Region 4 Winners and Losers

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Explanatory Notes
Additions or corrections (Please refer to the Explanatory Notes before emailing an addition or correction to this listing)
Title Best
Thief of Bagdad, The (1924) (Force)R1

    There has been one previous release on DVD in Region 4 of this film, by RBC Entertainment in a budget priced issue. This appears to be the same material as used in the Force release, and features the same score. This version runs 122:56 and is contained entirely on a single layered disc, being transferred at a lower bitrate than the Force, resulting in a lesser video quality. There are also more film artefacts present than on the newer disc. The shorter running time seems to be due to the transfer speed, as it contains the same score as the Force, with the same Blackhawk end credits. I do recall seeing a sequence on this disc that looked as though it was missing some footage, and I did not see this on the Force, but I have not been able to locate the exact scene to verify that the footage is included in the Force transfer. The RBC also has what seems to be the same text biography as the Force release, plus a list of the film's credits and a Fairbanks filmography that looks to have been taken from the IMDb.

    The UK Region 2 release from Eureka Video is identical to the Force release. In fact the Force release has the Eureka logo on the spine and back of the slick.

    Previous Region 1 releases include a disc from Alpha Video that includes a different orchestral soundtrack and the transfer was taken from a 16mm print, so this one could not be recommended in preference to the others.

    Image released a version in Region 1 which is no longer available, and appears to have been the same transfer as used on the Force release.

    The current release of choice is from Kino, which features much better picture quality and additional footage not included in the previous VHS release. The additional footage meant that the Gaylord Carter recording could not be used, so a new score has been recorded with the Mont Alto Orchestra based on the original 1924 cue sheets. This release also includes:

  • Filmed introduction by Orson Welles
  • 19 minutes of outtakes
  • Matte photography outtakes
  • Excerpt from the Paul Leni film Waxworks, which contains an Arabian Nights story
  • Except from Georges Méliès' The Palace of Arabian Knights (1905)
  • About the score (text only)
  • Excerpts from the souvenir program.

    The Kino would be the release of choice.