Blu-ray Release: The Great Gabbo

DVD Release Date: July 13, 2021
Price: Blu-ray $19.89
Studio: Kino Lorber

One of Hollywood’s earliest — and most peculiar — musicals, 1929’s The Great Gabbo stars the inimitable Erich von Stroheim as an egotistical ventriloquist who casts a Svengali-like spell upon an ingenue (Betty Compson), against a backdrop of singularly strange numbers (including “Icky” and the spider-and-fly-themed “Caught in a Web”).

Director James Cruze (The Covered Wagon) allowed von Stroheim to endow the character with his signature flourishes, resulting in a wickedly bizarre cocktail of garish stage shows and Austro-Hungarian villainy. It’s  that is a diabolical delight.

A diabolical one to be sure, Kino Lorber’s new edition–freshly restored by the Library of Congress–includes an audio commentary by Richard Barrios, author of A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film.



Buy or Rent The Great Gabbo

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.