Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Charlie Chaplin Marathon|
Actor: Charles Chaplin
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Television
Includes: The Rink The Immigrant Tillie?s Punctured Romance The Vagabond Menus: English ? Spanish ? Chinese ? Japanese Subtitles: Spanish ? Chinese ? Japanese B&W Running Time: 133 min.
Similarly Requested DVDs
Three Chaplin Mutual comedies and Sennet's "Tillie"
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 05/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The "Charlie Chaplin Marathon" is an inexpensive way of seeing a variety of silent comedies by Chaplin. It includes versions of a trio of Chaplin two-reelers down for mutual, including what is arguably the best of this shorts, and a film that has the distinction of being the first attempt at a full-length comedy (albeit not by Chaplin):
"The Rink" (Released December 4, 1916), the eighth Mutual comedy, was based on a Karno Company sketch called "Skating" that was written by Charlie's brother, Syd Chaplin. Chaplin was often inspired by the business of serving food and here he ends up a waiter who ends up in a rollers kating rink trying to keep upright. Of course, if you have already seen "Modern Times" you know that Chaplin in a virtuoso on wheels when it comes to roller skating. This time around Edna Purviance is the Girl, while Eric Campell is one of her admirers, Mr. Stout, and Henry Bergman plays both Mrs. Stout and an angry diner (you can imagine what Charlie does to make a diner angry). In terms of the slapstick, "The Rink" is the most creative of the Mutual two-reelers.
"The Immigrant" (Released June 17, 1917) is the best of Chaplin's shorts as far as I am concerned. Chaplin filmed 24 hours of footage over two months to produce a 21-minute film when most two-reelers were shot in two days. When Chaplin began, filming the restaurant scene (with Campbell as the head waiter), the film was going to be about the bohemian life, but the scene was too short and he decided to make the Tramp and the young girl immigrants, creating the opening sequence on the boat and the happy ending. Starting with the simple gag of the Tramp leaning over the ship's railing turning out to be something other than what we think, "The Immigrant" is classic Chaplin, mixing comedy, romance, and pathos.
"Tillie's Punctured Romance" (Released November 14, 1914) is a notable film not because of the presence of Chaplin, who is essentially out of character playing the heartless sharper instead of the loveable Tramp, but that it was the product of Max Sennet's desire to produce the first feature-length comedy in film history. Sennett had signed the famous stage comedienne Marie Dressler for a film version of her big success, "Tillie's Nightmare." A massive legal entanglement resulted and the film was sold to Arco for $100,000 and released as "Tillie's Punctured Romance" in a whole bunch of different lengths with different soundtracks. Essentially this is a burlesque of a burlesque in which the city slicker (Chaplin) leads the pretty country heiress (Dressler) astray. Sennett throws every trick he knows into directing this 1914 film and anyone familiar with the work of Chaplin or Dressler after this point will be dismayed with their performances here. Chaplin is extremely deadpan and Dressler is overly mannered (with way too much makeup on). Fortunately even his facial hair is different enough for us to convince ourselves this is not the Tramp and therefore not the real Chaplin.
"The Vagabond" (Released July 10, 1916), third two-reeler for Mutual, has Chaplin as a street violinist who starts off passing the hat for some other street musicians but takes the donations and goes to the country. There he rescues a girl (Purviance) who has been kidnapped by a band of gypsies. They meet an artist (Lloyd Bacon) who paints the girl's portrait. The girl falls in love with the artist and his painting is seen by the girl's real mother. Campbell plays the Gypsy chieftain and Leo White is both the Old Jew and a Gypsy Woman. This is an average Chaplin comedy on a slightly lower level than the other two Mutuals included on this DVD."