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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What We Have All Been Waiting for,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)This is it folks. 34 painstakingly restored Keystone films showcasing the evolution of Charlie Chaplins early film career. Featuring the films he made at Mack Sennets Keystone studios in 1914. Including 16 films directed by Charlie Chaplin himself. The films have all new musical scores from Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Antonio Coppola, Frederick Hodges, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, Rodney Sauer, The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Ethan Uslan, and Ken Winokur. All films fully restored from the best 35mm elements gathered from around the world and painstakingly pieced together and restored by the British Film Institute National Archive, the Cineteca Bologna and its laboratory L'Immagine Ritrovata in Italy, and Lobster Films in Paris. A process which has taken 8 years to complete. This set is a must for all Chaplin fans and those interested in silent cinema. Many other stars feature alongside Chaplin such as Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin, Edgar Kennedy, Billy Gilbert, Charley Chase and Marie Dressler. This BFI 4 dvd release is identical in content to the vastly more expensive region 1 Flicker Alley set. A must buy.
The Films -
MAKING A LIVING
KID AUTO RACES AT VENICE, CAL
MABEL'S STRANGE PREDICAMENT
A FILM JOHNNIE
HIS FAVORITE PASTIME
CRUEL, CRUEL LOVE
THE STAR BOARDER
MABEL AT THE WHEEL
TWENTY MINUTES OF LOVE
CAUGHT IN A CABARET
CAUGHT IN THE RAIN
A BUSY DAY
THE FATAL MALLET
MABEL'S BUSY DAY
MABEL'S MARRIED LIFE
THE PROPERTY MAN
THE FACE ON THE BAR ROOM FLOOR
HIS NEW PROFESSION
THE NEW JANITOR
THOSE LOVE PANGS
DOUGH AND DYNAMITE
GENTLEMAN OF NERVE
HIS MUSICAL CAREER
HIS TRYSTING PLACES
HIS PREHISTORIC PAST
TILLIE'S PUNCTURED ROMANCE (Feature Length)
The Extras -
* Charlie's White Elephant (1916, 6 minutes): an animation by John Colman Terry and Hugh Shields featuring Chaplin.
* Inside the Keystone Project (2010, 10 minutes): a short documentary about international restoration efforts behind the films in this collection
* Silent Traces (2010, 12 minutes): historian John Bengston on several of the Keystone locations
* Extracts from A Thief Catcher (1914,7 minutes): a film recently rediscovered by Paul E Gierucki, with a cameo of Chaplin as a Keystone Cop
* Stills Gallery
* Illustrated booklet written by Jeffrey Vance
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Chaplin,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)I have waited a long time for some restored Keystones featuring Chaplin and here they all are - apart from the lost Her Friend the Bandit (1914) - and all looking very smart thanks an army of restorers, technicians and musicians. Many of them are of historical interest only: I can take only so much brick-throwing which seemed to have amused audiences at the time. After all, if you are hit by a brick it could possibly kill you but in the silent era they caused just minor inconvenience, even when hit full in the face.
There is a lot of kicking - again too much, often to the point of tedium - but Chaplin always shows a balletic ability which is pretty graceful at all times, even when fighting.
Chaplin finely created a complete character, one often imitated but rarely bettered. As the films are in chronological order one can see how he developed very quickly. In some early films you can almost see him thinking about what he could do that would be funny - and not always succeeding. Later he knew exactly what he was doing.
One surprise for me was to find Chaplin in drag playing a woman rather than a man dressed as a woman. He's pretty good at it and very funny in the pantomime dame tradition.
As the films were shot very quickly there are more than a few rough edges but all are fascinating to watch now.
Previous video and dvd copies of these 34 films have been poor with no intertitles,fuzzy pictures and music that had nothing to do with what was on screen. Now they have new scores, intertitles wherever possible and the picture quality is pretty good considering the mangling some of the copies received over the years.The 56-page booklet is useful with each film discussed although I might suggest Glenn Mitchell's The Chaplin Encyclopedia for more information including cast lists The Charlie Chaplin Encyclopedia.
The BFI have done an excellent job here and must be thanked. But one word of warning. Like a previous reviewer I found that Twenty Minutes of Love on disc one does cut off and revert to the main menu fairly early on. You get rather less than Twenty Minutes! I returned my box set to Amazon who replaced it with another but that had the same fault which obviously happened in the manufacturing process.
I have kept my box set fault and all as this remains a great collection at a bargain price.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)If you like Charlie Chaplin you can't go wrong
with this collection.
A super buy for the true fan
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb restoration,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)Before this DVD was released, I and so many other fans of Chaplin had been subjected to poor prints of these films played at the wrong speed with totally inappropriate music and, most fatally, with scenes in the wrong order. Thanks to BFI, Lobster Films and Cineteca Bologna we can now see these early films in their true quality and as they were meant to be viewed when released in 1914.
The prints are truly magnificent; it must have been a painstaking effort from all involved to restore them to their former glory. The films themselves are primitive Chaplin, in his earliest form...yet he still displays Chaplin-esque grace and gives us an indication of better things to come. One thing is for sure; when he is on the screen, there's only one person you're looking at...he draws your attention immediately.
Don't expect to find any masterpieces in this collection. The Fatal Mallet is anything but, with the plot basically Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin bashing each other over the head with a, you guessed it, fatal mallet (it isn't fatal though - that wouldn't be very funny). Don't watch Tango Tangles and expect something to rival City Lights - take these films as they are, Chaplin's earliest efforts.
Absolutely essential for anyone that loves Chaplin and worth every penny.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well packaged, nice booklet - but disc 1 is defective!!!,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)Well, I am a Charlie Chaplin fan and was excited about BFI's release of CHAPLIN AT KEYSTONE as it will complete my collection (finally). BFI have done a good job with restoration, the DVD box is good with a nice quality booklet, but after watching DISC 1 and getting to "Twenty Minutes of Love" (5 mins in) the disc cuts off and it returns to the main menu. I have replicated the same problem on two different DVD players, so its the disc and not the player. Very frustrated with this! So contacting Amazon!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful piece of film history,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)This collection is a wonderful and masterly reconstruction of lost films that show Chaplin in the early stages of his film carrier and how he slowly developed his famous tramp character. It's a definite must see it for all Charlie Chaplins' fans.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating to watch,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)The quality of this set and the films themselves are very good. I was concerned about whether to buy the US release or this one from the UK. My concern is that the NTSC releases are made first, then converted to PAL for other releases. I don't believe this has happened even though the UK release is a lot cheaper than the US one. I try to guess who makes the digital versions first, US or UK, but I wonder if it was the UK in this case, this is only speculating, it might not even matter nowadays as much. But converting from NTSC to PAL or vice versa is a hazard of buying DVDs today and totally unnecessary where I am. Yes I know they aren't really NTSC or PAL, but the frame rates and resolutions have specifications that match with those formats and these names are common ways to designate that. Despite all that I can't fault the digital look of these films. Though I would have bought a bluray release instead.
The films themselves are a joy to watch. Chaplin seems different in his earlier work and he isn't in total control like in his later films. At times I seem to prefer this. You can see a host of other notables in there, Mabel Normand and her overacting eyes, Mack Sennett, Fatty Arbuckle. Chaplin only has a short bit in one longish Arbuckle film, but it is very funny for its obvious ridiculousness, when he plays a fight referee. A concern I have watching these old films is that along the way, violent bits have been censored. Chaplin and others seem to be always kicking and you might notice or wonder if they have been cut out. But they have obviously gone to a lot of trouble and technical expertise to make the films as complete as possible. Some films are questionable in visual quality and even length at times, but it is good to know this is the best available.
5.0 out of 5 stars Remastered!,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)This collection includes all but one of Chaplins keystone comedies. The missing film seems to be lost forever.
All of the films have been remastered rather well, some of the films aren't so great, sometimes missing a couple of frames, but this doesn't ruin the overall experience.
I would recommend this product for any Chaplin fan, and although his later feature films were much funnier, you still get plenty of laughs with this set.
5.0 out of 5 stars Keystone - beginning of the Tramp.,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)Chaplin at the beginning of his movie career. Interesting to see how the Tramp started off and what films were like at that time.
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully restored Chaplin Keystone box set,
This review is from: Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] (DVD)In more than 80 years you can view these keystone comedies at their correct speed, there correct composition and much improved contrast. (there a still a few scratch marks on the films, but a 100% improvement on what was available)
This set also includes a doco on the restoring efforts that have gone into producing this set, a very pain staking process to restore these films.
If you want to see Chaplins early work, this is the set to purchase. A+
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Charlie Chaplin at Keystone [DVD] by Charlie Chaplin (DVD - 2010)