Not as bad as expected
Mark Pollock | Davis, CA United States | 12/26/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, this review is for the Laserlight dvd "Charlie Chaplin Marathon", which has different content from other dvds that this review may appear on.What we have is is three readily available Chaplin short films, and the feature "Tillie's Punctured Romance". The three short films, "The Immigrant", "The Rink", and "The Vagabond", are three of Chaplin's best from the Mutual Films period, 1916-1917. In this edition, the films are presented in copies from the Blackhawk collection, with the 1930's era Van Buren soundtracks added on. The picture quality is surprisingly good for a budget dvd, the soundtracks are as horrible as they have always been, and the films are not as restored as the copies on the Image "Chaplin Mutual Films" collection. This makes the dvd not a bad starting place for the Chaplin novice. However, the copy of "Tillie's Punctured Romance" is a horror, a very bad print, missing many shots and scenes, with a narrator droning endlessly on to try and make sense of this choppy film. It is an abomination, and it saddens me to think that people might be buying this instead of the Image dvd of the film. The Image dvd is fully restored, and looks and sounds a good as possible. The verdict - this disc may pass for someone who isn't that interested in Chaplin, but it is not for the discerning fan. There are many discs to recommend instead of it."
Charlie | Wellesley, MA United States | 05/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Quality prints of Chaplin's Keystones are so hard to find! This is one. Image Entertainment has done it again. The quality is crisp and clear. Highly recommend!This review is for the Tillie's/Mabel DVD, NOT the Chaplin Marathon!"
Historically---but not comically---significant Chaplin
tendays komyathy | U.S.A. & elsewhere traveling | 10/17/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This 1914 film is considered the first feature-lenth comedy ever made and, as such, is worth viewing just for that. The film on its merits, however, is less interesting. Sure, this is slapstick, but I personally found the Tillie character to be quite ridiculous; ridiulous, moreover, without being particularly amusing. She's made up to look like---and seemingly acts like---a guy in drag pledging a fraternity. Marie Dressler, then 45 years-old, playing such a supposedly youthful character as "Tillie", to boot, is less comical than it is distracting. If you are going to take the time to see this film, in other words, you ought be doing so simply to see a historically significant film. So, no, it's not a film you'll most likely want to own and watch again and again, unless you're simply enamored by anything and everything Chaplin has done. If you haven't seen anything by Chaplin don't start here! And if you are a discerning Chaplin fan you'd be better served (if you care to be amused) by sampling some of his much greater efforts. For the curious, I offer a brief synopsis of Tillie's Punctured Romance: "What's this he's got---one of Ringling's elephants?" So remarks Mabel Normand's character (so to speak, in this silent film) as she spies Chaplin's 'City Guy' arm in arm with "Built like a battleship" Tillie. Tillie has "got a bankroll as thick as herself", Chaplin's character later explains to Normand, his old partner in crime. Then once successful in lifting said cash from Tillie, Chaplin flees with Normand. Upon hearing of Tillie's apparent inheritance of 3 million dollars soon after, however, he returns to her and begs Tillie to marry him ASAP. They later whoop it up with many quests (with Normand working as hired help) at a celebratory party at Tillies's "new" home, until her uncle---thought dead---returns to claim it back, throwing them out into the street as he does so. A keystone-cops-like chase ensues all through town and seaside along a boardwalk and then ends with Normand and (a soaking wet) Tillie agreeing that Chaplin's favor is hardly worth pursuing anyway. Curtain. Cheers!"
Image Entertainment Release
Silent Girl | Ontario | 02/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Please ignore the reviews for this video that refer to it as a Laser Light release. THIS IS NOT A LASERLIGHT RELEASE. This DVD is remastered by Image Entertainment with a new score. The image quality is pretty good considering this is a film from 1914! Image Entertainment is the best out there when it comes to releasing silent films on DVD. Image Entertainment remasters all their silent films from the best available 35mm nitrate source and they create new scores for the films. Don't let the other reviews turn you off from experiencing this early silent film gem."