(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike Madacy, Image Entertainment obviously cares about quality. The prints are good, though I'm sure some film archive somewhere has better. The DVD doesn't have any extras to speak of except a short essay on the box, but all in all it's a good DVD because of the video quality. I only wish they'd put the films in chonological order across the three volumes."
It's amazing how fast later comes if you get this now
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 01/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Volume Three of The Chaplin Mutuals gives us four excellent short films produced, directed and written (even though silent) by the great Charlie Chaplin. The action never stops and Chaplin worked so hard to make us laugh--and he made it look so easy as if he never had to think it through at all. The cinematography is very strong and the quality of the print is remarkably good considering the age of these four films--they were made between 1915 and 1917. There is also the great acting skill of Edna Purviance who was a perennial favorite of Chaplin's, so much so that he kept her on company payroll well after she stopped acting in Charlie's films.
There are four films on the DVD. The first one we see is entitled One A.M. Charlie plays a comparatively wealthy fellow who comes home late at night from a party--totally drunk. (Never mind the fact that the taxicab drops him off at his home during the daytime.) There are enough props in the house to showcase Chaplin's incredible skill at both acrobatics and slapstick comedy. I can't believe how well Charlie Chaplin was able to fall down and get right back up again as if it were as easy as breathing. Incredible! The second film we get is entitled The Pawnshop; and here The Little Tramp plays games on co-workers although he has amusing fights with them, too. The antics are hilarious and I enjoyed every minute of it. The Little Tramp also pokes fun at the boss to appeal to the average working person who went to the movies for a treat once a week. When a crook comes in, will he be able to rob the store? Also look for a solid performance by Edna Purviance cast here as the boss's daughter who takes a liking to The Little Tramp.
The other two films are similar in that we get The Little Tramp and/or variations on him with more slapstick than anything else; Chaplin had not yet expanded his character to display true pathos and more. The Floorwalker has Charlie playing the dual role of the tramp and one of the crooked bosses of a department store who is just about to rob the store. The editing is superlative for its time; we really see TWO Charlie Chaplin characters on the screen very convincingly! The store escalator is used a great deal for sight gags and the store shoppers play their roles very well. The last film is The Rink; and in my opinion The Rink is the funniest film of these four shorts. In The Rink, Charlie plays a waiter in a fancy restaurant who is always somehow able to make fun of the stuffy rich patrons; and he plays this to the hilt. The Rink ends with Chaplin and most of the main cast on roller skates in a skating rink and the chase scenes are very funny! I can't believe how in one short span of just five or ten seconds how much Chaplin is able to make it look like he's slipping and just about to fall although he doesn't. Will Chaplin's character get away from the people he has alienated? Watch The Rink and find out!
The DVD comes with no extras but the material is so well done you can practically forgive it. Others have written that the print is not that good but I was more than satisfied considering the age of these films.
Overall, Chaplin's fans and perhaps even fans of silent film in general will enjoy the four movies on this DVD. It's highly recommended!