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A Cottage on Dartmoor [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Norah Baring, Uno Henning, Hans Adalbert Schlettow, Anthony Asquith, Judd Green
  • Directors: Anthony Asquith
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi Video Publishing
  • DVD Release Date: 26 May 2008
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015YY7CC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,029 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A COTTAGE ON DARTMOOR
A film by Anthony Asquith

Directed by Anthony Asquith (The Browning Version, The Way to the Stars) A Cottage on Dartmoor is an embroiled melodrama, a tale of love and revenge, set on the bleak landscape of Dartmoor.

Overlooked by critics eager to heap praise upon his contemporary, Hitchcock, and the much lauded Blackmail (released the same year), A Cottage on Dartmoor is a thoughtful distillation of the best of European silent film techniques from a director steeped in the work of the Soviet avant-garde and German expressionism.

One of the last silent films to be made in Britain before the talkies revolutionized cinema, Asquith's film is a virtuoso piece of filmmaking, a final passionate cry in defence of an art form soon to be obsolete.

The film is presented here with an original piano score composed and performed by Stephen Horne.

DVD extras

  • Insight: a study of Anthony Asquith featuring on-set footage, interviews, etc. (Lee, UK, 1960)
  • Rush Hour: comedy about Britain's workers coping with the transport system (Asquith, UK, 1941)
  • Illustrated booklet containing original publicity photos
  • UK | 1929 | black & white | silent with music | 84 minutes | Ratio 1.33:1 | Region 2 DVD

    Review

    'It is impossible to think of the history of British cinema without thinking of Anthony Asquith' --Dilys Powell

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Colin Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a silent film novice, even I can see that director Anthony Asquith is a master of his art. Here, the story is simple, a barber is in love with a manicurist who works in the same shop, a customer eyes the woman and his feelings are reciprocated, this ratchets up the jealousy inside the barber until he snaps - and attacks the customer with a cut-throat razor. Though the man is not fatally wounded, the barber is sent to Dartmoor, leaving the customer and woman to marry. The barber escapes to seek out the woman and eventually express his remorse. The emotional, touching climax is well realised. Love, jealousy, and other emotions are nicely conveyed by the cast, who never over-express themselves to compensate for the lack of sound. If you like silent movies, this is well worth adding to your collection. Also included is a short 5 minute wartime public information film, made by the same director, about the perils of public transport. A booklet with information about the film and director is also supplied.
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Format: DVD
Not much on a story or acting level (story spoiler - jealous man who works
in barber/spa shop, in love w/co-worker, ends up killing the man who wins
the love of his obsession, later escapes from jail to get her as well).

But extremely impressive in it's use of expressionist photography and editing. The
look is like much later film noir, but often better (including a little Scorsese-esque fast
push in), and the editing (and story structure) is very brave; from the flashback
structure of the whole story, to the super fast cutting in two sequences (including the
insertion on a single red frame) that makes most modern editing look safe and
dull by comparison.

Well worth a look for the beautiful, ahead-of-it's-time techniques alone.
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By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Oct. 2011
Format: DVD
I have to put my hands up and admit that this is the very first British silent film that I have ever seen, and it turned out to be much better than I expected. Anthony Asquith was the son of British prime minister Herbert Asquith, which would certainly have done him no harm in any chosen career. But he chose an industry which was then thought of by the landed gentry as rather disreputable. His determination to follow this path proved to be a wise decision and he went on to show a great deal of natural ability in his long film career making excellent films like "The Winslow Boy", "The Importance of being Ernest", and my own favourite "The Final Test". "A Cottage on Dartmoor" was made in 1929 during the transition from silents to talkies. This shows in one clever scene where the characters go to the cinema to see a talkie. A scene incidentally which is alone worth watching the film for! Asquith was only 27 years old, and this was only his second film in full directorial control, but he still manages to display a deft hand that more experienced men would have admired.

The story concerns a barber who becomes fatally infatuated with a beautiful manicurist working in the same salon. Unfortunately she does not reciprocate his clumsy advances. When another man turns up to turn the head of the girl the barbers love turns to raging jealously which has tragic consequences. Do we have another Sweeney Todd on our hands? All rather "Fatal Attraction" in reverse! Nothing too mind blowing in the story stakes, but then this film is more about Asquith's innovative montages and quick fire editing. The cinematography with wonderfully brooding dark images of a "Hound of the Baskervilles" Dartmoor are simply majestic.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The other reviews tell the basic story so I do not need to repeat it. I was so lucky to witness a showing of this in a 1905 small cinema screening a couple of years back. We had a 'live' pianist accompanying it. This entire event was magical in as much as we saw it as the original public performances would have been rendered. I had to get a copy when the price was acceptable for a home collection. This copy is a wonderful way to relive the past, plus a couple of extras thrown in.... superb !
Full of glowering looks, innocence portrayed, malevolence incarnate, silly ladies and, a good musical score, what more do we need ?
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