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Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Garden of Eden
 
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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.

The Garden
of Eden

(1928)

 

Another young and optimistic girl leaves her small European town for the big city, in search of fame and fortune. She is quickly disillusioned and soon accompanies an elderly woman friend of mysterious means to Monte Carlo, where the two begin living the high life. The girl soon finds love among the elite, but she cannot accept her lover’s advances because of her true station in life.

The charm of Corinne Griffith and Charles Ray is quite apparent in this fun little comedy-drama directed by Lewis Milestone, who is best remembered for the Academy Award-winning All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). Louise Dresser as Rosa shows a slightly-lighter side of her screen personality than in other performances of Dresser’s that are available on home video.

Of note is the supporting work by Lowell Sherman as the carefree playboy Henri d’Avril and by Maude George (of Erich von Stroheim films fame) as nightclub impressario Madame Bauer. — Carl Bennett

coverFlicker Alley
2002 DVD edition

The Garden of Eden (1928), black & white, 78 minutes, not rated,
with Hollywood the Unusual (1927), color-toned black & white, 10 minutes, not rated, and The Toy Shop (1928), color, 9 minutes, not rated.

Flicker Alley, FA0001, UPC 8-03120-00222-6.
Windowboxed 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, 5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 15 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $22.95 (reduced to $19.95).
Release date: 6 November 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 8 / additional content: 6 / overall: 7.

Our first look at this disc was generally a pleasant experience. With this home video edition being our first viewing of The Garden of Eden (1928), we were happy to have discovered the film’s simple charm and to view more performances by Corinne Griffith and Charles Ray.

The film has been well transferred in a slightly windowboxed presentation from a very-good to excellent 35mm print, with a few minor flaws that include moderate emulsion scuffing, some scratches and dirt, etc. The windowbox framing allows as much of the print’s picture to be seen on all televisions. The main credits and certain insert shots of letters have been framed in smaller windowboxes to ensure full readability of the frame’s content.

The DVD itself has been well prepared. The transfer to disc maintains much of the quality of the source transfer as well, with very good looking still frames and no obvious interlacing artifacts that are often the result of overcompression of the video information.

Robert Israel has provided another fine music score (digitally recorded), performed on an Allen Renaissance theater pipe organ and piano. It is worth noting that Israel’s work never fails to please.

Among the supplementary materials are a collection of lobby cards, cast bios, newspaper ads, promotional materials and stories, and suggested promotional schemes from the 1928 press book; ten productions stills; a section “Color in The Garden of Eden,” which covers the presumed lost Technicolor dream sequence that was originally in 1928 prints and includes more exerpts from the 1928 press book and also seven stills from the sequence. For our reviews of the supplemental films, see our The Toy Shop on home video and Hollywood the Unusual on home video pages.

We certainly welcome the future efforts of this new home video company — especially if they will be bringing more generally-unknown, quality silent era films to the home video market. We recommend this disc.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
This edition is also available for viewing as a streaming video through VIMEO.
Other silent era CHARLES RAY films available on home video.
 
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