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Regeneration [DVD] [2015] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Film Experience! 6 Mar. 2002
By Jery Tillotson - Published on Amazon.com
I have raved about this really astounding movie to all my film buff buddies. When I first saw it a year ago, it was one of the great movie-going experiences in my life. The male star, Rockliffe Fellowes, is so dynamic and masterful, that it's a tragedy his career never went anywhere. You'll be amazed at how much he resembles and acts like Marlon Brando. Even though his co-star is the beautiful Anna Q. Nillson, you can't keep your eyes off Rockliffe who is so charismatic in his performance I'm surprised there weren't mob scenes because he is so ...sexy and magnetic. I urge my younger film buffs to watch this movie and see what incredible work was being done nearly l00 years ago in the American cinema. This movie belongs in the library of any serious movie buff. It's also fascinating as a piece of visual Americana since it was filmed on location NY"s Bowery and actual inhabitants were used, giving this work an amazing sense of realism. Don't miss this one! Especially now that it's on DVD.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two fine films from 1915 24 Dec. 2001
By Mr Peter G George - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The two films on this DVD are both well worth seeing. They show how quickly film- making had developed by 1915. Both films are sophisticated and tell their stories with flair and invention. Regeneration is one of the early films of Raoul Walsh, a truly great director, who would go on to make such classic films as The Thief of Bagdad, The Roaring Twenties and High Sierra. Walsh clearly knew how to make a crime drama, which is not surprising for, with Regeneration, he virtually invented the gangster film. The story shows a young orphan boy growing up in New York tenements, brutalised by his environment and turning to a life of petty crime. The film provides us with a fascinating and authentic view of real life New York locations. Many of the extras were recruited from these tough streets and it shows. The faces of these people seem to be marked by the conditions of the life they lead and the slums in which they live. Even the star of the film, Rockliffe Fellowes, is not exactly handsome. He looks rough, someone not to be messed with, and plays his part very well with an understated method of acting which fits in with the character and the story. Anna Q Nilsson plays a beautiful society lady who falls for Fellowes and sets out to lead him away from his life of crime. She is convincing in a difficult role.
It would be grossly unfair to complain about the quality of the print of Regeneration as it is a miracle that it survives at all. It was found in1976 in a soon to be demolished building in Montana and is almost certainly the only surviving print of this important film. For most of its running time the colour-tinted print is very clear and sharp, but periodically, and thankfully briefly, the print shows some serious decomposition. That said, it is always possible to follow the action on the screen and the print damage does not distract from the enjoyment of the film. Philip Carli provides a good and appropriate piano score.
Young Romance is something of a revelation. I bought the DVD for Regeneration, but enjoyed this extra film almost as much. It is the story of two shop workers who separately and coincidentally decide to masquerade as rich people in a resort in Maine. Although they work in the same shop they don't know each other and of course they meet up in the posh Hotel and start to fall in love. The plot is a delight; with the farcical difficulties these people have trying to act out the role of the rich. This is especially the case when they try to order dinner and have difficulties with the menu. Edith Taliaferro shows her skill as a comedienne and is a pleasure to watch, while her co-star Tom Forman, although a bit wooden, is good at acting bemused. The colour-tinted print of Young Romance is first rate and shows hardly any damage. Robert Israel provides a nice score which really fits the style and period of the action. These two films are good examples of the quality of films that were made in 1915. It is a pity that so few films from this period are available today.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Important Films of 1915 9 July 2004
By Barbara Underwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was very pleasantly surprised by both "Regeneration" and "Young Romance" on this DVD. Firstly, I was expecting more of a gangster movie in "Regeneration" as the introductions said, but found it to have a much deeper, spiritual meaning overall, making it far less sinister than I had imagined. The main theme of the story is based on the idea that many gangsters are only the result of an unhappy childhood in a rough neighbourhood, and when given a chance, they can become decent, respectable citizens. The film begins by showing the sad child in miserable surroundings which lead him to become the leader of gangsters. Everything looks very realistic, including characters - some of which were apaprently real-life slum dwellers - adding to the atmosphere of the drama. The hopelessness and heaviness of it all dramatically change when a woman from the upper classes devotes herself to helping the slum dwellers, and whose kind deeds transform the gangster leader (who, as we see before already, isn't really all that bad to begin with anyway). Not only is it a bitter-sweet story with a hopeful message, but for a 1915 feature film, it is very well made, and there are only a few short segments of film damaged beyond repair or restoration.

"Young Romance" was written by William C. de Mille, older brother of the more famous Cecil, and whose films have all but been lost, it seems. This is probably a real shame if this film is anything to go by, because the story is clever, yet nice and charming. It is a light-hearted story about two young people with the same dream of being wealthy upper-class socialites just for one week, and their consequent misadventures and resulting romance. It moves along at a pleasant, happy pace and is easy to follow, and I enjoyed it immensely. It has a lovely musical score by Robert Israel, and the picture quality is very good throughout. It is only about an hour long but leaves you feeling good and satisfied, mainly perhaps due to the excellent photography and editing which, along with "Regeneration", I'd say are exceptionally good for 1915, and therefore well worth adding to a silent film collection.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gritty Melodrama With A Timeless Message. 20 Aug. 2006
By Mark R. Garner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Gee, where does one begin to write a review for this film? The location shots are astounding. Shot in New York in 1915, this film follows the story of an orphaned boy growing up in the Bowery.

The timeless aspect of this film is its story of how one person can find redemption in even the worst of circumstances. A poor child is orphaned and taken in by a drunken curmudgeon and his wife. The old drunk treats the boy like a slave and so, predictably, the boy grows up cynical with a knack for crime.

On the other side of town is a wealthy young lady who discovers our "hero" and tries to save him (hence the title "The Regeneration"). While somewhat predictable in 2005, this must have been a very powerful movie when it was released ninety-one years ago.

The utter desolation of life in the Bowery, circa 1915, lends a realistic air to the story. The buildings look like multi-level shanties and the "extras" (an authentically scary looking bunch of characters) were likely the real life inhabitants of these or other similiarly pathetic dwellings.

Now for the bad news. If this film weren't almost one hundred years old then it would be panned as your typical "rich liberal do-gooder tries to save a down-and-outer from his fate and eventually loses her life while saving his" movie. A modern reviewer might say "it's been done before". Well, prior to this film it hadn't been done before so if you look at it from that angle, you won't mind what has become a hackneyed storyline.

"The Regeneration" is a brilliant film. If you are a silent film buff then this is a "must-see". I can't comment on "Young Romance" as I do not own this particular release.

I really liked this film but more because of the authentic (and depressing) location shots than any one aspect of the plot. Old films such as this are great time capsules of how things used to look.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shadowy and brilliant 27 Aug. 2006
By Rose Keefe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
There was more to the Silent Era of Film than the sugary Mary Pickford reels and the slapstick of Chaplin, Keaton, and the Keystone Cops. In "Regeneration", Raoul Walsh, who was also an accomplished actor, took a cue from D.W. Griffith and used film as a means to first confront the public with issues that breached contemporary sensitivities, and then present a potential solution and, for good measure, the consequences of ignorance.

"Regeneration" (1915) was not shot in an elaborate Hollywood studio, but on the gritty streets of New York. Real tenements and their Dickensian dwellers figure prominently in the background AND the storyline. Owen, a gangster boss, and Marie, a society girl who finds her true calling as a social worker at a slum district settlement house, push each other toward their ultimate destinies: he recognizes the evil of the life he has been leading and 'goes straight', while she becomes of a victim of the violence that she has been selflessly working to eradicate. It's not the type of 'happily ever after' picture that was being churned out by the hundreds during the golden age of filmmaking, and its effect is unsettling even by today's standards.

"Regeneration" is especially noteworthy in that the bit players were, for the most part, New York low life. Alternately uplifting and depressing, this movie deserves an upper spot in any list of the previous century's most powerful films.
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