The Black Pirate [Blu-ray]
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In the first grand-scale epic shot entirely in Technicolor, the sole survivor of a ship pillaged by buccaneers poses as the mysterious Black Pirate and infiltrates the nest of bandits. Michel (silver screen legend Douglas Fairbanks) mounts an elaborate ploy to recover the brigands' treasure, reclaim the ship and rescue the divine Princess (Billie Dove) held captive there. This beautiful edition available exclusively on Blu-ray has been remastered in High Definition from the 35mm restoration negative. SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE: -- Lee Erwin organ score (NEW TO THIS EDITION) -- Audio commentary by Rudy Behlmer -- B&W "Talkie" Adaptation (NEW TO THIS EDITION) -- 19 Minutes of Outtakes with commentary by Rudy Behlmer -- 30 Minutes of previously unreleased outtakes (NEW TO THIS EDITION) -- Photo gallery (NEW TO THIS EDITION) -- Includes the original 1926 score, Directed by Robert Israel
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Top customer reviews
Also on the blu-ray is the original re-released "talkie" version with Doug narrating the story with no intertitles ,from the thirties, although this version is in B/W. Plenty of extras with tons of extra footage that was not used in the actual movie.It amazed me that this footage has survived, although, again, it's unfortunately in B/W.
A remarkable buy and one that all vintage movie lovers will enjoy, especially those who love silent cinema as I do. Highly recommended.
than many filmed later in time.Aye Matey,set sail for Bluray 1080!!!!!!
Every pirate cliché in the book is faithfully presented, from buried treasure to walking the plank, though the pirates are especially brutal here: when one captive swallows a ring, they simply slice open his stomach to retrieve it (albeit off camera) or test the sharpness of a blade on a prisoner before disinterestedly wiping the blood off on his corpse. There's fine underplayed villainy and casual cruelty from former dentist Sam De Grasse (Prince John in Robin Hood) and comic relief from a one-armed Donald Crisp, though they're not quite enough to keep the film's pace from noticeably slackening somewhat in the middle. The most disappointing aspect is the undeveloped love story: beyond the necessities of the plot there's no real connection between Fairbanks and Billie Dove, so it's no surprise to find that in their final clinch it's actually his wife Mary Pickford standing in for her. And, while the sets are impressive - even if the galleon is the size of a warehouse inside - the model ships are never convincing. But there's more than enough here that does work, and works wonderfully well to forgive its shortcomings.
The real revelation is the use of color. Filmed on two separate strips of film - one dyed red and orange, the other blue and green - that were cemented together for exhibition, the Two-Strip Technicolor system was rarely very satisfying: good on burgundy, green, wood tones and navy blue but highly variable on flesh tones, what was a liability on most pictures actually works to its advantage here, with careful choice of color schemes paying off with what may well be the best looking Two-Strip Technicolor film. Thankfully the 1995 restoration does it justice, with the opening scenes of pirates looting and sinking a ship quite outstanding and the quality never less than good.
While the UK DVDs and some public domain releases are all black and white versions, Kino's Region 1 DVD is the 1995 Technicolor restoration with a full orchestra recording of Mortimer Wilson's original 1926 score, as well as a typically comprehensively informative audio commentary by Rudy Behlmer. Best of all, Kino's version comes with 19 minutes of revealing out-takes (sadly only in black and white, the color having completely faded), also with commentary. As well as the odd deleted snippet or mistimed stunt, there's footage of Fairbanks losing his temper after being nicked in a swordfight as well as detailed looks at many of the stunts that were shot in reverse. It's also interesting to learn that in an age before optical printers the film's lap dissolves all had to be done in-camera. Even better is Kino's region-free Bluray release, which includes an additional 29 minutes of outtakes and the adapted black and white "talkie" version of the film. All in all a terrific package - just as long as you avoid the non-Kino releases.