- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 21 minutes
- Video: Tinted
- Released: September 6, 2005
- Originally Released: 1918
- Label: Kino Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Subtitles - English
- Text/Photo Galleries:
- 1918 NY Times Review
- Biographies: Maurice Tourneur - Director
- Filmographies: Maurice Tourneur - Director
- Text Exerpts from Original Play
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
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 Melies'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.
Masterful silent-film director Maurice Tourneur (LAST OF THE MOHICANS) made the first, and arguably the best, interpretation of Maurice Maeterlinck's play. Preceding the paragon of German Expressionist THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI by a year, this fantastical film utilizes extravagant costumes and sets, and wholly innovative camera effects. Two young children, brother Tytyl (Robin MacDougall) and sister Mytyl (Tula Belle), head off in search of the Bluebird of Happiness in a bid to improve their lot in life. Their highly allegorical journey forces them to confront edifying life lessons at every turn, visiting the "Palace of Joy and Delights" and the "Land of the Unborn," before discovering that the Bluebird was in their own backyard all along. The director's theater background is evident in the staginess of sets, which is symptomatic of the then still-new filmic medium, while the magical story unfolds in an exuberant display of creativity.