A must for everyone
Swapnesh Banerjee | Maryland, USA | 10/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had been wanting to buy Chaplin DVD's for some time and this boxed set provided me with the perfect opportunity. Not only did I save a substantial amount of money, but it had the four movies which are a must for every movie collector. All of them are classics including my favourite City Lights (whose last scene is described as the 'highest moment in cinema'). It's a joy to watch these timeless movies and worth every penny spent and more. The Chaplin repertoire is illustrated vividly and completely in the movies of this set with humour, humanism, feeling and sensitivity combining to form a memorable experience. Even the add-ons are great, like the interview with the person who co-scored the music of the Modern Times. All in all, the best 70 bucks I have spent."
Treasure Trove of Chaplin
Randal Gist | Kansas City, MO USA | 01/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished watching the fourth of the four DVDs in this set, and all I can say is that there is not enough space to do these films true justice. Chaplin is one of the true cinematic geniuses of the twentieth century and "The Gold Rush", "City Lights", "Modern Times" & "The Great Dictator" represent some of his crowning achievements. "City Lights" (1931)is one my top favorite films of all time--the end sequence has me blubbering like a baby every time I see it--balancing brilliant comedy (ie. the night club & prize fight scenes)w/pathos and never losing balance. "The Gold Rush" (1925), Chaplin's Klondike epic I would rate right up there w/"City Light" with the exception that the version here is Chaplin's 1942 re-edited sound re-release, with the inter-titles cut & replaced by Chaplin's often overly coy & obvious voice-over. It also has a slightly different ending than the original. It would have been nice to have had both versions one DVD. Oh well, you still have the film itself which retains its brilliance. When Chaplin began "City Lights" in 1928, sound films had not yet taken over, but by the time he began "Modern Times" (1936)the idea of doing a silent film was thought to be crazy-well with the exception of music, fxs & a gibberish song that's exactly what Charlie did. A farewell to the Little Tramp and a hillarious social satire, "Modern Times" is Chaplin's last masterpiece. With "The Great Dictator" (1940), a combination of slapstick, satire and overt social commentary, Chaplin made his first venture into sound films. Filled with brilliant sequences (ie. the shaving scene & Hynkel's ballet with the globe)the blending w/the social commentary at time seem awkward. Nevertheless, Charlie's double portrayal of the Jewish barber (a variation of the Little Tramp) and Adnoid Hynkle is alternating touching, hillarious and at time more than a little frightening.Well that is either too much or not enough, depending on how you read these things. All I can say is watch these movies and see for yourself. And if you like them, be sure to watch Chaplin's Mutual & First National comedies, "The Kid" & "The Circus"--all great film & fun."
Forget "New Comedy" and watch some classics
Nancy Beiman | Ontario, Canada | 02/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was delighted to get these Chaplin films in sparkling DVD prints. These are some of the greatest comedies ever made, and the ending of CITY LIGHTS is one of the greatest shots in cinema.The boxed set has fewer extras than I expected. Where is the shot of Chaplin rehearsing one of his scenes from CITY LIGHTS in street clothes? The footage exists, but It's not included here.I also see no reason for an alternative soundtrack on MODERN TIMES. The original is more moving, surface noise, monaural track and all. The stereophonic sound distracts from the picture.The only really big disappointment in this set (the other quibbles being very minor) is that they used the 1942 sound version of THE GOLD RUSH instead of the 1925 original, and Chaplin's narration just breaks in and destroys the flow of the story. Thank goodness we still have the Oceana Roll.I can only give this set a 4 for the above reasons. And Amazon, why not pack DVDS a little better? I have gotten this set with two of the four jewel boxes completely shattered, and it's annoying having to cut up the cheap cardboard covers when transferring the discs to better cases."
An Extraordinary Quartet
Loring Ivanick | Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan | 07/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One way to learn about life is to live it. For a crash course, watch these films. Chaplin understands us human beings, our strengths and our weaknesses as a species. More gripping than any lecture on morality, on love, on technology, on government, on modern society could be. I particularly recommend that young people put aside current fashion and spend time with these films, enjoying them and thinking about them. "City LIghts" is one of those films that ends with you crying and wanting to scream at the screen, "No, don't let it end that way!" but you know there is no other way it could end. Chaplin got it right. He nearly always did."