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New Chaplin DVDs from Warners in 2003 (1 Viewer)

Richard Carnahan

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Charlie Chaplin's Genius Launched to a New Generation as Rare and Exclusive

Material Is Unveiled in Cannes

CANNES, France--May 16, 2002--Warner Home Video and MK2 Strike a Sensational

Deal to Distribute the Charlie Chaplin Collection

Warner Home Video (the home video division of Warner Bros.) and MK2 jointly

announced today that they have entered into an exclusive deal to distribute

worldwide newly re-mastered versions of eighteen classic Charlie Chaplin

feature films. The state of the art DVDs will include never-before-seen

outtakes, backstage glimpses and family home movie footage.

The titles in the Charlie Chaplin Collection range from his 1925 silent

classic, "The Gold Rush," to his 1958 feature "A King In New York." These

timeless examples of cinema's first and favourite comedy genius are being

digitally re-mastered by the film preservation specialists at the

world-famous Bologna Cinematheque.

The Cannes announcement was made by Warren Lieberfarb, President of Warner

Home Video, known as "the Architect of DVD," and Marin Karmitz, founder and

President of MK2. Helping to launch the new venture was Chaplin's actress

daughter Geraldine, who gave her full support: "On behalf of the family, I

am personally delighted that my father's legacy is in the hands of such

enthusiasts as MK2 and Warner Bros. We are, and will continue to be,

intrinsically involved with the enhancement of the films that he created. By

having access to these films on the latest DVD format, the public will be

able to experience, at first hand, never-before-seen archive materials, as

well as enjoying the films themselves in pristine condition, as my father

intended."

As Marin Karmitz explains, "MK2's objective is to allow the man who is

undeniably one of the major artists of the 20th century to regain his

position in cinema and to have younger generations rediscover an important

body of work which is still very modern today." The Chaplin family had

previously entrusted France's leading independent production and

distribution company with the worldwide distribution rights to these films.

Warner Home Video's global reach and pre-eminence in DVD marketing and

technology makes them the ideal distribution partnership. MK2 will produce

the editorial content and the DVD masters in Europe.

"It is a true honor for Warner Home Video to be able to bring the work of

one of cinema's true geniuses to DVD," added Warren Lieberfarb. "This new

partnership with MK2 reconfirms our commitment to commercial marketing of

cinema in the video media, particularly DVD. It also reinforces our

objectives to restore and preserve great cinematic works and aids in the

education and understanding of cinema."

MK2 will produce individually-tailored half-hour documentaries to accompany

each of these eighteen classics. Leading modern day figures in the world of

film will present a personal look at Chaplin and his work. A special bonus

included in the DVD of "The Great Dictator" will be a 47-minute tribute by

the distinguished film historian Kevin Brownlow. Cutting edge DVD technology

combined with the artistry of a man whose vision was decades ahead of his

time gives movie lovers worldwide this not-to-be-missed opportunity.

The Chaplin Collection will be launched on DVD in the Spring of 2003 and it

is anticipated that its release will be accompanied by cinema retrospectives

of Chaplin's work in many major cities across the world. In France, MK2

plans to re-launch "The Great Dictator" in 200 cinemas on October 16th, 2002

and will release the film on DVD in November 2002.
 

Brian W.

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That's great news -- but are they going to release the original silent cut of "The Gold Rush"?
 

Patrick McCart

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Kevin Brownlow has recently completed a full restoration of the original 1925 cut of The Gold Rush.

Even better, a new score has been composed by Carl Davis! (Did the re-scoring for City Lights) It is based on the score which Chaplin created (with others) for the re-release.

The current DVD by Image (skip the awful Madacy disc which is a bootleg) is the 1942 re-release...although the SE will probably have both cuts on the same disc (which is very possible for a DVD-9)

Also, a score has been re-recorded for Modern Times as well. It was reconstructed precisely in the same manner as City Lights by Timothy Brock.

2003 is going to be expensive.
 

Greg_S_H

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Will the silent version have the original ending? If so, what was all that mad rush to buy the Image discs last year? I'm going to be a little bummed if I have to buy them over, and they aren't even hacked up. But, buy them I will, if they significantly improve the current releases. Gold Rush is a must-have in silent form.
 

Brian W.

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That's wonderful news about the Brownlow restoration, but I also recall the Chaplin estate saying a few months ago that they were only going to release Chaplin's "final versions" of his films.
 

Randy A Salas

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This is a duplicate thread. I created one about three hours before this one. Could a moderator combine them so we can discuss this news in one place? Thanks.
 

Mark Zimmer

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My understanding is that the Brownlow restoration of the silent Gold Rush will NOT be released to home video because the silent version is PD (unlike the 1942 reedited sound version) and they don't want to have a good master out there for the PD houses to rip off. It's for theatrical use only. But I'd love to be wrong about this.
 

Jeff Adkins

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My understanding is that the Brownlow restoration of the silent Gold Rush will NOT be released to home video because the silent version is PD (unlike the 1942 reedited sound version) and they don't want to have a good master out there for the PD houses to rip off. It's for theatrical use only. But I'd love to be wrong about this.
It was PD, but isn't any longer. The GATT treaty changed that. It doesn't fall into PD until something like 2026.

Jeff
 

Mark Zimmer

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No, GATT shouldn't apply to the 1925 Gold Rush because it was released first in the United States. The copyright reinstatement provisions of GATT apply only to works of foreign nationals that were first published outside the US and are still under copyright in their home nations (this is vastly oversimplified but will do for purposes of this discussion).

Answering Oscar's questions:

PD=Public Domain

GATT in the Uruguay Round included a provision affecting copyrights, requiring the US to reinstate expired copyrights of foreign works. Thus Metropolis, a German film, had its copyright restored in the US since it's still under copyright in Germany. But Gold Rush shouldn't fit into that category because it was published first in the US. US works aren't protected by the Uruguay Round Implementation Act.

Now, the Chaplin estate has some creative arguments to try to get around that, including copyright in the 2-page unpublished story that vaguely relates to the film, which they claim is protected since Chaplin was a British national. But I don't believe they've been successful in using that to stop anyone from marketing or distributing the 1925 Gold Rush. If they have, I'd be interested in hearing about it.
 

Dan Lindley

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For those interested in the Image 4 disk Chaplin box set, I picked it up at Borders today for $50. It says $80 on the box, but on line at their bordersstores.com (not the Amazon/Borders site)it goes for $49.99 and their internal store computer (both the search yourself computers and those behind the desk confirm the $49.99 price. However, it will scan at $79.99, so get ready to do some talking, some showing of printouts etc.

If it's in stock near you, you should be in luck, Dan
 

Roderick Gauci

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I ordered 11 of Image's now-OOP Chaplin DVDs the moment I read they had been discontinued. Unfortunately, my supplier seems to be having a problem tracking down copies of THE KID/A DOG'S LIFE, MONSIEUR VERDOUX and LIMELIGHT for me! Does anyone know, by any chance, where I can find them?

Having ordered them, I was a bit bugged, then, to read of the forthcoming new editions, but if the films are to be presented in a "compromised" form (as has been speculated), I wouldn't want to have them, even with the additional supplements that have been announced!

Similarly, another Limited Edition title I ordered has also been put on backorder indefinitely by my supplier: Disney's MICKEY MOUSE IN LIVING COLOR 2-Disc Set. Is this available anywhere still? Coincidentally, I just received my copy of Disney's SILLY SYMPHONIES (also a Limited Edition 2-Disc Set) today!
 

Jianping

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So if it's still under copyright protection, does it mean that the current versions on the market are all illegal?
 

Jianping

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DJ, the Desert Island Films, Inc. claims that many films are now in the public domain, and you can find the full list at its website www.desertislandfilms.com. The Metropolis is on its list, and Madacy is on its client list. So if you are right, it seems that they just sell the DVD pretending that it's a public film, right?
 

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