guess they still had money to finance such gadgets.

The Soviet authorities didn't like the film because they thought it was too American in its sensational theme and pace, but it was very popular with Russian filmgoers. As mentioned in the press release "Though you'll find no tractors, capitalist oppression, or revolution, the film does manage a few jokes at the American characters' expense."

Bonus Features:
Miss Mend: A Whirlwind Vision of an Imagined America - A brand new, 25-minute documentary exploring the creative forces and cultural influences behind Miss Mend
Creating The Music of Miss Mend: Go behind the scenes of Robert Israel's brilliant new score in a new, 15-minute documentary featuring the actual Miss Mend recording sessions
Miss Mend and Soviet Americanism - A new booklet essay by historians Ana Olenina and Maxim Pozdorovkin
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