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Charlie Chaplin Box sets

Old 12-20-05, 01:45 PM
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Charlie Chaplin Box sets

I recently saw an almost pristine copy of Charlie Chaplin's The Kid on Turner Classic Movies and it has got me interested in obtaining some Charlie Chaplin material. In looking around the web though, I have noticed many different box sets available. I have no clue as to the quality or what film buffs would consider "essential" Charlie Chaplin. So...I am turning to my fellow members for some help and guidance. I would like to know what are the best quality DVD box sets or even individual titles that you would recommend for purchase? Surely there must be some knowledgeable people on the board who know their Chaplin right?

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Old 12-20-05, 01:52 PM
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the warner sets are nice (though some complain about speedup problems)

image also had a very nice set for a while, but i am not sure it is still available.


check out http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=10633
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Old 12-20-05, 02:27 PM
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Thanks Cameron. That review was helpful. I did a search but I didn't see that listed.

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Old 12-20-05, 02:47 PM
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Just another bit of info:

The Warner releases are the re-editted "Daddy" versions of Chaplins films (he made changes to most of them). The Image releases (yes, they're OOP) contained the unedited versions with the exception of The Gold Rush. The Warner release has both versions of The Gold Rush on it.
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Old 12-20-05, 03:33 PM
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Another vote for the OOP Image discs over the R1 WB editions. Along with the PAL conversion issues, the Warner discs have some cropping. (For example, see DVD Beaver's comparison of the Modern Times discs: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdcom...oderntimes.htm)

Above all, avoid the various public domain releases!
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Old 12-21-05, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RevKarl
Another vote for the OOP Image discs over the R1 WB editions. Along with the PAL conversion issues, the Warner discs have some cropping. (For example, see DVD Beaver's comparison of the Modern Times discs: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdcom...oderntimes.htm)

Above all, avoid the various public domain releases!
Thanks RevKarl! I appreciate the advice and I'll see if I can find the Image versions on EBAY.

Kevin
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Old 12-21-05, 03:54 PM
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Just an FYI:

A box set of the Chaplin Mutuals with Carl Davis' new orchestral scores will be available in June, 2006 from Film Preservation Associates in association with the BFI through Image Entertainment.

Included in the set will be the new documentary about Eric Campbell, "Chaplin's Goliath". Only available in the box set with the Davis scores will be Richard Paterson 1974 documentary, "Gentleman Tramp" (both television and theatrical version), which includes interview footage of Chaplin himself.

New improvements on the set will be the long version of One A.M. and better version of The Rink, based from an original, tinted, and unused 1916 print. Other small fixes will make this currently the most complete versions of Chaplin's "famous 12".

Special features include 82 original production stills courtesy of Jeffrey Vance.
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Old 12-21-05, 05:01 PM
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The 2 Warner sets, despite the caveats above, are glorious in packaging, image quality, and in the extras included. If I had a choice I'd go for the WB boxes over the OOP Images. If you have these and the Image 7-disc "Charlie Chaplin Short Comedy Classics: The Complete Restored Essanay and Mutual Collection," you've got the cream of Chaplin (although the new release of the Mutuals sounds tempting, if one's inclined to double-dip). The Keystones unfortunately seem to be available only in various shoddy public domain discs.
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Old 12-21-05, 07:21 PM
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Someone's working on a Chaplin Keystone set as we speak. It might be released in 2007.

And if you can pick up the OOP Image releases, do it.
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Old 12-21-05, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by The Valeyard
The Warner releases are the re-editted "Daddy" versions of Chaplins films (he made changes to most of them).
That's not true; 'City Lights', 'The Great Dictator', 'Monsieur Verdoux', and 'Limelight' are all the same. And the only change to 'The Circus' is musical; the movie itself is edited the same.

To answer the original poster's question: the Image release of 'The Kid' is significantly different from the Warner one, from what I understand. Numerous scenes were cut by Chaplin later in life, so the Image cut has a lot more scenes with the kid's real mother (if memory serves; the IMDb has info on this). The print you saw was likely the Warner one.
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Old 12-21-05, 11:12 PM
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i enjoy the warner sets
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Old 12-22-05, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
That's not true; 'City Lights', 'The Great Dictator', 'Monsieur Verdoux', and 'Limelight' are all the same. And the only change to 'The Circus' is musical; the movie itself is edited the same.
Sorry. Perhaps I should have said most of his films have been re-editted.

And Limelight does indeed have a minor change done to it and The Circus opens like the original silent version.


From David Shepard (circa 2001) :

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

From ednapurviance.org:

Image Entertainment - First National and United Artists Films
restored by David Shepard and Roy Export - 1990's

A collection of the Chaplin films restored and remastered by David Shepard and his associates during the 1990's. These films were from United Artists, First National and Britain Films. Available in the U.S., this now out-of-print collection was unique, because the films were returned to their original theatrical release versions, including all the scenes Chaplin had removed during the 1940's thru the 70's. Chaplin felt the deleted scenes didn't suit a modern day audience.

In the see-saw of versions the latest and current Warner Bros. Chaplin Collection has once again deleted the footage that was included in this 1990's remastering.

The Warner Bros. versions have the better sound and film quality, but the Shepard versions have scenes in the actual films available now only in this collection. The films that received the most editing were the pre-sound era films, which included films like The Kid and Pay Day. All the films before City Lights were true silent films (no soundtrack on the actual released films). All the films from City Lights onward had a soundtrack composed by Chaplin. This is why the pre-City Lights films have the most versions, because Chaplin was not dealing with a pre-recorded sound track. And that is why Shepard and Roy Export had the option to re-create the original silent versions of these early films. So now, there are in some case, two verisions of these early works.

These out-of-print films are still available at Amazon, as used or occasionally still new, factory sealed editions. The most collectable are the Charlie Chaplin First National Collection and The Kid and A Dog's Life .

The First National Collection:

This rare DVD contains six of the First National Films and the bonus feature 'Nice and Friendly', with Lord and Lady Mountbatten and Jackie Coogan. It also includes scenes now deleted from the current Chaplin Collection.

Films included: 'Shoulder Arms', 'Sunnyside', 'A Day's Pleasure', 'The Idle Class', 'Pay Day' and 'The Pilgrim'.

The best part about this collection is seeing the films in nearly their full original theatrical release versions.

The films did have film speeds corrected, but there was no budget to rescore the music, so the music was adjusted to fit the restored film and is not the smoothest. But a great collection to have for the rare film edits not available on any of the new collections.
The Kid and A Dog's Life:

This is becoming a collector's item for fans who want to see the original 1921 version of 'The Kid', which is not available in the new Chaplin Collection series. This version is the best one for seeing more of Edna Purviance's scenes and more of the story about the child's parents.

It is still available, but getting rare. 'The Kid' and 'First National Collection' are the most valuable from this set of films. 'A Dog's Life' co-stars Edna Purviance and Sydney Chaplin.
The Circus:

A very popular film for many Chaplin fans, even if it wasn't very popular with Chaplin. Has the favorite funhouse scenes that includes the house of mirrors and Chaplin on the high wire, which he learned how to walk from Henry Bergman. This film opens like the original silent version. Chaplin created music in the late 60's, early 70's for this film. Film was originally shown with live music, like all the Chaplin films before 'City Lights'.

Includes the extras: the deleted 1970's reissued title and credits with Chaplin singing 'Swing Little Girl', and film footage with Chaplin, Kennedy and Crocker at a cafe with David Shepard narrative. Set sketches by Charles D. Hall and daily production reports.

Last edited by The Valeyard; 12-22-05 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 12-23-05, 09:36 AM
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I think that most, if not all, of the scenes cut from the films in the WB sets are still included as bonus features, if that makes a difference to anyone. Personally I'm VERY happy with the two boxed sets.
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Old 12-23-05, 09:48 PM
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Here is some information from a thread I was maintaining, unfortunately, I haven't updated it in a while...

Charlie Chaplin the Little Tramp has quite a few DVDs of varying quality out, including:
*The Artist in his Prime 3-disc set (1914-1925) - Koch Vision/Koch International (includes The Gold Rush, The Idle Class, A Day's Pleasure, Shoulder Arms, Tillie's Punctured Romance, The Kid, Pay Day, Sunnyside and The Cure)
Chaplin (1914-1918) - Madacy 2-sided disc, Madacy 2-disc set (includes *Triple Trouble, *Work, Cruel, Cruel Love, Tango Tangles, His New Profession and A Film Johnnie)
Chaplin - The Collection Vol. 1 (1914, 1918) - Madacy (includes Cruel, Cruel Love, A Film Johnny and *Triple Trouble)
Chaplin - The Collection Vol. 2 (1914, 1915) - Madacy (includes Good for Nothing aka His New Profession, Charlie's Recreation aka Tango Tangles, *Work)
Chaplin - The Collection Vol. 3 (1914, 1915) - Madacy (includes Those Love Pangs aka The Rival Mashers, *A Night Out and Kid Auto Races at Venice)
Chaplin - The Collection Vol. 4 (1914, 1919) - Madacy (includes Knock Out, Between Showers and *A Day's Pleasure)
Chaplin - The Collection Vol. 5 (1914, 1919) - Madacy (includes *Sunnyside and Mabel at the Wheel aka Hot Finish)
Chaplin - The Collection 5-disc set (1914-1919) - Madacy (includes volumes 1-5)
Chaplin's Essanay Comedies Vol. 1 (1915) - Image (includes His New Job, A Night Out, In the Park, The Champion and A Jitney Elopement)
Chaplin's Essanay Comedies Vol. 2 (1915) - Image (includes The Tramp, By the Sea, Work, A Woman, The Bank and His Regeneration)
Chaplin's Essanay Comedies Vol. 3 (1915, 1918) - Image (includes Shanghaied, A Night in the Show, Police, Burlesque on 'Carmen' and Triple Trouble)
The Chaplin Mutuals Vol. 1 (1917) - Image (includes The Immigrant, The Adventurer, The Cure and Easy Street)
The Chaplin Mutuals Vol. 2 (1916) - Image (includes The Count, The Vagabond, The Fireman and Behind the Screen)
The Chaplin Mutuals Vol. 3 (1916) - Image (includes One A.M., The Pawnshop, The Floorwalker and The Rink)
Charlie Chaplin Boxed Set 4-disc set (1925-1940) - Image (includes City Lights, The Great Dictator, Modern Times and The Gold Rush)
Charlie Chaplin: The First National Collection (1918-1923) - Image (includes Shoulder Arms, Sunnyside, A Day's Pleasure, The Idle Class, Pay Day, The Pilgrim, also includes Nice and Friendly home movie)
*Charlie Chaplin Marathon (1914-1917) - Laserlight (includes The Rink, The Immigrant, Tillie's Punctured Romance and The Vagabond)
*Early Masterpieces 3-disc set (1915-1918) - Koch Vision/Koch International (includes The Fireman, By the Sea, The Immigrant, The Pawnshop, The Adventurer, A Woman, A Dog's Life, The Rink and The Bank)
The Circus (1928) - Image
City Lights (1931) - Image
The Gold Rush (1925) - Image
Good for Nothing/Charlie's Recreation (1914) - Madacy (aka His New Profession/Tango Tangles)
The Great Dictator (1940) - Image
The Kid/A Dog's Life (1918, 1921) - Image
A King in New York/A Woman of Paris (1957/1923) - Image
Limelight (1952) - Image
Modern Times (1936) - Image
Monsieur Verdoux (1947) - Image
Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914) - Image (includes Mabel's Married Life)
miscellaneous Chaplin:
Chaplin (1992) - Live Entertainment (Docudrama)
Chaplin's Art of Comedy (1969) - Image (clips from various one and two-reelers)
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Old 12-23-05, 11:23 PM
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A Countess From Hong Kong (Chaplin's last film) is also available from Universal. The single edition is currently OOP but the film is a part of the Marlon Brando 4-Movie Collection Box Set.
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Old 12-24-05, 07:56 AM
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Worth pointing out is that if you are R2 enabled, it's well worth picking up the PAL versions. The main problem with the WB R1 versions is VERY poor PAL to NTSC conversion, which results in visible ghosting artifacts during scenes with motion. I got the big UK box, which only omits "The Chaplin Revue" (for some reason). Since the speedup issue is the same whether one plays the PAL discs of the conversions over here, that's not an issue.

I have kept my Shepard/Image discs. "The Kid" is MUCH better in his longer cut.
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Old 12-24-05, 11:29 AM
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I would go with the Warner box sets. I have both of them and am very satisfied with them. The picture and audio quality is incredible. Almost every film is a 2 disc special edition that includes all of the scenes Chaplin deleted on the second disc.
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Old 12-24-05, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by The Valeyard
And Limelight does indeed have a minor change done to it and The Circus opens like the original silent version
The thing is, he's wrong about 'Limelight'. The small scene is not edited back into the feature on either disc, and is available as a supplement on both. I bought the WB one cheap because I wanted the extras, and when I compared them, it turned out that everything on the Image was on the WB in the same way, so I gave my Image disc away.
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Old 12-24-05, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
The thing is, he's wrong about 'Limelight'. The small scene is not edited back into the feature on either disc, and is available as a supplement on both. I bought the WB one cheap because I wanted the extras, and when I compared them, it turned out that everything on the Image was on the WB in the same way, so I gave my Image disc away.

Huh. I'm gotta dig my Image release out tonight and take a gander. I could have sworn I saw that scene in the movie. But it could always be a case of "Biggs talking to Luke on Tatooine" on my part.
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Old 12-25-05, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by The Valeyard
Just an FYI:

A box set of the Chaplin Mutuals with Carl Davis' new orchestral scores will be available in June, 2006 from Film Preservation Associates in association with the BFI through Image Entertainment.

Included in the set will be the new documentary about Eric Campbell, "Chaplin's Goliath".
This has been out for a while:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...-5307916?n=130

It's okay, not great.
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Old 12-25-05, 10:50 AM
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I heard that from a lot of people who've seen it. It was originally exclusive to the Essanay/Mutual Box Set then made a singular release. I never picked it up so i'm glad to see it a part of the newer Mutual (SE) set. Along with the Gentleman Tramp documentary.
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Old 01-27-06, 12:07 AM
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from barrie maxwell

Image looks to be releasing in June a new box set of Charlie Chaplin's Mutual films that has been prepared by Film Preservation Associates. Features of the set will be new orchestral scores by Carl Davis, the long version of One A.M., and a better version of The Rink, based from an original unused 1916 print. Supplements will include a documentary about Eric Campbell - Chaplin's Goliath, Richard Paterson's Gentleman Tramp (both television and theatrical version), and 82 original production stills.
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Old 01-27-06, 12:58 AM
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The current Essanay DVD's are excellent. Orchestral Robert Israel scores and beautiful transfers.

However, the Mutuals have a lot of video artifacts and dreadful scores.


Also, some of the changes to the other films were not really for re-releases. Modern Times was cut right after the premeire. The Kid, in my opinion, is a superior film in the short version. I'm keeping my DVD's of The Great Dictator, The Gold Rush, City Lights, The Circus, and Modern Times, though. All progressive, windowboxed, and still very good.
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