Rags & Riches Collection: The Films of Mary Pickford
Posted July 7, 2012 11:38 PM by Webmaster
Independent distributors Milestone have revealed that they are planning to release on Blu-ray Rags and Riches: The Mary Pickford Collection. The 3-disc collection will include four films: The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), The Hoodlum (1919), Ramona (1910), and Sparrows (1926). Street date is November 6th.
Disc 1. The Poor Little Rich Girl. (75 min). Director: Maurice Tourneur. Music composed and conducted by Philip Carli, performed by the Flower City Society Orchestra. Also included: commentary by film historian Scott Eyman and a home movie from Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbank's legendary Hollywood home, Pickfair.
Disc 2. The Hoodlum. (92 min). Director: Sidney A. Franklin. Orchestral Score by Bonnie Ruth Janofsky, performed by the Rouse Philharmonic, conducted by Hugh Munro Neely. This version of the film comes from the Academy Film Archive's 35mm restoration. Also included: Ramona (17 min).
Disc 3. Sparrows. (90 min). Director: William Beaudine. Score by Jeffrey Silverman, performed by the Rouse Philharmonic, conducted by Hugh Munro Neely. Restored by the Library of Congress. Also, an original 1926 trailer, the "Angel" outtakes, a video interview with Mary Louise Miller's daughter Louise Paziak, and commentary by film historians Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta.
Note: Blu-ray.com has a review for Lionel Rogosin's On the Bowery, Milestone's first Blu-ray release, here.
Those all are on Milestone's mailing list should get an email saying they are shipping this set NOW, and the email has a link to place the order, which I did.
I've seen all three films on TCM last year and the restored prints looked pretty good.
The email I got from Milestone also mentions that this set is "designed to introduce younger viewers to the pleasures of silent films. Each film includes an optional short intro featuring a group of kids who discover a treasure trove of old films in an attic and learn a lot about film history in the process. Each silent feature also has an optional audio track with spoken intertitles and explanations to help them enjoy the experience even more!"
My copy arrived Monday. I watched the first two features and spot-checked SPARROWS, and looked at most of the bonus features (except the audio commentaries). PQ is good to extremely good, with THE HOODLUM being the sharpest overall and POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL a close second (a tiny bit softer). SPARROWS looks good but not quite as crisp as the others, especially THE HOODLUM, though THE HOODLUM does show a bit of jitter and weave at times. Also, the listed running time of THE HOODLUM actually includes the intro and outro. The feature alone is really only about 82 minutes. The other two running times are correct for the features (add about 10 minutes if you watch the intro and outro). Music scores are all good, and appropriate to the scenes.
The intros and outros are obviously designed for junior-high age and younger, but are kind of fun and actually might be worth running for adults who have never seen a silent film before. You even get to see them burn a piece of nitrate film in one of them! The optional audio tracks seem to be narrated by the same actor who plays the grandfather in the introductions, and are well done -- perfect for showing the films to kids who can't read yet. The other bonus features are also interesting.
Overall a fantastic deal for a 3-disc Blu-ray set!
no digibook. Just a regular Blu-ray case that holds three Blu-rays inside. I thought that Sparrows looked pretty damn good, and Poor Little Rich girl didn't look so hot (probably better than any DVD version though). I didn't look at Hoodlum or Ramona yet.
The intros/outros/commentaries are actually all awesome and informative!