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Charlie Chaplin - The Essanay Films - Vol. 1 [1915] [DVD]

Charlie Chaplin , Leo White , Charles Chaplin    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
Price: 10.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Leo White, Edna Purviance
  • Directors: Charles Chaplin
  • Format: PAL, Black & White
  • Language: Malayalam
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Aug 2003
  • Run Time: 204 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AISHV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,611 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Made in 1928 while he was in the middle of a painful divorce case, Charlie Chaplin's The Circus was so associated with bad memories for its maker that he refused even to mention it in his 1964 autobiography. Consequently, it has enjoyed less of a reputation than films such as The Gold Rush (1925) and City Lights (1931). However, while it's not quite in their league, The Circus undoubtedly deserves to be rescued from relative obscurity.

Here, Chaplin's Tramp is taken on as a clown at the circus, having been chased into the big tent by a policeman wrongly suspected of theft and wowing the audience with his pratfalls. He falls in love with the ill-treated ringmaster's daughter (Merna Kennedy) but is swiftly rivalled by a new addition to the circus, a handsome tightrope walker. To try to win back her affections the Tramp attempts the same act, culminating in the best sequence of the film, when he is assailed by monkeys as he totters amateurishly and precariously along a rope suspended high in the tent.

Although The Circus is marred by the rather hackneyed and (even in 1928) stale melodramatic device of the cruel father and imploring daughter, it scores high on its slapstick content, with routines involving a hall of mirrors and a mishap with a magician's equipment demonstrating Chaplin's dazzling ability to choreograph apparently improvised mayhem.

On the DVD: The Circus features a generous trove of extras on this two-disc set, including extracts from Lord Mountbatten's home movies of Chaplin, a deleted scene involving a prankster prize-fighter, as well as original footage showing how the perfectionist Chaplin would shoot and reshoot scenes. An introduction from David Robinson explains the adverse circumstances which held up the shooting of The Circus, including a fire and gales, which destroyed the set, while a further documentary delves into Chaplin's earliest work to provide context for the film. On the first disc, the film itself is an excellent transfer. --David Stubbs

Product Description

CHARLIE CHAPLIN THE ESSANAY FILMS VOLUME 1
Written, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin

In December 1914, Charlie Chaplin began his one-year contract with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, shooting films in both their Chicago and California studios. In the one year he made fifteen films, earned an unprecedented salary and established himself as a firm box-office favourite. Audiences around the world clamoured to see his latest Essanay picture.

Unlike other artists, Chaplin had full control over his Essanay films from writing the scripts and directing through to choosing his cast members. Having trouble finding a leading lady, on one occasion he tested a rising young Essanay actress, and then promptly dismissed her. Her name was Gloria Swanson.

The films in this collection include The Champion, in which Charlie is rescued from a boxing match by his faithful dog, His New Job which parodies the filmmaking process, and The Tramp which forever established the image of Charlie's much-beloved lonesome tramp in the popular imagination.

Despite their obvious importance, Charlie's Essanay films have only previously been available in poor or incomplete prints. The films in this edition are the result of a nine-year search to find the best materials. These are the most complete editions available, and include scenes never before seen by audiences in the UK.

Disc One

  • His New Job
  • A Night Out
  • The Champion
  • In the Park

Disc Two

  • A Jitney Elopement
  • The Tramp
  • By the Sea
  • Work
    • DVD Extra features include a photo gallery and essay on Chaplin at Essanay

      USA | 1915 | black & white and tinted | silent with music | 204 minutes | 2 discs | Ratio 1.33:1 | Region 2 DVD



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This first volume of Chaplin films by BFI contains the first 8 films Chaplin made for Essnay in 1915, they are:
His New Job, A Night Out, The Champion, In the Park, A Jitney Elopement, The Tramp, By the Sea and Work.
Six of the films are two reelers and two are one reelers.
The films are important because they represent Chaplin's transitional period from the knock about comedy of Keystone to the more mature Mutual films.
Some the films such as 'In the Park' and 'By the Sea' could just as easily have been made at Keystone, while such as the 'Champion' and 'The Tramp' are undisputed classics.
The films on this DVD have been restored by the film historian David Sheppard and contain many scenes not seen in years. All the films inter titles have also been reinstated so it is now actually possible to follow the plot of the films. (Unlike many editions seen on video and DVD over the years). The music which plays while the films are on is also very good.
Overall this is a very good package, I would recommend it and volume two to any one who likes silent comedy or Chaplin films. Even if you own the films in previous editions these sets are worth buying since you will be able to see the films in the best condition possible.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chaplin in Transition 18 Feb 2010
Format:DVD
These films (plus those on the BFI's second Essanay set) show Chaplin making the transition from the basic Keystone comedies of 1914 to the brilliant Mutual comedies of 1916-7. On the whole, though, they are more in the earlier style and very inferior to the Mutuals, in my opinion. The two BFI volumes present them in the best possible shape, but I do think that they run too slowly. They seem to have been mastered at "natural" speed, whereas silent comedians - including Chaplin - usually shot their films by undercranking a little, giving them more zip and dash when projected. Chaplin himself does this in his 1936 film "Modern Times", so I think the slower speed here is wrong and hampers the comedy. Still, these are the best available versions and if you have Chaplin's great silent features and Mutual shorts, you'll probably want these too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb packaging of a cinema classic 28 May 2009
By D. M. Farmbrough VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
There are many problems with trying to view classic silent films these days, and this pair of discs addresses them all. First, many old movies are now out of copyright, and rogue video' companies released versions made from copies of copies of worn-out prints. Thankfully, this version uses extremely clean prints, re-mastered to give the highest possible contrast. Because the material is presented over two discs, it is possible to put a good deal of content on them without requiring a loss of picture quality.

Another common problem is that revised versions are made of our most famous silent films, introducing narration, different edits, and of course music. This is the case with Chaplin's classic, but Chaplin himself oversaw the production of the revised version in 1942, and included his own narration and music, and his own re-editing of the material. Thus the integrity of the work was preserved, however for those interested, the 1925 original is presented alongside. The music added to the silent version is meticulously performed by Neil Brand, who is something of an expert in silent film music, accompanying silent screenings up and down the country after careful research. This avoids the third pitfall: clumsy or repetitive music.

The film itself is a joy to watch, particularly in the revised form. Chaplin's "little fellow" (he is not really a tramp here, he is just like all the other prospectors) is seeking his fortune in the Wild West at the time of the gold rush, and during his adventures must deal with very big bullies with big beards, hunger, poverty, several feet of snow, and a few beautiful women.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaplin's most underrated work... 3 Mar 2007
Format:DVD
The Circus was filmed over 80 years ago, but it is still one of the funniest movies ever made. This also might be his most underrated work. "The Gold Rush", "City Lights" etc. get most of the attention, but this film deserves to be considered among those classics. This silent movie was upgraded in the 70's when music and songs were added, but still there's no dialoque. But Chaplin was a master mimic. He could translate wvery human emotion into movements and gestures. That's why this film speaks. This is what you'd call a moving picture. This film is warm and funny. One of those films that I'd take to the deserted island.
If you don't love Chaplin's films, you can't really love movies in general. This film will be watched a hundred years from now, like all the other Chaplin classics. In this time and age, less and less people are familiar with Chaplin's work and that's a shame.

The scene where Chaplin is in the trapeze with the simpanzes is probably the funniest scene in the movies ever. I can only wonder how it was made. It has to be seen to be believed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Chaplin, silent comedy at its best 14 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This DVD contains four classic shorts- The Adventurer, a classic piece of slapstick which commences with convict Chaplin running from the law. The Cure in which a health spa encounter problems with a recovering alcoholic Chaplin switching the waters. Easy Street and One AM (a drunken Chaplin).
The picture transfer is excellent. I first saw The Adventurer on a big screen with a live symphony orchestra- the DVD music isn't quite up to that, but probably of the standard of the time.
Watch for the small subtle expressions and minor movements which show the talent of Chaplin in these quite early films.
The comedy has lasted well, and the lack of speech really isn't such a hindrance. Classic cinema. A must see.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chaplin fan
Present for my husband who was delighted with it and was well up to expectation. Usual excellent service.well done Amazon
Published 3 months ago by JackieA
5.0 out of 5 stars Limelight
I first saw this as a child, and was entranced. I am delighted with it now as then. Wonderful. Chaplin was consummate actor, comic, acrobat, and all rounder.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Rp Meinke
3.0 out of 5 stars Part of Movie History
Limelight is more interesting in what it says about Chaplin, than in the film itself. The DVD comes with a range of background material which lead one to think about the drama of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Blobsie
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
I am a big fan of Charlie Chaplin so I was aware of this but hadn't seen it for years.
This is Charlie at his best. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Keith Hartwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as good as I hoped
Viewed this at a friend's and knew my grandson would love it. He does! An excellent film for family viewing as everyone from young children to grandparents would appreciate the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by june
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep on Trampin'
Everyone's a little broader in the beam than they might have been, so not too convincing on the 'hunger' front, but that bit of twaddle aside, this is one of the masterpieces of... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mario
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaplin at Essanay.
This set of Chaplin films at Essanay is a must for Chaplin fans, and indeed film fans. We see how he evolved the Tramp character and his filmic style. Read more
Published 12 months ago by LucyA
5.0 out of 5 stars rediscovering Chaplin
Reading the biography of Chaplin by David Robinson I was reminded that early viewings of Chaplin's films had disappointed. Read more
Published on 31 Oct 2011 by Mrs. Hilary M. Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aren't Enough!
The Gold Rush is delightful. I don't have the words to describe it or how much I enjoyed it. I watched both the editions & I was enthralled throughout. Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2011 by Abiding in the fields
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD
Thank you for sending it very quickly,it is a christmas present that a friend wanted they will be very happy with it.thank you
Published on 30 Nov 2010 by Mrs. Maureen Keep
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