Borzage Volume 1 & 2: Seventh Heaven / Lucky Star

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What A Disgrace
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Borzage Volume 1 & 2: Seventh Heaven / Lucky Star

#1 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:35 pm

Borzage Volume 1: Seventh Heaven / Street Angel

Image

Frank Borzage, the sensitive actor-turned-director famed for his mystical romanticism created some of Hollywood's most acclaimed and sensual films. This disc brings together two lavishly produced landmarks of the silent period by this visionary poet of desire.

Set in Paris on the eve of The Great War, 7th Heaven is a lyrical tale of transformational love in which sewage worker Chico and street waif Diane (Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor) rise above their poverty-stricken lives to reach for the stars - neither war nor death can stand in their way.

Following the success of 7th Heaven, Borzage used Gaynor and Farrell again for Street Angel. This time the setting is Naples, where Angela (Gaynor), the 'street angel' of the title risks losing her lover Gino (Farrell) as she is forced to confront her past.

Janet Gaynor won the first ever Academy Award for Best Actress for her roles in 7th Heaven, Street Angel (and Murnau's Sunrise) whilst Frank Borzage was awarded the Best Director of a Dramatic Picture.

Extras
- Illustrated booklet containing essays and credits

Borzage Volume 2: Lucky Star / Liliom

Image

Frank Borzage, the sensitive actor-turned-director famed for his mystical romanticism created some of Hollywood's most acclaimed and sensual films. This second BFI frank Borzage volume brings together two more classics from the period that saw his transition from silent pictures into sound.

His sensual masterpiece, Lucky Star sees the great romantic screen pairing of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell for a third time. The tale of a poverty-stricken girl (and budding crook) who is transformed through her friendship with a wheelchair-bound Great War veteran. The chemistry is palpable, and combine with Borzage's visual techniques to create an ethereally beautiful and delicate result.

Liliom is Borzage's seminal version of Ferenc Molnar's celebrated play which was later remade as the much-loved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. Set in Budapest it charts the troubled relationship between Liliom (Farrell) a fairground barker and Julie (Rose Hobart) the woman who loves him despite his flaws.

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

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Finch
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#2 Post by Finch » Sun May 17, 2009 2:32 pm

What A Disgrace wrote:May 18, according to Amazon UK: Seventh Heaven / Lucky Star
Wanted to place an order for the Borzages but no artwork and/or release date on Amazon (thought it was the 18th?), and neither title is listed on play and moviemail. I take it, Michael, that they have been postponed?

Play does list it as "not available for order"

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Caligula
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#3 Post by Caligula » Wed May 20, 2009 8:33 am

Both set for release on August 3, according to Amazon

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tojoed
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#4 Post by tojoed » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:18 am

There's been a welcome change. It's now Borzage: Volume 1: Seventh Heaven and Street Angel and Volume 2: Lucky Star and Lilliom.

Good news for those who haven't got the MBAF yet. Release date is now October 19th.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#5 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:31 am

Well, that's one way to make me get it.

Hopefully there will be a volume 3 with Lazybones and The River.

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Finch
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#6 Post by Finch » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:44 pm

I pre-ordered those for £8.99 two months or so back when it was still only one title per disc so I'm probably foolish in hoping that play will still honour that price when they ship my copies.

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MichaelB
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#7 Post by MichaelB » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:52 am

What A Disgrace wrote:Hopefully there will be a volume 3 with Lazybones and The River.
The reconstruction of The River will be on volume 2. The BFI doesn't have the rights to Lazybones and currently has no plans to pursue them. Volumes 1 and 2 cover everything the BFI has licensed.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#8 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:53 pm

Well, that's good news! I was in a poor state when I rented the Borzage set, so I neglected to watch The River reconstruction, and now I regret it deeply.

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MichaelB
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#9 Post by MichaelB » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:50 am

Full specs announced:
Frank Borzage
Volume One – 7th Heaven / Street Angel
Volume Two – 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. On 2 November, in collaboration with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the BFI releases two DVD volumes of his work, each containing two films.

Volume 1 brings together two lavishly produced landmarks of the silent period by this visionary poet of desire – 7th Heaven (1927) and Street Angel (1928). Set in Paris on the eve of The Great War, 7th Heaven is a lyrical tale of transformational love in which sewage worker Chico and street waif Diane (Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor) rise above their poverty-stricken lives to reach for the stars – neither war nor death can stand in their way.

Following the success of 7th Heaven, Borzage used Gaynor and Farrell again for Street Angel. This time the setting is Naples, where Angela (Gaynor), the ‘street angel’ of the title, risks losing her lover Gino (Farrell) as she is forced to confront her past.

Janet Gaynor won the first ever Academy Award for Best Actress for her roles in 7th Heaven, Street Angel (and Murnau’s Sunrise), whilst Frank Borzage was awarded the Best Director of a Dramatic Picture.

The second volume contains two more classics from the period that saw him transition from silent pictures into sound. His sensual masterpiece, Lucky Star (1929), sees the great romantic screen pairing of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell for a third time in the tale of a poverty-stricken girl (and budding crook) who is transformed through her friendship with a wheelchair-bound Great War veteran. The chemistry is palpable, and combines with Borzage's visual techniques to create an ethereally beautiful and delicate result.

Liliom (1930) is Borzage’s seminal version of Ferenc Molnár’s celebrated play which was later remade as the much-loved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. Set in Budapest, it charts the troubled relationship between Liliom (Farrell), a fairground barker, and Julie (Rose Hobart), the woman who loves him despite his flaws.

Special features on Volume 2
Lucky Star commentary by Tom Gunning
The River (1929), (55 mins) – Borzage’s once-lost masterpiece lovingly reconstructed by Hervé Dumont
• Both volumes contain an illustrated booklet with essays and film notes

Release date: 2 November 2009
RRP: £19.99 each
Volume One: cat. no. BFIVD618 / USA / 1927, 1928 / b&w / silent / 114 mins + 97 mins / DVD9 / original aspect ratio 1.20:1 / cert PG
Volume Two: cat. no. / BFIVD616 / USA / 1929, 1930 / b&w / English, optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / 95 mins + 90 mins / DVD9 / original aspect ratio 1.20:1 / cert PG

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GaryC
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#10 Post by GaryC » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:20 pm

I'm a Borzage virgin - I'm not even certain I've even had the opportunity to see anything by him as I don't remember any British TV showings.

Sendit.com are currently offering these for £9.49 each - as you get four features plus a reconstruction of a fifth, I call that a bargain.

Interesting to note that Liliom was rejected by the BBFC back in 1930.

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colinr0380
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:31 pm

GaryC wrote:I'm a Borzage virgin - I'm not even certain I've even had the opportunity to see anything by him as I don't remember any British TV showings.
There has been very little by him shown on television, and especially not the earlier and more celebrated films. However a few months ago BBC2 showed The Spanish Main and last year Film4 showed Moonrise. Apart from those the last Borzage I remember being on a major UK television channel was A Farewell To Arms all the way back in 1995 as part of the BBCs celebration of the cinema's centenary.

I was surprised though to see Farewell To Arms actually being shown last week in atrocious quality on one of those Open Access freeview channels. Even my fourteen year old VHS looks better and of course doesn't have a D.O.G.

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MaxCastle
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#12 Post by MaxCastle » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:36 pm

GaryC wrote:I'm a Borzage virgin - I'm not even certain I've even had the opportunity to see anything by him as I don't remember any British TV showings.
I'm also a Borzage virgin, but it's not due to the lack of British TV showings - I've got at least four of his films that I've recorded from British TV over the years but then inexplicably failed to get round to watching.

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MichaelB
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#13 Post by MichaelB » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:53 am

I now have final production copies of each of the Borzage discs. I don't have much to add to the press release quoted above, but if I interpret the technical notes correctly it would appear that these are exactly the same transfers as featured in the Murnau, Borzage and Fox box set - and because they originated on HD, there should be no NTSC-PAL conversion issues. (That said, I haven't had time to watch them myself yet).

It's also worth mentioning that the booklets are an impressively hefty 36 pages apiece - and, thankfully, there's only one overlap (a two-page Borzage biography).

Volume 1: 7th Heaven/Street Angel

1-15. 'Frank Borzage: Architect of Ineffable Desires' by Joe McElhaney;
16-17. Borzage bibliography;
19. Credits for 7th Heaven;
20-22. '7th Heaven' by Janet Bergstrom;
25. Credits for Street Angel;
26-28. 'Street Angel' by Janet Bergstrom;
30-31. Biography of Borzage by Janet Bergstrom;
32. Notes on the transfers;
33. Acknowledgements.

Volume 2: Lucky Star/Liliom

1-12. 'Essays in Mad Love' by Tom Gunning;
15. Credits for Lucky Star;
16-18. 'Lucky Star' by Janet Bergstrom;
21. Credits for Liliom;
22-25. 'Liliom' by Paul Willemen;
26. Credits for The River;
27-29. 'The River' by Janet Bergstrom;
30-31. Biography of Borzage by Janet Bergstrom;
32. Notes on the transfers;
33. Acknowledgements.

Both booklets are copiously illustrated with gorgeous black-and-white stills from the BFI's own collection, some reproduced full-page.

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reaky
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#14 Post by reaky » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:38 am

Michael, are these single discs with two films on each, or two-disc sets?

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MichaelB
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#15 Post by MichaelB » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:58 am

Single discs with two films on each.

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Yojimbo
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#16 Post by Yojimbo » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:02 pm

MaxCastle wrote:
GaryC wrote:I'm a Borzage virgin - I'm not even certain I've even had the opportunity to see anything by him as I don't remember any British TV showings.
I'm also a Borzage virgin, but it's not due to the lack of British TV showings - I've got at least four of his films that I've recorded from British TV over the years but then inexplicably failed to get round to watching.
His name was unfamiliar to me until a couple of his films showed up on, I think, Channel 4, about 10 years ago.
For some reason I watched them shortly after recording them and have been keeping an eye out for further screenings ever since.
I pre-ordered the two BFI double discs about two months ago, but, it would appear, based on Amazon's basket message that although Volume Two is currently in stock, Volume One will only be available within one-four weeks

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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#17 Post by Jonathan S » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:50 pm

Yojimbo wrote:I pre-ordered the two BFI double discs about two months ago, but, it would appear, based on Amazon's basket message that although Volume Two is currently in stock, Volume One will only be available within one-four weeks
I received my Volume One from Amazon (also pre-ordered a couple of months ago) today - have you not received a dispatch notice yet? The two films are on one disc, by the way, as MichaelB confirmed above. Presumably, Volume Two (which I didn't order) will have three films on one disc if you count The River reconstruction.

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Yojimbo
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#18 Post by Yojimbo » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:58 pm

Jonathan S wrote:
Yojimbo wrote:I pre-ordered the two BFI double discs about two months ago, but, it would appear, based on Amazon's basket message that although Volume Two is currently in stock, Volume One will only be available within one-four weeks
I received my Volume One from Amazon (also pre-ordered a couple of months ago) today - have you not received a dispatch notice yet? The two films are on one disc, by the way, as MichaelB confirmed above. Presumably, Volume Two (which I didn't order) will have three films on one disc if you count The River reconstruction.
I pre-ordered via Play.Com but then took Vol. Two off when its status hadn't changed and Amazon were showing it as being in stock
(which is odd as Play have proven to be very reliable recently)

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reaky
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#19 Post by reaky » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:43 pm

Got my Vol 1 from Amazon.co.uk but it had to go right back as it was glitchy.

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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#20 Post by Jonathan S » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:05 pm

reaky wrote:Got my Vol 1 from Amazon.co.uk but it had to go right back as it was glitchy.
Were the glitches obvious from the start (or even on the disc surface)? It may be a while before I watch mine - as I've seen the films quite recently - so any help in checking my copy would be much appreciated.

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reaky
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#21 Post by reaky » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:26 pm

Mine started to freeze and pixellate during the credits of Street Angel - nothing visible on the disc surface.

Jonathan S
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#22 Post by Jonathan S » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:24 am

reaky wrote:Mine started to freeze and pixellate during the credits of Street Angel - nothing visible on the disc surface.
Thanks - mine plays fine at that point but perhaps I should watch the disc soon in case I need to return it.

Previewing Street Angel, I was very pleased to notice that the apparent horizontal squeezing on the R1 transfer appears to have been fixed on the BFI. The circus drum (at the start of an early chapter) has an unlikely oval shape in the R1 but looks perfectly circular in the BFI edition. The latter is more cropped on both left and right edges, however. (I'm watching on a widescreen projection system, so no overscan.)

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Finch
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#23 Post by Finch » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:55 pm

reaky wrote:Mine started to freeze and pixellate during the credits of Street Angel - nothing visible on the disc surface.
I'm hoping my copy will be fine if only I could finally get my hands on it! I ordered first class from Amazon on Saturday but was at work on Tuesday so couldn't receive and sign the package, and the post office they'd left it at was 45 mins away from my place. So I requested a redelivery online for today to the nearest branch but the fucking hoopleheads at the RM screwed that one up too! I've filed another request, this time for Saturday to my own address. I dare not think how it'll go when the new Lone Wolf & Cub set comes out. :|

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Finch
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#24 Post by Finch » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:16 pm

Got my discs and started with Seventh Heaven. It's the first Borzage I've ever seen and I was completely floored by it. Janet Gaynor is ravishingly beautiful in this film, even more so than in Sunrise, and she's got great chemistry with Charles Farrell. And what a rollercoaster of a finale! If the remaining three films are anywhere near as good as this, then these two discs will be getting my discovery of the year vote.

Street Angel seems to play fine on my disc but in order to play 7th Heaven I had hit forward to the opening credits since the disc seems to get stuck in a loop when I select Play Film.

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reaky
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Re: Seventh Heaven and Lucky Star

#25 Post by reaky » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:13 am

Are you referring to the (black screen) overture that opens the film? Lawrence of Arabia has the same thing (and the most recent edition of Whale's Frankenstein has a long musical outro).

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