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Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Road to Yesterday
 
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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
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The Road to
Yesterday

(1925)

 

The late silent-era production from director Cecil B. DeMille features Joseph Schildkraut, William Boyd, Jetta Goudal and Vera Reynolds in a historical drama within a modern-day framework. Sound familiar DeMille fans?

Mr. DeMille waxes philosophical on the topic of reincarnation in this tale of a newlywed couple who are haunted by something ethereal from the moment they are married, and a young minster and the society girl he meets at the Grand Canyon who feel they know each other from somewhere else. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!

coverAlpha Video
2013 DVD edition

The Road to Yesterday (1925), black & white, 96 minutes, not rated.

Alpha Home Entertainment, ALP 7172D, UPC 0-89218-71729-0.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD-R disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $7.98.
Release date: 24 September 2013.
Country of origin: USA
This edition has likely been mastered from 16mm print materials.

The film is likely accompanied by a soundtrack compiled from preexisting recordings.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD-R 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.
coverSunrise Silents
2007 DVD edition

The Road to Yesterday (1925), color-tinted black & white, 127 minutes, not rated,
with Mystery of the Double Cross [episode 15: “The Double Cross”] (1917), color-tinted black & white, 25 minutes, not rated, and The Enchanted Drawing (1900), color-tinted black & white, 1 minute, not rated.

Sunrise Silents, TRTY-N (NTSC) and TRTY-P (PAL), no UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC or PAL DVD-R disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, 1536? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 6 chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $22.95.
Release date: 21 December 2007.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 4 / additional content: 4 / overall: 4.

Sunrise Silents discs are never to commercial quality standards, all being mastered from reduction prints, but this edition does at least look better than the budget edition produced by Passport Video noted below. The good quality 16mm reduction print utilized for the video transfer contains a higher amount of image detail while having as much frame jumpiness, and the persistent dust and speckling as you would expect. The picture’s colortones are flat, with soft image details, and some sections of the print feature reasonable contrast and some have very light exposures that make the shot content hard to discern.

The film is accompanied by a MIDI-based synthesizer music score cobbled together from standards that might you feel like you’re at a circus performance.

The supplemental section includes a trailer for Kiki (1926), the final episode of a serial Sunrise has been releasing an episode at a time, and a rough print of a Vitagraph trick film.

An OK edition until a better one comes along.

 
SUNRISE SILENTS has discontinued business and this edition is OUT-OF-PRINT.
coverPassport Video
2007 DVD edition

The Cecil B. DeMille Classics Collection (1914-1926), black & white, 1622 minutes total, not rated,
including The Road to Yesterday (1925), black & white, 105 minutes, not rated.

Passport Video, DVD-5090, UPC 0-25493-50900-0.
Five single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 1.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 15 chapter stops; five-disc DVD keepcase, $19.98.
Release date: 12 June 2007.
Country of origin: USA

It should be no surprise that a cheap multidisc edition producer spends as little money as possible to produce a product that is appealing to the budget-minded, and that is evident in the edition at hand, but to the detriment of visual quality. The 8mm source print is greyed out in this slightly windowboxed video transfer and, as can be expected, retains little of the image detail from the original 35mm prints. The tiny print has a number of splices, scratches, dust and speckling.

Not recommended, as it is easily the worst-looking film in this collection, but watchable if you are after the other films available in this uneven-quality collection.

 
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.
Other silent era CECIL B. DeMILLE films available on home video.
 
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