Charlie Chaplin was the biggest star in film when he signed with the Mutual Company in 1916 for the then-unheard-of sum of $670,000. The twelve films he made for Mutual reflect Chaplin's attempt to use comedy not just as a... more » series of gags, but as a search for genuine, universal truths. Digitally mastered from early generation 35mm negatives, these works provide considerable testimony to Chaplin's skills as both a comedian and a filmmaker. This volume includes the shorts "The Immigrant," "The Adventurer," "The Cure" and "Easy Street" (all 1917).« less
"These are the last four of Charles Chaplin's twelve two-reelers for Mutual, and they are all top Chaplin entertainment. Made in 1916-17, they demonstrate Chaplin at his most inventive and funniest. The films are all about 25 mins long. Visually, this DVD is an excellent transfer, and it has newly scored music which fits quite well. Recommended to all fans of silent comedy, or generally all people who could need a good laugh. And besides, noone can impersonate a floor lamp like Chaplin could..."
In Defense of the Little Fellow . . .
C. Johnson | Los Angeles, CA | 04/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I too found that the reviewer's comment on these Mutual shorts being "uninspired" and "unfunny" were extremely ill thought out. I've seen the Mutual films before, and just recently purchased the DVDs and enjoyed them all over again. (the quality of the prints are very good!) The Immigrant is a great example of his mastery of the pantomime (the restaurant scene is just plain charming) and in Easy Street, well, I can't find how someone could call it "crude". And what's funny about a Chaplin's getting people drunk in a rehab center? If you knew anything about history, this was a direct smack at the upper classes since alcoholism was a huge problem with the working class during this time. Charlie was poking fun at the upper crust: and to the working people that is ALWAYS funny. There is nothing at all "uninspired" about Charlie's work in these four shorts. Especially since, in 1917, Charlie was creating the template for comedy that comedians would imitate for decades--Nearly one-hundred years on, people are still using many of the techniques debuted here for the first time by Chaplin (along with the National shorts). It is interesting that the "basher" (as I've called this reviewer) mentioned the revolving door sequence in The Cure to be maddening: to a modern audience, that gag can appear recycled-but that is only because countless comedians have copied what Chaplin created for the FIRST TIME here.Now, I'm a huge fan of Lloyd and **especially** the inimitable Buster Keaton, but the earlier comment that "Until the late 20's, any Keaton, Lloyd, or Langdon film was infinitely better than the stuff that Chaplin turned out at the time" is really, quite frankly, silly. Keaton didn't even begin to appear in shorts until the very year of these Mutual films and here was Chaplin writing, directing and acting on his own!! Not to mention that, within two years, he would help to form (along with Mary Pickford and Doug Fairbanks) a little something called United Artists which was a huge step forward for filmmakers and is still a force in the Industry. And by the way, in 1921 Chaplin released his feature length, The Kid, which is widely acclaimed as one of the best films of the silent era and it also proved for the first time that a comedy could be funny as well as touching to the heart. (I don't know anyone who can watch the final scene of the Kid without getting a tug at the heart). That same year of 1921, Keaton released his first feature film, The Saphead. Enough said. I'm not bashing Keaton because he is an unbelievable genius (Sherlock Jr. is one of my favorite films of all time! =o) but I just think that one should give credit where credit is due. And every single comedian coming after Chaplin **including Keaton, Lloyd and Langdon**--right down to this day--is reminded to tip their derby to Charlie.He isn't called a genius just for the hell of it, you know.(Anyway, four stars to this charming collection of Chaplin full-speed ahead on his way to becoming a legend.)"
Chaplin has NOT dated!
Jimmy Silver | 12/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I couldn't disagree more with the reviewer who bashes Charlie for being dated. Humour doesn't date only the context that surrounds it. This DVD contains some supremely witty and charming comedy. Anybody who is looking to buy it must already be a silent film fan so is familiar with the medium. The film quality is superb and I thoroughly recommend it!"
Also in defense of the Little Fellow...
danielle1414 | Austin, TX | 07/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In response to this review: "I don't believe that Chaplin achieved comedic excellence until his features. These shorts are crude physical humor and totally unfunny. Dated stuff."Dated stuff? Of course it's dated. It's almost 90 years old! Anyone with any common sense, however, can discern the genious of the comedy for the period. What he was doing was breaking away from the mill of Keystone and developing stories with this comedy character. That wasn't done until then. You have to be able to relate the content with the time period and recognize these things. I guess that is hard for some if they don't understand history and fact. That is why you are the only person to write an uneducated, negative review. Did you notice that? Please know your content before you criticize."
Sophia Burns | 04/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chaplin is one of its kind. It is great to be able to watch his creations in the original speed and without all the scratches. They have done a tremendous restauration job on these films: you can hardly believe they are almost a century old! Now you will be able to see Chaplin's mutuals they way he intended them. Real masterspieces of art! You won't be disappointed."