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Chaplin Mutual Comedies: Restored 90th Anniversary Edition
Chaplin Mutual Comedies Restored 90th Anniversary Edition
Actor: Charles Chaplin
Genres: Classics, Comedy
NR     2006     7hr 30min

Twelve films directed and written by Charlie Chaplin, with new orchestral scores composed and conducted by Carl Davis! Restored from premier quality original 35mm film! This edition of The Chaplin Mutual Comedies has been ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Charles Chaplin
Genres: Classics, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Silent Films, Comedy
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 07/11/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/1916
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1916
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 7hr 30min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

More missing footage found!
Paul J. Mular | San Carlos, CA USA | 06/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"David Shepard gave a sneak preview of these new DVDs at the Niles-Essanay Film Museum's Edison Theater on June 23,2006. I must say that while the last DVD restoration was great, this one keeps that same excellent film transfer, but adds more missing footage & title/dialogue cards from newly discovered prints.

ONE AM has the biggest improvement with a total of over 7 minutes of additional footage, I was not able to do a side-by-side comparison but there were scenes I did not remember. I do not want to spoil the comedy surprises of new footage here, you will have to enjoy it yourself.

Other shorts such as THE RINK included new comedy bits and title / dialogue cards that helped the flow & understanding of the story.

The bottom line is that this restoration does not improve on the already sharper picture quality of the previous release, but it does add missing footage not seen in the U.S. since the films' original releases.

UPDATE 7/20:
I have now had a chance to do a syncronized side-by-side comparison. While all of the other shorts are restored as mentioned above, adding new footage to the existing transfer, ONE AM is a totally new transfer.

My reaction to this new transfer is mixed. The big plus is a total of 7 minutes of new material added through out the short! In addition, the old transfer was from a print that was matted on the sides to add a soundtrack, causing a tall & thin picture. This new transfer restores the original square framed picture, adding to the sides of the picture. The negative side to this new transfer is that the complete full frame print is from a negative that is a couple more generations away from the original camera negative. This is most noticable in the opening (and longer) taxi scene. Picture details in the taxi are lost in the blacks, where the older transfer shows some vehicle details.

In a conversation I had with David, he said that trying to add the new footage to the existing footage on this title was too jarring, plus the sides of the picture were missing on the old transfer. The decision was made to go with the complete print for the whole transfer. It should be noted that the bulk of the short that takes place inside the house does not look bad and the benefits of the added picture to the sides are a big plus in keeping the new transfer.

David also stated that he was working on restoring Chaplin's Keystone comedies! If it is a David Shepard project, it is well worth getting."
The definitive Mutual collection of all the Mutual collectio
Snorre Smari Mathiesen | Norway | 12/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Chaplin's Mutual-two-reelers, which by many are looked upon as the comedian's noblest work, have been brought out on video and DVD several times, always with variable quality. Some have been good, others weak.

I once heard a proverb which fascinated me, "The biggest enemy to great, is good." Well then, CHAPLIN MUTUAL COMEDIES: RESTORED 90TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION is not among the good sets; it is the greatest one out there. Not only does it include clear prints of the twelve pearls, all with beautiful musical scores composed by Carl Davis -- several of the movies, such as ONE A.M. and THE RINK, also have recently discovered footage added, available for the first time since their original release in 1916-17. This makes the collection very well worth to get even if you own all of the movies from before, like I do.

Oh well, the set would be a treat anyway, because of the special features, which actually could have worked as its own release. Especially interesting are two rarely-seen documentaries. The first one of them, THE GENTLEMAN TRAMP (78 min.) from 1975 --which I'd tried to find for years-- is narrated by Laurence Oliver, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and includes numbers of home movies, archive footage, etc. The second documentary, CHAPLIN'S GOLIATH (54 min.) from 1996 covers the life of Eric Campbell, the heavy Scotsman who played the villain in each one of Chaplin's Mutual-comedies. Also included are two fine and very interesting booklets: "The Chaplin Mutuals" by Jeffrey Vance and "The Making of The Gentleman Tramp" by Richard Patterson.

My only complaint is that while the music is very good --beautiful, really-- and fits the films wonderfully, there are a few times that I think it sounds a little too dramatic or melancholic when it, in my opinion, rather should be amusing; especially in ONE A.M. But that's just according to my taste.

Sadly, there still seems to be certain footage missing available elsewhere even in this set, especially in THE CURE. However, this is the closest to perfection anyone has come yet and is, needless to say, a "must" to every Chaplin-fan. Well worth the money!"
Chaplin's Finest Work
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 07/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When Charlie Chaplin signed with the Mutual Film Company in 1916, he became the highest-paid performer at that time (with an annual salary of $670,000) and produced a dozen two-reelers that served as a blueprint for the rest of his career. The Mutuals captured the essence of Chaplin's serio-comic brilliance while revealing an artist at his creative peak. A stronger sense of ensemble was evident in the menacing presence of Eric Campbell, who became regarded as the ideal Chaplin heavy. "Easy Street" and "The Immigrant" (both 1917) represent the comedian's first masterpieces - incorporating social criticism that foreshadowed his feature-length efforts. The rough-edged quality of the Keystone and Essanay shorts has been replaced by a more polished style, with "The Rink" (1916) and "The Cure" (1917) displaying remarkable physical virtuosity. Charlie's later films never matched the exuberance and self-assuredness of that glorious 16-month period when the Little Tramp reached his artistic maturity."
The essence of Chaplin's art.
Robert G. Martinez | Brooksville FL | 08/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It has been 90 years since these great comedies were made (1916-17) and many folks that are new to Chaplin may dismiss them as funny shorts. Chaplin by 1916 was a real big star and was paid $650,000 to do these 12 comedies in a little over a year. A ridiculous sum in 1916. Unlike his full feature films from the 20's and 30's (with the exception of City Lights - a masterpiece)) where there was much emphasis on pathos,and tearjerking scenes, these comedies are wild and wacky. In 1970, I bought some of these on 8mm films thru Blackhawk Films and the quality was OK, but these prints are a revelation. The Mutual Comedies are the height of Chaplin's art. Each film features a theme: The Pawnbroker, The Rink, The Vagabond, Easy Street etc. and they are all hilarious. The Mutuals had a cast of stock actors that too were outstanding including his 300-pound bully Eric Campbell, Edna Purveyance, his love interest, Albert Austin, Henry Bergman and others. THIS IS THE FINEST QUALITY EVER SEEN ON THESE MOVIES! There are Documentaries galore which are also very interesting. Without dialogue, Chaplin could make you laugh just with his eyes or an expression, or his walk. People forget that he revolutionized motion pictures by bringing movies even to the smallest of towns. People all over the world loved Chaplin. This is a milestone in cinema history and every serious student of film should own this and watch a master at work."