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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Chaplin's Essanay Comedies -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    If there is a single home video label that personifies the silent era, it must be Flicker Alley.  Building upon their relationship with Blackhawk and Lobster, they have released Chaplin's Essanay Comedies -- the entire production output of Chaplin's work at Essanay in 1915, and then some.

    Beginning with His New Job (the only film of the group shot in Chicago, before the move to the Niles Studio, near San Francisco), a three-reeler released in February of 1915, the new set is inclusive of fifteen other productions.

    After Chaplin left Essanay, the company continued to "tinker" with his film, releasing several that not only did not follow his desires, but a final film, Triple Trouble (1918), that was created from bits of Chaplin's other films, along with some eye of newt and puppy dog tails.

    Those involved have worked their magic to recreate, wherever possible, the original versions, most notably Burlesque on Carmen.

    The films created after the Essanays, The Mutuals, are also available on Blu-ray from Flicker Alley, and show Mr. Chaplin's continued growth, as he expands the language of silent film comedy.

    For those just discovering Chaplin's work, all of his later productions, beginning with his post Mutual films, either are, or will be shortly available via Criterion.  His final work, A Countess from Hong Kong, which he created in 1967 for Universal, will hopefully come from that library.

    To see the Chaplin Essanay productions on Blu-ray, reconstructed and restored, is a dream-like experience for anyone with a passion for the cinema.

    While there have been some notable released on Blu-ray in 2015 from the silent era, at least for this cinema addict, Chaplin's Essanay Comedies, is that very special cherry atop a wonderful chocolate ice-cream sundae.

    The current street price is $60, which will probably be discounted upon release.

    Worth the price of admission?

    Far more.

    Image - Beautiful

     

    Audio - N/A

    4k Up-rez - 4

     

    Pass / Fail - Pass

     

    Very Highly Recommended

     

    RAH

     
  2. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Thank you RAH.

    I purchased this directly from flicker Alley for $39 and change thanks to their pre-order discount . I've sampled the first two shirts which look incredible.

    Highly recommended by me as are the Chaplin Mutuals, Sennett Vol 1, and Gillette Holmes all of which I own.

    Hopefully we'll see Sennett vol 2 and the Chaplin Keystones on BD at some point also.
     
    SAhmed likes this.
  3. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    The soundtracks on several of the Flicker Alley Chaplin Mutuals are out of sync. If you can do region free, the UK release of those is much better than the US.


    Also, Robert, you mention Blackhawk and Lobster, but the Chaplin restorations are being overseen by Cineteca Bologna. They deserve recognition for their great work. I hear they are working on Keaton now.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I did not get into the actual restorations. Only mentioning those in charge of the actual release.
     

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