Cohen Media has detailed the upcoming Blu-ray release of director Raoul Walsh and icon Douglas Fairbanks' classic silent era adventure The Thief of Bagdad, newly restored and remastered in 2K. The 1924 fantasy epic makes its Blu-ray debut on February 19, 2013.
One of the biggest blockbusters of the silent era, The Thief of Bagdad is an Arabian Nights adventure set against lush and elaborate backgrounds and massive sets unique for American films of the time, all courtesy of Academy Award-winning production designer William Cameron Menzies (Gone with the Wind). Early Hollywood action hero Douglas Fairbanks (The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers and Robin Hood), meanwhile, stars as the dashing Ahmed, a thief who wins a princess. In 1996, The Thief of Bagdad was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. In the American Film Institute's 2008 poll of the creative community, the classic ranked in the Top Ten Fantasy Films of all time.
The Cohen Film Collection's Blu-ray release features a new presentation restored from two 35mm negatives and incorporating the color tints and tones of the original release prints. Carl Davis' score and the film's soundtrack, meanwhile, is presented via DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras include:
Audio Commentary with Douglas Fairbanks Biographer Jeffrey Vance
Featurette discussing the film and its impact, complete with rare behind-the-scenes photos
Very excited about this, but I'm going to wait for reviews. I'm a little concerned about the release of Bunuel's Tristana from the same label, which is rumored to have edits... I'd like confirmation that this is a solid release before dropping $20.
The Davis score, based on Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade," is a significant addition to Fairbanks' great film. It brings out all the exhilaration and ecstasy implicit in the film's brilliant images. The film's unsurpassed design is by William Cameron Menzies. I've been waiting for the release of the film with Davis' score since PBS broadcast it many many years ago. Highest recommendation. Frank Bidart