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Limelight - Charlie Chaplin
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Limelight tells the story of a fading music hall comedian's efforts to help a despondent ballet dancer learn both to walk and feel confident about life again. The highlight of this moving, Academy Award-winning film is the classic duet with Chaplin's only real artistic film comedy rival, Buster Keaton.
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There is a poignancy between Calvero (Chaplin), the washed-up comic, and the young ballerina (Claire Bloom in a beautiful performance) he nurses back to health. A good supporting cast aids the story, including Buster Keaton in a small role (the only time both were in the same film). But, make no mistake, this is Chaplin's movie, and you can see him in a rich performance that encompasses both sorrow and dignity.
The quality of the video in Blu-ray is excellent, and since there is a DVD in this two-disc release, you can see the immediate improvement in quality on the Blu-ray. And if you compare it to the horrendous DVD release from Warner Bros. several years ago, you will see the Blu is a miracle. Audio is also excellent.
One other important thing to note about the difference between the U.S. DVD release and the UK Blu release is the running time. It's the same film but the UK runs about 8 minutes longer due to the U.S. WB DVD release being speeded up because they used a PAL version.
However, the WB release from several years ago does have a distinct advantage over this release, and that is in the Extras section. There are none on the Blu-ray disc itself, and what extras there are are relegated to the DVD in this Blu/DVD combo:
"Chaplin Today - Limelight" (20 min.)
Introduction by David Robinson (6 min.)
Deleted scene (4 min.)
Footlights (two readings running a total of 3 min.).
BADLY MISSING from the Warner Bros. release from several years ago:
Home movies (16 min.)
Photo gallery of about 200 pictures
Two theaterical trailers
The Professor (7 min. of an uncompleted silent era short featuring a character like in the flea circus sketch on
Original isolated film score
23 min. of scenes from films in the Chaplin collection
Also missing in this Blu/DVD combo release is the French audio that was on the WB DVD.
The Blu video is the way to go...and if you can pick up the WB DVD release cheap, do so for the extras disc.
This is a Region B locked release for both discs.
Look out to for his double act routine with another silent star, Buster Keaton.
The climax is well directed and acted by Chaplin and guaranteed to induce a tear to the eye.
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