The Blue Bird

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Director : Maurice Tourneur
Starring: Edwin E. Reed, Emma Lowry, Robin Macdougall, Tula Belle, William J. Gross
Composer : The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
Country : U.S.
Genre : Fantasy
Type: Tinted B&W
Year: 1918
Language: Silent with English intertitles
Length: 81
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame


From the Archives of the George Eastman House

Wildly inventive and effortlessly enchanting, Maurice Tourneur's legendary 1918 fantasy The Blue Bird combines spectacular costumes, lavish sets, ingenious camera effects and disarmingly naturalistic performances in a wholly original American silent film masterpiece. Tourneur's extravagant vision anticipates the spellbinding German Expressionism of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, made the following year, while affectionately evoking the whimsical theatricality of Georges Méliès's pioneering cinematic genius.

Based upon Nobel Prize-winner Maurice Maeterlinck's play, The Blue Bird takes two young children on an allegorical voyage that bridges the chasm between the conscious and the unconscious. Joined by magically humanized pets and living household objects, brother and sister Mytyl and Tyltyl travel through a series of dream worlds on a quest for the elusive Blue Bird of Happiness.

Beautifully preserved with its original color tints, The Blue Bird was rescued from decomposing nitrate elements by the George Eastman House as part of The National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Park Service's Saving America's Treasures program through the National Film Preservation Foundation.

USA 1918 Color-tinted 81 min. Full-frame
Adolph Zukor presents THE BLUE BIRD
Directed by Maurice Tourneur
Screenplay by Charles Maigne
Based on the play by Maurice Maeterlinck
Photographed by John van den Broek
Edited by Clarence Brown
Art Direction by Ben Carré
With Tula Belle, Robin Macdougall, Edwin E. Reed, Emma Lowry, William J. Gross
Musical Score Compiled and Performed by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
From Material Licensed by the George Eastman House
Special Contents of This Edition 2005 Kino International Corp.

DVD Features

  • Excerpts from the original play by Maurice Maeterlinck
  • Maurice Tourneur bio and filmography
  • 1918 New York Times review

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