Lonesome (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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The true prize of the collection is LONESOME, a 1929 film that recalls both SUNRISE and 7th HEAVEN in its storyline and in its cinematic expression of that story. Glenn Tryon (who I knew from some Hal Roach comedy shorts) and Barbara Kent (the sister in FLESH & THE DEVIL) play a pair of lonely blue collar workers who discover each other during a visit to Coney Island. They meet, fall in love, and then are separated by a massive rainstorm without knowing their last names. A simple enough story but it's what Fejos does with the material that makes LONESOME so remarkable. Technically this film goes far beyond SUNRISE in its camerawork and editing resulting in an eye opening cinematic experience that the director called a "Coney Island of the mind".
The other two films on an additional DVD make for an interesting evening. THE LAST PERFORMANCE stars Conrad Veidt as a jealous stage magician whose love for his young assistant (Mary Philbin in her best performance) leads to tragedy.Read more ›
The film's subject matter isn't anything out of the ordinary for the genre - "Lonesome" tells the story of a lonely man (Glenn Tryon) and equally single woman (Barbara Kent) living in the urban chaos of New York City, who find one another while on an outing to Coney Island but then become separated when a fire breaks out on one of the rollercoasters. What makes "Lonesome" fascinating are the real locations matched with Fejos' ahead-of-its-time direction, which employs a moving, "inquisitive" camera, plus color-tinted sequences, unconventional editing and even several sound sequences that were added after the fact to appeal to Hollywood's transition out of the silent era.
Those dialogue sequences may be limp, but the film itself otherwise is one of the more unusual silent films I've ever seen: instead of being static and stilted, the picture has an energy that's a testament to Fejos' style, in addition to an interesting, overriding theme of individuals being lost in the day-to-day world of contemporary life -- something that gives the film a timelessness that holds true today.
A film festival favorite, "Lonesome" makes its home video debut with Criterion's Blu-Ray release (also on DVD). The 1080p B&W/color tinted 1.Read more ›
From nitrate damage, decomposition and many being burned in fires caused by neglect, the fact is that back then, a lot of films were made and never preserved. But a few were, especially those that were blockbuster hits starring Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Arbuckle, Fairbanks, Pickford, Bow, Talmadge, Barrymore, Laurel & Hardy and also films by directed by Griffith, Murnau, Borzage, Fox, Ford, Capra, Lubitch, Lang, DeMille, to name a few.
And while many of these films have made it onto home video, there have been titles that have been restored but yet have only been seen during screenings. And some that are looked at as rare gems that have yet to be released to the public after all these years.
One of those titles is "Lonesome", a 1928 film which is mostly silent but also a hybrid film with a few scenes with dialogue (an early experimentation of talkie utilization) by filmmaker Paul Fejos.
Fejos may not be a name as easily recognized like Murnau, Griffith or DeMille but that is because Fejos was a jack of all trades. Born in Hungary, while he has directed films and may documentaries in the United States and other countries, he has held many jobs and is best known for his highly respected work as an anthropologist. Teaching at Stanford, Yale and Columbia University.
But for a long time, many have wondered if "Lonesome" or Fejos's other films would be released on video. Problem at the time was that the only surviving print that many people saw back in the '90s was the surviving print from Cinematheque francaise with no English titles, although the dialogue that was seen was in English.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you've never seen it, grab it. The package includes director Lejos' follow-up, with the same male lead, Glenn Tryon, Broadway, an early talkie with astounding boom shots. Read morePublished 13 months ago by joesezso
This Blu-Ray release contains as main-movie: "Lonesome" starring Barbara Kent and handsome Glenn Tryon. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Swissangel
Didn't know much about this film until I saw it listed by the Criterion Collection and as a student of silent film, it aroused my interest. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Anthony McGill
"Lonesome" is a fantastic silent film that I'm so glad was fully restored and remastered; otherwise, I probably never would've heard of it. Read morePublished on July 5, 2014 by Mystery
Being a fan of great silent films, I took a chance based on what I'd read from other viewers and went ahead and bought this Blu-ray. Read morePublished on March 12, 2014 by Zantigar
Criterion is too modest - this is an amazing release not just for the main feature, Lonesome, a fascinating relic of a bygone era showing the unique talents of this forgotten... Read morePublished on February 18, 2014 by Frederic B. Martin
I rarely watch any of the bonus features on Criterion discs or any DVDs, for that matter, so I only watched 'Lonesome' on a whim and didn't bother with the bonus. Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Amazon Customer