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Unknown Chaplin [DVD]

Charlie Chaplin    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 7.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Unknown Chaplin [DVD] + Buster Keaton - A Hard Act To Follow [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Charlie Chaplin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • 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: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 8 May 2006
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F5S200
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,875 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Documentary homage to the pioneering silent film comedian, with rare archive footage and outtakes that Chaplin originally wanted destroyed, as well as interviews and reminiscence with actors such as James Mason.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Film enthusiasts are totally indebted to Network, Thames and Fremantle for providing on DVD not only this unbelievably valuable compendium on the artistry of one of the greats of the silent film era, but also for its releasing the work of another giant of the time (Buster Keaton).

To be able to glimpse the thought processes and evolution behind some of the most famous of Chaplin's films is truly to glimpse something of the creative process that most people do not know of or can scarcely imagine. Yet as this excellent series demonstrates, the most 'natural' or 'spontanaeous' scenes are the result of incredible amounts of hard work, and demonstrate what happens to make something truly classic, and irreplaceable.

As valuable as the outtakes comprising Part 1 are, it is Part 2 that will illustrate most vividly what made such classics as 'The Gold Rush' 'The Kid', and most of all, 'City Lights' so memorable and innovative. Part 3 is entitled 'Hidden Treasures' and says it all.

In addition to excellent behind-the-scenes additional features, this features excellent narration from James Mason and an absolutely unforgettable adaptation of Chaplin's own music by the brilliant Carl Davis, a composer long underappreciated in the United States.

If you are in doubt about whether to get this or not, see the last ten minutes of Part 2 where the final scene of 'City Lights' is shown, followed by a segue to the credits that will bring tears to the eyes of ANY film enthusiast with ANY hint of romanticism in their soul! I last saw this special about 15 years ago but had always remembered this moment, and it remains as compelling and magical as ever.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Charlie Chaplin was very secretive about the way he worked, his biography generalising his methods almost to the point of obscurity, making this 1983 documentary from the makers of the classic Hollywood TV series and compiled from Chaplin's archive of out-takes one of the most important pieces of cinematic archaeology ever produced. Deleted scenes and post-edit point footage (when the camera continues to roll for a few seconds after the action has finished to allow the editor leeway) throw light on his approach as Chaplin is seen losing his temper, breaking up with laughter and, most revealingly, looking on with mounting disappointment at an uninspired actor in an out-take from The Immigrant.

Following an uncomfortable introduction by Geraldine Chaplin, the first episode deals with his two-reelers for Mutual and has the lion's share of the rediscovered footage but no interviews, since there were no living survivors of the period at the time the series was made.

Working with no script but a basic idea, Chaplin used the props and sets as a springboard, rehearsing on film, and it is the out-takes that show how he would chisel away at an idea until he found something that would work, constantly refining it. The highlights of the first episode are the development of The Cure and, particularly, The Immigrant, both of which started out very differently to the finished product.

Some of the scenes were cut for obvious reasons, but there are gems along the way, such as Charlie playing traffic cop with wheelchairs in The Cure.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a dream come true for any chaplin fan. 9 Dec 2006
included on this d.v.d for the first and only time, is a selection of outtakes from charlie chaplin's early two-reelers.

at the time, chaplin gave strict instructions that any remaining footage that wasn't needed be destroyed. thank goodness some of it wasn't. what you are seeing, is the rarest of chaplin ever to be found anywhere in the world. to see footage of the man himself directing, rehearsing and auditioning throughout this three-part series made in the early 80s is simply unbelievable.

the makers of this programme made by thames television(kevin brownlow and david gill) were lucky to find anything, as the footage they acquired was not in the best condition.

during the programmes, you will notice how committed chaplin was at producing the best possible results - even if he had to shoot the same scene several hundred times, he would do it.

the special features could have been more, but that doesn't matter. there's an interview with kevin brownlow about the making of the series; more outtakes from chaplin's film "the count" plus another short film.

a truly fascinating series that shows a different side and a deeper understanding of chaplin's filmmaking methods.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Subtitles - Why ? 27 Dec 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought ' Unknown Chaplin ' some time ago from amazon
and it is full of interesting lesser known facts concerning the ' little fellow '
but is a complete let-down in that there are no subtitles.

I am hard of hearing and rely on subtitles so it is a great disappointment
but why a film on this subject matter does not carry subtitles I just do not understand ?

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation.
Anyone who is interested in Chaplin will find this three part documentary a revelation. It is the next best thing to travelling back and visiting the set. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Allan Broadfield
5.0 out of 5 stars This Documentary is a MUST
I bought this a few months ago. It is fascinating & I have watched it more than once. I also remember the documentary Hollywood with James Mason narrating. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by Abiding in the fields
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, priceless work
Kevin Brownlow sure knows how to make an amazing documentary. The level of detail and accuracy of his work, thanks to his unique knowledge of the silent era, is in a league of its... Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2010 by Marta Chierego
5.0 out of 5 stars Unknown Chaplin
Gill and Brownlow's documentary is excellent and certainly illustrates Chaplin's extaordinary attention to detail and meticulous rehearsal techniques. Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2009 by C. Kenning
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great after all these years
Like the Buster Keaton (A hard act to follow documnentary) this is up there with that, in all honesty I could not if challenged choose which one is better than the other just watch... Read more
Published on 30 Mar 2009 by Michael Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Working Methods of a Cinematic Titan
The Unknown Chaplin is a real treat for fans of silent cinema.

It shows how Chaplin worked, using celluloid as a sketch book rather than spending ages working things out... Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2009 by Alasdair M. Satchel
5.0 out of 5 stars MASTER PIECES

Great Thames TV documentary, narrated by James Mason, which highlights the methodolgy used by CHARLIE CHAPLIN to create his films, from the shorts to the... Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2009 by Kelvin J. Dickinson
5.0 out of 5 stars A master at work
This excellent DVD gives a true insight into the genius of Charlie Chaplin. In all there are three episodes featured with many extremely rare filmed extracts. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2008 by Mr. A. Whiteside
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