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Frank Borzage Vol 2: Lucky Star, Liliom [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Rose Hobart, Estelle Taylor, H.B. Warner
  • Directors: Frank Borzage
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 20091019
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Oct. 2009
  • Run Time: 185 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TQROBC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,564 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

FRANK BORZAGE VOLUME 2
LUCKY STAR + LILIOM

Frank Borzage, the sensitive actor-turned-director famed for his mystical romanticism, created some of Hollywood's most acclaimed and sensual films.

Lucky Star sees the great romantic screen pairing of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell for a third time. The chemistry is palpable in this tale of a poverty-stricken girl (and budding crook) who is transformed through her friendship with a wheelchair-bound Great War veteran. Liliom, based on Ferenc Molnár's celebrated play which was later remade as the much-loved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel, charts the troubled relationship between Farrell's Liliom, a fairground barker, and Julie (Rose Hobart), the woman who loves him despite his flaws.

Special features

  • The River (1929, 55 mins): Borzage's once-lost masterpiece lovingly reconstructed by Hervé Dumont
  • Lucky Star commentary by Tom Gunning
  • Illustrated booklet, with essays and film notes

USA | 1929 + 1930 | black & white | Optional English hard-of-hearing subtitles | 95 + 90 minutes | DVD9 | Original aspect Ratio 1.20:1 | Region 2 DVD

Customer Reviews

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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This disc actually has three films all starring Charles Farrell: Lucky Star, Liliom and an hour-long reconstruction of The River (1929) with the missing scenes replaced with titles. The River isn't in great condition, but the other two films have been lovingly restored and really show off how good the photography of the era was. Liliom is a part-talkie and the sound track has also been restored and probably sounds better now than was heard by the original audience.

Lucky Star is the story of how a man crippled in WWI builds a relationship with an impoverished girl. The story sounds overly sentimental, but the direction and the star power of Farrell and Janet Gaynor cut through the ickiness and make a truly memorable film.

The story of Liliom will be familiar to anyone who has seen the musical Carousel. In this, it's the art direction that really impresses, particularly the downright weird vision of the afterlife. The story is a bit too drawn out to be satisfying, but there are sequences of great power.

Fans of early cinema will thoroughly enjoy these films.
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Once again Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor are wonderful. Beware about Lilliom though, it is an early talkie and it is the story on which Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical 'Carousel' is based. Charles Farrell is miscast as the title character of the fairground barker Lilliom, he just about manages the look, but, his voice is hardly that of a barker, he is passable. The weakest part of this for me, although others may disagree, is Rose Hobart, who plays Julie who was incredibly annoying as she kept calling Lilliom 'Mr Lilliom', perhaps that was the fault of the script, after all this is the very earliest days of talkies and many scripts left a lot to be desired. But, she is just played too weak and subserviant and it doesn't feel like she is in love with Lilliom rather bullied into loving him. Still, the print is excellent and the last 20 minutes more than make up for the weaknesses in the rest of the movie. Definitely worth having a look at.
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Format: DVD
Anyone who enjoyed volume one hardly needs to have this second disc recommended; it is also very special, particularly Lucky Star which has a marvellous sense of domesticity and really shows the screen rapport of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell as well as the first two films. The music is more modern-sounding and played by a chamber group, which I found less effective, but still perfectly acceptable. Like other reviewers I found Liliom a bit disappointing, partly because the Charles Farrell character was a bit 'out of character', at least for most of the film. His carousel barker is less lovable than his other roles, and while you can appreciate his desire not to be too typecast, the fact that he manages a convincing good-for-nothing does not quite make up for it not being another totally winning love-match! In fact he plays a different role in all four of the films in the two BFI releases, but this is the one that's most left-field. It's also his only talking role, and while he is fine, Rose Hobart has such theatrical delivery that it is difficult to get involved in what she is saying; even more so because it is so plummy. The whole design is also quite stagey, but the representation of the afterlife is so imaginative it makes up for it. I've never been a fan of Carousel but for anyone who likes it this earlier version of the same material would be of great interest. Personally I very much liked a scene at the fair where people started doing some impromptu Magyar singing at an outdoor cafe (it is set in Budapest) ... Also on this DVD is the most brilliant extra - a reconstruction of The River using what remains of the 1929 footage. This is quite superb, like fragments of a beautiful vase - no one is going to reject them because they are just pieces.Read more ›
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A valuable addition to Borzage's work. Lucky Star shows Gaynor and Farrell at their best and the disc has a real bonus on it. The previously 'lost' film The River, is included in a truncated restoration. Worth it if only to catch the alluring performance of Mary Duncan.
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