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Bardelys the Magnificent (1926)
 (หนังเงียบ มีบรรยายอังกฤษ)

ควรค่าน่าดูตรงที่ : เป็นภาพยนตร์ที่นำแสดงโดย John Gilbert ดาราชายผู้มีเสน่ห์ที่สุดคนนึงแห่งยุค และเชื่อกันว่าหนังเรื่องนี้สูญหายไปแล้วเป็นเวลานานมากๆ เหลือเพียงแค่ตัวอย่างบางส่วนตามที่นาย Robert Osborne แห่ง Turner Classic Movies กล่าวว่าสตูดิโอMGMได้เซ็นต์สัญญากับ Rafael Sabatini เจ้าของบทประพันธ์ในปี 1926 ให้ครอบครองลิขสิทธิ์นิยายของเขาเป็นเวลา 10ปีในปี 1936 MGMเลือกที่จะไม่ต่อสัญญา และทำลายฟิล์มเนกาทีฟ และปริ้นต์ทั้งหมด ตามข้อตกลง แต่แล้วในปีค.ศ.2006 ได้ค้นพบปริ้นต์ของภาพยนตร์เรื่องนี้ที่เกือบจะสมบูรณ์ ในฝรั่งเศส ขาดเพียงแค่3ม้วน มันถูกบูรณะใหม่ด้วยภาพนิ่ง และจากหนังตัวอย่างแทนส่วนที่หายไปจนเสร็จสมบูณ์ในปี2008 ได้ฉายในโรงภาพยนตร์ในอเมริกา รวมทั้งออกจำหน่ายเป็นแผ่นดีวีดี หนังมี John Wayne เล่นเป็นตัวประกอบไม่มีเครดิต ตอนอายุ19

 
 

Director:King Vidor Written by:Dorothy Farnum Based on Bardelys the Magnificent by Rafael Sabatini

Music:William Axt Cinematography:William H. Daniels  Running time:90 minutes Country:United States

Language:Silent film Genre:Drama, Romance Subtitle:English intertitles

Starring:Arthur Lubin as King Louis XIII
John Gilbert as Bardelys
Eleanor Boardman as Roxalanne de Lavedan
Roy D''Arcy as Châtellerault
Lionel Belmore as Vicomte de Lavedan
Emily Fitzroy as Vicomtesse de Lavedan
George K. Arthur as Sainte-Eustache
Arthur Lubin as King Louis XIII
Theodore von Eltz as Lesperon
Karl Dane as Rodenard
Edward Connelly as Cardinal Richelieu
Fred Malatesta as Castelrous
John T. Murray as Lafosse
Joe Smith Marba as Innkeeper (as Joseph Marba)
Daniel G. Tomlinson as Sergeant of Dragoons
Emile Chautard as Anatol
John Wayne as Guard (uncredited)
Lou Costello as Extra (uncredited)
 

 

Storyline:
Bardelys the Magnificent is a 1926 American romantic silent film directed by King Vidor and starring John Gilbert and Eleanor Boardman. The film is based on a novel by Rafael Sabatini. It was the second film of the 19-year-old John Wayne, who had a minor role.

 

Rafael Sabatini''s story of the swashbuckling era and of Bardeleys, the handsome courtier who could win any woman he set his mind to…and was not above boasting about it to all who would listen.

 

Today, more than 80% of silent cinema is considered lost forever. Some films were claimed by the flammable and unstable film stock of the day. Others were, once upon a time, thought to be worth less than the cost of keeping them. Yet, miraculously, unique copies of celebrated films previously thought lost are occasionally found and restored to delight a new generation. Bardelys the Magnificent joins Monte Cristo as two resurrected classics, both top-of-the-line productions starring John Gilbert, one of the most handsome, passionate and popular stars of the 1920s.

Bardelys the Magnificent (1926) is based upon the novel by Rafael Sabatini and directed by King Vidor, who just one year before had directed Gilbert in the smash hit The Big Parade. In France “in an age of light loves and lively scandals,” the Marquis de Bardelys (Gilbert), casual womanizer and accomplished swashbuckler, is entranced by Roxalanne de Lavedan (Eleanor Boardman); and against a background of knavery and intrigue, he sets out to woo and win her. Lavishly mounted and superbly directed with spectacular action scenes, Bardelys is a hugely entertaining action romance given an A-plus MGM production. The sole surviving print was found in France in 2006; the English titles are restored according to the original script. A gap in the recovered footage is bridged with stills, titles, and footage from the original trailer so the story is complete; the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra provides a lovely score of period photoplay music. This release is possible through the graciousness of Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures.

In Monte Cristo (1922), adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, and directed by Emmett J. Flynn, Gilbert is Edmond Dantes, a sailor unjustly imprisoned for twenty years, time he spends acquiring education and finesse. Later the accidental heir to a vast fortune, Dantes reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo, and wreaks revenge on those symbols of the decadent monarchy that wronged him. Fox Film spared no expense on this prestige film with lavish sets and a distinguished supporting cast. The sole surviving copy of Monte Cristo is a worn and choppy print found in the Czech Republic, but nearly complete. English titles have been restored with the help of the original script. Pianist Neal Kurz arranged and performs a score of obscure yet beautiful French music of the period.
 


Special Features:
- Audio essay by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta for Bardelys
- Rediscovering John Gilbert - 2009 (32:14)
- Photo gallery (Productions, cast and crew and publicity) (9:35)
- John Gilbert''s contract with Fox from 1921
- Photo gallery (slideshow - 1:17)


Includes a full-length audio essay on Bardelys the Magnificent by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta, who also produced the documentary supplement, Rediscovering John Gilbert, featuring an on-camera interview with John Gilbert’s daughter and biographer, Leatrice Gilbert Fountain 20 Page Booklet - Booklet includes the essay Rediscovering John Gilbert by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta along with rare cast photos of Bardelys the Magnificent.

   

Review:
By 1926 several screen adaptations of the novels of Rafael Sabatini had proven enormously successful, notably: Scaramouche (1923) starring Ramon Novarro, The Sea Hawk (1924) starring Milton Sills, and Captain Blood (1924), starring J. Warren Kerrigan. Also by 1926, MGM had the top male romantic screen star in the world, John Gilbert, under contract. Gilbert and director King Vidor had made four pictures together and had just finished back-to-back productions of The Big Parade (1925) and La Bohème (1926). MGM decided to pair them again and in 1926 licensed the rights for a ten-year period to Sabatini''s Bardelys The Magnificent. Production commenced March 22, 1926.

Flash Forward 10 Years - MGM''s original license of the rights to Sabatini''s novel expired in 1936. Contractually, MGM was required to renew it with a payment to Sabatini or to destroy all the film elements of Bardelys The Magnificent. By 1936 MGM had no use for a silent action/adventure film. Gilbert''s career was sadly over (he would die in January, 1936), and they could see no further commercial prospects for the property. So they chose to destroy all remaining prints and film elements to Bardelys The Magnificent including the original negative. Thus began Bardelys reputation as one of the most famous "lost films" of the silent era. Tantalizingly, a few moments survived in Vidor''s Show People (1928) as Marion Davies and William Haines are shown in a theater watching the grand love scene from Bardelys featuring Gilbert and leading lady Eleanor Boardman.

 

Flash Forward 70 years - In 2006 Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange of Lobster Films in Paris discovered an original nitrate print of Bardelys The Magnificent as part of a large collection of films they had purchased from a collector. The print was in poor condition and the third reel of the film (approximately 10 minutes) was missing. Lobster Films quickly began preserving the deteriorating elements, and set about reconstructing the missing third reel of the film with still photographs and footage from the film''s extant promotional trailer. All title cards were in French, but by referencing the preserved cutting continuity script, the original English titles were reproduced and inserted. Eighty years after its premiere, and seventy years after its official destruction, Bardelys The Magnificent can once again be seen by audiences around the world.

The film is set during the reign of King Louis XIII of France (Arthur Lubin) in the early seventeenth century. "In an age of light loves and lively scandals, a certain gentleman of France excelled in getting himself talked about - -" In Bardelys apartment we see his servant Rodenard (Karl Dane) admit a distressed paramour of Bardelys. She must see him or die! "That will please him," Rodenard assures her. Enter Bardelys: "Envied, elegant and superior - - the Marquis de Bardelys, known to his world as ''The Magnificent'' (John Gilbert)." He reassures the young woman with caresses, kisses, and sweet words when who should burst through the door but the woman''s husband! Without missing a beat, Bardelys unsheathes his sword, continues to make verbal love to the young lady, parries the blows of the cuckold, eventually reconciles the couple, and continues dueling them out the door. As soon as they''re gone, another beautiful young woman enters seeking the same reassurances from Bardelys. Later that evening, a third young lovely at his side, Bardleys presents her with a locket containing a lock of his hair to assure her that his affections lay solely with her. Meanwhile the camera shows many other such ladies clutching identical lockets, and further we see Rodenard constructing dozens of others behind the scenes. Yes, Bardelys is a cad, but as portrayed by John Gilbert he is also Magnificent!

 

Meanwhile at the country estate of the Vicomte de Lavedan (Lionel Belmore), the dastardly Comte Chatellerault (Roy D''Arcy) "Bardelys'' rival in fashion and love" is putting the moves on Lavedan''s lovely young daughter Roxalanne (Eleanor Boardman), but he "had met with another defeat." Gently threatening Roxalanne with using his power at court against her father she replies, "I had only disliked you before, now I must despise you." When Chatellerault returns to Paris he finds that his humiliation and defeat at the hands of Roxalanne is the amusing story of the moment. In a pique, he challenges Bardelys to win the fair Roxalanne for himself. All present agree that Bardelys could win the hand of any young lady in France, but Bardelys insists that he doesn''t want a wife. Chatellerault ups the stakes by insisting that, should Bardelys fail, Chatellerault would gain possession of all his property. This is such an affront to the honor of a rogue like Bardelys that the challenge must be met. Even Louis XIII''s order that Bardelys remain at court, is disobeyed. Bardleys explains to Louis that his life belongs to his king, but his honor belongs to himself alone.

Bardelys and his faithful Rodenard sneak away from court and begin their journey to Lavedan''s country estate. Along the way they encounter Lesperon (Theodore von Eltz), a mortally wounded young man. He dies in Bardelys arms before he can say much of anything about his situation. In his pockets are some letters and a locket containing a miniature painting of a young woman. That night at the inn some of the king''s soldiers challenge Bardelys, and thinking the king has sent them after him, he declares his identity as Lesperon. Whoops, Lesperon is wanted as a traitor! Bardelys makes his getaway but is wounded in the altercation. He arrives at Lavedan''s estate and faints at Roxalanne''s feet. She tends to his wounds and, when he wakes up, he is smitten. The king''s soldiers burst in looking for Lesperon, but Roxalanne hides him. Once the soldiers depart Roxalanne, cautious after her run in with Chatellerault, orders him away. He is too weak however and falls from a wall. When Bardelys awakens the next morning, he finds himself in bed at Lavedan''s and everyone assumes that he is Lesperon. From there he makes a remarkably slow recovery as he and Roxalanne find themselves more and more attracted to one another. But a jealous neighbor, St. Eustache (George K. Arthur), thinks there''s something fishy about this Lesperon and is determined to get to the bottom of the situation.

 

Bardelys The Magnificent is not a masterpiece. However, it is a highly entertaining film with so many of the people involved in its production at the peak of their artistry and popularity. Vidor and Gilbert''s incredibly successful The Big Parade of the previous year had not only catapulted them into the top ranks of the industry but had provided MGM with the cachet to compete with the top studios of the day. MGM producer Irving Thalberg recognized talent and committed the studio''s resources to make Bardelys The Magnificent one of the studio''s major productions of the year. John Gilbert, after a ten-year apprenticeship in dozens of films, had finally become a major movie star after appearing in both Erich von Stroheim''s The Merry Widow and Vidor''s The Big Parade the previous year. He and Vidor teamed again with La Bohème in 1926, then Bardelys, and his next film, also released that year, would be his first teaming with the Swedish sensation Greta Garbo in Flesh and the Devil. By the end of the decade King Vidor could arguably be said to have eclipsed D.W. Griffith as the master American director with his films The Crowd (1928), The Patsy (1928), Show People (1928) and Hallelujah (1929).

Also released in 1926 were the similarly themed Don Juan featuring John Barrymore and The Black Pirate with Douglas Fairbanks. One can see in Bardelys The Magnificent an attempt to not only capitalize on a successful genre, but one-up Fairbanks and Barrymore. The final action piece of the film has Gilbert doing all kinds of amazing death-defying maneuvers a la Fairbanks. It is a dizzying, exhilarating sequence and, if not better, then certainly as much fun as anything Fairbanks ever did. Gilbert''s opening scene seems to throw down the romantic gauntlet at Barrymore''s feet with a "Come on, can you do this?" sort of attitude. As Photoplay magazine stated in a contemporary review, "So long as King Vidor and John Gilbert take Rafael Sabatini''s story seriously, this picture remains just another costume production, smoothly told, artfully acted, but not guaranteed to give any ticket-seller a nervous breakdown. But when star and director say, ''Come, come, enough of this seventeenth century intrigue. Let''s make a comic movie,'' then it snaps into great entertainment." Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Sandburg concurred, "You are comfortable either way you take it, as a gorgeous romance or a sly and thrilling satire on romance."

 

One must also make mention of the lovely Eleanor Boardman as Roxalanne. She and Vidor were married soon after this picture was completed (in a ceremony that was planned as a double wedding that was also to include John Gilbert and Greta Garbo). She is probably best remembered as Mary in King Vidor''s The Crowd in 1928. She also appeared with Gilbert again in Fred Niblo''s Redemption (1930), but by then both of their careers were on the wane. In Bardelys she is very beautiful but in a contemporary sort of way. She underplays her role, and both she and Gilbert deliver really very modern performances. On the other side of the performance spectrum is Roy D''Arcy''s Chatellerault, a nasty villain if ever there was one. His performance is over-the-top but in the very best possible way. Karl Dane and George K. Arthur handle their comedic roles with panache. The two do not appear on screen together in Bardelys, but were teamed in a successful series of comedic films of the day. Able support was also given by Lionel Belmore and Emily Fitzroy as Papa and Mama Lavedan, and Arthur Lubin makes a wonderfully foppish King Louis XIII.

I was amazed that Bardelys The Magnificent looks as good as it does considering the age of the sole remaining print. Of course there is some wear evident, but the print looks surprisingly clear and crisp. The contrast has bled somewhat, but still this is a remarkably viewable print. A few scenes have been artfully tinted in keeping with the period and there are no evident jumps in the picture. The recreated English title cards are integrated seamlessly into the presentation and even look like title cards of the studio and period. The reconstructed reel three is very well done and does not take one out of the film. The film is presented at a projection speed of twenty frames-per-second sparing us the jerky, sped-up abomination which is the bane of all silent film enthusiasts. A nice orchestral score has been compiled by Rodney Sauer and performed by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. An alternate piano score composed and played by Antonio Coppola is also available.
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