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Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

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Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Old 04-11-05, 07:35 PM
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Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

While the vast majority of Charlie Chaplin's films have been given quality DVD releases by Image Entertainment and/or Warner Home Video/MK2, the one period not covered by these companies is Chaplin"s Keystone years (though Image released the Keystone feature Tillie’s Punctured Romance, a disc which also contains one Keystone short, Mabel’s Married Life.)

In a December 2000 interview with Digitally Obsessed, David Shepard (of Blackhawk Films and a major figure in silent film preservation/presentation) stated, "Well, I have less enthusiasm for the Keystones. A lot of them are in such poor shape, and are not particularly interesting. I think it is very likely that I will do a selection of Keystones, but I don't think I'm going to attempt to do all of the Keystones." So far, no such collection has been released.

In searching the slimy world of public domain, I found that Brentwood has released a DVD collection of Chaplin films that contains 26 of the 34 Keystone shorts (as well as 31 other Chaplin films.) While the price is cheap enough (around $12-15 online), I have no idea what the quality is of the transfers for these films.

In fairness, a bigger question is what quality can be expected, given the available elements for the Keystone shorts, as going back to the aforementioned Shepard interview, he states that Blackhawk (again, in 2000) had original camera negative on "maybe eight of the Keystones, and of course using modern techniques of wetgate and digital enhancement, those are going to look fabulous. After that, it's like walking off the edge of a cliff."

Has anybody heard/seen anything else on Chaplin's Keystone films? Is there a better DVD collection for these film than the Brentwood one? Are the Keystone films missing from it available elsewhere?
Old 04-28-09, 03:56 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Any word on a new remastered set for the Keystone films?


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Old 04-28-09, 05:52 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

No word on any DVD releases, but here is a link to BFI's website
on the various Chaplin Keystone restoration efforts.

http://chaplin.bfi.org.uk/restoring/
Old 04-29-09, 04:12 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Would it be inappropriate to ask what releases a fan should look for. I'm obviously aware of the mk2 editions, and I've been eyeing Image's Chaplin Mutual Comedies: Restored 90th Anniversary Edition. Are there any others that are must haves?

Also, is the Chaplin Revue really THAT miserable compared to The First National Collection if one happens to watch the Revue first?
Old 04-30-09, 03:00 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

The 90th Anniversary Mutual Collection is an essential release. This represents some of the best work of his career.

I don't think the difference between the Chaplin Revue and the First National Collection is that extreme, but the now OOP Image release of the First National Collection is better.

The feature length films are all good. (The Gold Rush and Modern Times are my favorites)

The Essanay films are a little more mixed, but they are mostly good.

I am not that familiar with the Keystone films either, but I will get them when (if?) they become available, but I expect most of them will have more historical than entertainment value.
Old 04-30-09, 03:16 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

I would suggest you stick to anything Image has released and the MK2 editions. Countess of Hong Kong was also released on a bare bones DVD.

You can find bits and pieces of the Keystone pictures among the public domain DVDs, but those sort of cheap DVD sets are so obnoxious and their quality is almost always questionable.

The website ednapurviance.org says the Keystone films should be released this year. I only go to ednapurviance.org, as the owner is very up to date on everything.

I was under the impression they were all going to be released in a complete set, but seeing the original news on this thread just now, I guess they won't be. I also thought an updated Essanay set should be coming from Image to go with the 90th Anniversary Mutual set, but appears that is either on hold or never coming out.
Old 04-30-09, 07:47 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

This was posted by David Shepard on a Chaplin Newsgroup when the Chaplin/Image collections went out of print. It's a list of all the changes Chaplin made to his films through the years (Image vs. MK2).


Since 1992, the laserdisc and DVD editions of all Charles Chaplin's films
controlled by the filmmaker's family have been as close as possible to the
original editions (although "The Gold Rush" has been available only in
Chaplin's 1941 [released 1942] narrated version).

According to an article in the British fanzine "Chaplin Courier," after the
rights move over to MK2 films for twelve years beginning January 1, 2002, the
films will be available only in the final versions with the cuts and
alterations made by Chaplin between the 1930s and 1970s. Kate Guyonvarch of
Association Chaplin said "Whatever Chaplin fans or cinephiles might have to say
about the changes/cuts Chaplin made late in life, HE made them, so he wanted
them. We must and do respect that."

The present USA DVD editions are scheduled to be withdrawn in approximately two
months, although possibly some retailers may be remaindering copies until the
end of the year.

These are the films which will be affected by the new policy:

A DOG'S LIFE, SHOULDER ARMS, THE PILGRIM. Running speeds will change ("The
Chaplin Revue" contains considerable stretch printing) and scenes will be
eliminated.

SUNNYSIDE, A DAY'S PLEASURE, THE IDLE CLASS, PAY DAY Running speeds will
change. Some will be faster, some slower.

THE KID Scenes will be eliminated, running speed will change.

A WOMAN OF PARIS Scenes will be eliminated, running speed will change.

THE GOLD RUSH Aperture (cropping) will change.

THE CIRCUS (New credit sequence with song will be moved back to head of
picture).

CITY LIGHTS will be accompanied only by 1931 sound track.

MODERN TIMES Scene [final verse of nonsense song] will be eliminated.

LIMELIGHT Scene [Calvero borrowing money from armless man] will be eliminated.

A KING IN NEW YORK Approximately 30 small bits will be eliminated.

I do not know what will happen with the extras on these editions or what extras
will be added to the new editions of Chaplin's final cut versions.

Those who wish to own these films in the longer versions presently available
and those who wish to own them in Chaplin's final cut versions will want to be
guided accordingly.

David Shepard
Old 05-04-09, 04:11 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Just to make note, most if not all deleted scenes for the newer editions are still included on the special features discs for the MK2 versions.
Old 07-02-09, 03:26 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

The Chaplin Keystone Collection is due on R2 DVD on the 14th of September (2009) from the Bfi.

Amazon, Play and HMV all have it up for pre-order now, the latter two at £7 off the rrp of £19.99.

Play lists it as a "34 short film collection"; the BFI has previously suggested it will include 35 films, which they screened at the end of last year.
Old 09-06-09, 12:51 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Any more news about this Chaplin Keystone collection, sounds promising -- a R1 or R4 release planned?
Old 09-06-09, 05:03 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

How's the "Charlie Chaplin Short Comedy Classics - The Complete Restored Essanay & Mutual Collection"? Should I get the 90th Anniversary Mutuals and just hope the Essanay collection comes out later, or forget the 90th Ann and get this older set?
Old 09-06-09, 05:40 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by Sierra Disc View Post
Any more news about this Chaplin Keystone collection, sounds promising -- a R1 or R4 release planned?
According to the listing at Amazon.co.uk, the release date for the BFI R2 disc has been pushed back to 12/28/2009.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chaplin-Keys...2233440&sr=1-3

No word so far on R1 and/or R4 releases.
Old 09-06-09, 06:46 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by Sierra Disc View Post
Any more news about this Chaplin Keystone collection, sounds promising -- a R1 or R4 release planned?
Criterion is currently working with the Chaplin estate to release his work in Region 1. If they strike a deal, I wouldn't be surprised if these films get released by the them.
Old 09-07-09, 05:11 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
Criterion is currently working with the Chaplin estate to release his work in Region 1. If they strike a deal, I wouldn't be surprised if these films get released by the them.
Is that why the current Warner/MK2 DVD releases are now out of print?
Old 09-08-09, 09:42 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by izatright View Post
How's the "Charlie Chaplin Short Comedy Classics - The Complete Restored Essanay & Mutual Collection"? Should I get the 90th Anniversary Mutuals and just hope the Essanay collection comes out later, or forget the 90th Ann and get this older set?
Get the 90th Anniversary Mutuals. There's been considerable work done on the films since the earlier release.

A great review here:

Chaplin Mutual Comedies: Restored Edition
Old 09-08-09, 09:44 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by Al_Tahoe View Post
Is that why the current Warner/MK2 DVD releases are now out of print?
I imagine that Warner only had the license for a limited time. Hasn't it been five years since their release?
Old 09-08-09, 01:32 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by Tim Tucker View Post
I imagine that Warner only had the license for a limited time. Hasn't it been five years since their release?
Yup, just looked at the back of my City Lights package, and it says 2003.
Old 07-16-10, 11:35 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Yowza!



Chaplin At Keystone

A Four-Disc DVD Collection of 35 Original Films

Charles Chaplin came to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios as an unknown, and after a year, had not only established his character, but also achieved public recognition as a star comedian so that standees of his likeness outside theatres sufficed to attract audiences. Most of the original Keystone negatives were simply printed away and the survival of all but a few of these films depends upon a few original prints, a larger number of reissue prints, and some duped prints from later years. That all but one of the films exists is, of course, due to Chaplin’s enormous subsequent popularity.



With the support of Association Chaplin (France), 35mm full aperture, early-generation materials (with only a few exceptions) were gathered on almost all the films in this international collaboration and were painstakingly pieced together by the National Film and Television Archive of the British Film Institute, L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive; then digitally refurbished by Lobster Films in Paris. 



Flicker Alley is proud to present Chaplin At Keystone. These films feature all-new musical settings 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, all outstanding practitioners of silent film accompaniment.
Flicker Alley

They have it for Pre-Order for $59.96 with free shipping but I can't find an actual date anywhere.

Needless to say, this will be mine.
Old 07-20-10, 03:41 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
I can't find an actual date anywhere.

Needless to say, this will be mine.
and mine as well, and according to a flyer that I picked up at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival last weekend, this will be released in October 2010.
Old 08-10-10, 01:47 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Its up for pre-order right now at Amazon!! It's expensive, but gotta have it.
Old 08-11-10, 02:09 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

what are the chances of this hitting BD? Pretty weak I guess?
Old 08-11-10, 11:10 AM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

I usually wait and order Flicker Alley DVDs during the DD/DVD Planet semi-annual 25% sales.
Old 08-12-10, 02:50 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by Tim Tucker View Post
I usually wait and order Flicker Alley DVDs during the DD/DVD Planet semi-annual 25% sales.
Except that they weren't included on the last sale unless I'm mistaken. I had Miss Mend in my DD wishlist and checked it for the discount - no go. I was abel to get La Roue and J'Accuse with discount during a previous DD sale, however, so they may be included at some point in the future.
Old 10-27-10, 12:52 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

I pre-ordered this set at Amazon for 71.99 which just came out yesterday. Now Amazon has it listed for $59.99!! PISSES me off!!!!!! So what's the benefit of pre-ordering items then?
Old 10-27-10, 07:35 PM
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Re: Charlie Chaplin's Keystone Films?

Originally Posted by pbishop69 View Post
I pre-ordered this set at Amazon for 71.99 which just came out yesterday. Now Amazon has it listed for $59.99!! PISSES me off!!!!!! So what's the benefit of pre-ordering items then?
You should get an automatic price adjustment, per Amazon's Pre-Order Price Guarantee.

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