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Top Customer Reviews
"The Eagle" as a film deserves 5 stars but I can only give this new DVD print 3 stars. Unfortunately, the poor picture quality of this DVD is from the Killiam Collection and is released by Image Entertainment. It has an organ score which I found to be so-so.
...The only real plus here with this DVD is there are chapter titles so you can jump to your favorite scenes. There are no other extras here.
What's awful about all this is that this same company, Image Entertainment, once offered a far superior version. Its 1989 laserdisc edition was based on a clean 35mm print from the Rohauer Collection that had excellent contrast and detail. The score was a magnificently well-suited one by Carl Davis; it went so well with the film that once you've had a viewing with Davis's compositions, seeing "The Eagle" with any other score is unthinkable.
"The Eagle" is indispensable to a collection of silents, but this edition is not a patch on what Image itself has offered in the past. It is to be hoped that the company can clear whatever obstacles are keeping it from offering a DVD release of what was one of the best silent-film offerings on laserdisc.
Two stars out of five- I'm docking two for the ghastly print, two for the wretched score that takes the place of Davis's work, and adding one back to be charitable, because this movie is one of Valentino's best, and you should have it, even in a version as shabby as this.
Valentino plays Vladimir, a young Cossack officer who spurns the advances of Catherine the Great. (An amusing reversal especially when viewed along with the Sheik movies) Unfortunately, Vladimir's father wirtes to him begging him to get the Czarina's help. He has been swindled by a friend and is dying. Vladimir can do nothing but go home and watch his father die a broken man. He vows vengeance against Karilla, who betrayed his father, and becomes a sort of Russian Zorro called the Black Eagle.
Another unfortunate twist, Karilla has a daughter and since she is played by the lovely Vilma Banky you can guess what happens. Vladimir is smitten and is now stuck between loyalty to his father and band of followers and his love for her. Banky guesses who Vladimir really is right away (in spite of his disguises) and tries to get him to spare her father. Of course, Vladimir will have none of it and it looks like trouble until Vladimir is caught by the soldiers of the revengeful Catherine.
What happens next? Watch and see!
Valentino handles his swashbuckler duties with an airy charm. (A shame he never played the Scarlet Pimpernel!) His scenes with Louise Dresser's Catherine are particularly good. She is trying to charm him, he is trying to find a polite way out. Dresser thoroughly deserved her Oscar nod and it's too bad that Valentino was not given one as well. The rest of the supporting cast is also very good, Vilma Banky plays her usual role, the nice girl with a temper, and has an obvious chemistry with Valentino.
That said, this DVD, while ok, is not the greatest. The print quality is so-so and points.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The video quality isn't great but the NEW music score on this version is one of the best I have ever heard on a silent film. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Betsy Croslin
The was one of the last Valentino films and it is one of his best. The Amazon Streaming version is good in quality and I did not encounter any problems. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Phillip O.
Just to see Valentio makes this a five star film. After 90+ years, it is amazing how undated his charisma and style seem to be!Published on July 4, 2014 by john c.
The movie itself, and Rudy's acting, were good. The print, however, lacked detail, like it had been dubbed too many times, maybe it was the best available. Read morePublished on January 19, 2014 by Ragtime Bill
I not old enough to have seen Valentino in the theater. After watching this movie, one begins to understand his lasting fame. Read morePublished on September 21, 2013 by Rw Scolari
This was very enjoyable. Good story, good characters, not too much reading - very good acting. My sweet grandma loved Rudolph Valentino when she was young, and it was so nice to... Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by Jane
Considering how old the film is that was great. However what I didn't like was the large letters RE that appears on screen
throughout the entire movie, which I assume stands... Read more
Another great DVD of the great Rudolph Valentino. This film was one of Valentino's favorites. So greatful to have these beautiful silent films -- especially when today, so many... Read morePublished on August 16, 2013 by M. Brennan