Unboxing the Silents: Little Old New York (1923) from Undercrank

This Marion Davies vehicle has been available for years on home video but we now have a new edition derived from a 2K transfer of a 35mm print, which represents a step up in visual quality so let’s dive in.

Thanks to Ben Model and Undercrank Productions for the review copy!

The DVD chapter menu

I’ve already reviewed Little Old New York based on a previous home video edition. I have to admit that the film isn’t my favorite but Marion Davies is as charming as always (and enormously GIFable). However, I should clarify that when I do unboxings, I am not wearing my movie critic hat, I am wearing my silent movie nerd hat. Further, I believe in supporting quality independent releases and the Library of Congress’s noble efforts to preserve and scan silent films. And anyway, everyone has different taste.

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This release represents a noticeable and appreciated improvement over anything that was available before and the pristine transfer by the Library of Congress deserves a lot of praise. The title cards are particularly nice, pristine and readable.

The film is accompanied by an excellent organ score composed and performed by Ben Model, so you know you are in safe hands musically.

I should also mention that this version of the film was originally released thanks to a Kickstarter organized by Edward Larusso, so it is very much a by-fans-for-fans effort.

This DVD was released on November 19, 2019 and includes an excerpt from Hold Fast, a Musty Suffer comedy that stars Harry Watson. Watson had a supporting role in Little Old New York but he is best known for this surreal little series, which is also available on home video from Undercrank.

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7 Replies to “Unboxing the Silents: Little Old New York (1923) from Undercrank”

  1. I received this via the kickstarter and really enjoyed the movie, even despite the fact I couldn’t accept Marion Davis as a boy. My suspension of disbelief can only go so far, LOL.

  2. Yes, of course I’m not impartial. I think this is a great silent film. Marion Davies gives an Oscar-worthy performance (in a pre-Oscar world). Aside from the charm, humor, and excitement, it’s also interesting to see female empowerment thru male disguise. And no that’s not a wig. Davies had her hair cut and oiled to achieve that boyish bob.

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