- Actors: Charlie Chaplin
- Directors: Charlie Chaplin
- Format: Box set, Dolby, PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: Unknown
- Number of discs: 4
- Studio: Bfi Video Publishing
- DVD Release Date: 13 Dec. 2010
- Run Time: 561 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- ASIN: B002EAKWDO
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,742 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Charlie Chaplin at Keystone
DVD | Box Set
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CHAPLIN AT KEYSTONE
Charlie Chaplin joined Mark Sennett's Keystone Film Company in late 1913 after being seen in Fred Karno's touring vaudeville troupe. After a few initial uneasy steps his rise was meteoric making 35 films in a single year, directing more than half of them, and developing his much-loved persona, the Tramp.
This stunning 4-disc set, featuring the 34 surviving Chaplin Keystone films (including the feature Tillie's Punctured Romance), is the result of an eight-year international collaboration to reconstruct and restore the films between the BFI National Archive, Cineteca Bologna/L Immagine Ritrovata and Lobster Films, with the cooperation of UCLA Film and Television Archive, Library of Congress, and the support of Association Chaplin.
The films in this collection are presented with a new musical accompaniment by 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 with Tillie's Nightmare.
- Charlie's White Elephant (1916, 6 mins): an animation by John Colman Terry and Hugh Shields featuring Chaplin
- Inside the Keystone Project (2010, 10 mins): a short documentary about international restoration efforts behind the films
- Silent Traces (2010, 12 mins): historian John Bengston on several of the Keystone locations
- A Thief Catcher (1914, 7 mins, extracts): a film recently rediscovered by Paul E Gierucki, with Chaplin as a Keystone Cop
- Stills gallery
- Illustrated booklet written by Jeffrey Vance
- Making a Living | Kid Auto Races at Venice, Cal | Mabel's Strange Predicament | Between Showers | A Film Johnnie | Tango Tangles | His Favourite 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 | The Knockout | Mabel's Busy Day | Mabel's Married Life | Laughing Gas | The Property Man | The Face on the Barroom Floor | Recreation
- The Masquerader | His New Profession | The Rounders | The New Janitor | Those Love Pangs | Dough and Dynamite | Gentlemen of Nerve | His Musical Career | His Trysting Places
- Tillie's Punctured Romance | Getting Acquainted | His Prehistoric Past
USA | 1914 | black and white | silent with music | 561 minutes | DVD9 x 4 | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1| Region 2 DVD
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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.
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.
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.
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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with this collection.
A super buy for the true fan