Opinons on Chaplin Mutuals, First Nationals, Essanays, and other Image Chaplin DVD's?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick McCart, Mar 31, 2002.

  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    After purchasing the Charlie Chaplin Box Set consisting of The Gold Rush (Revival version), City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator, I'm itching for some more Chaplin films!
    I already ordered The Circus from amazon.com, but I'm not too sure about the movie quality of the other discs in the list below...
    Here's the titles I'm interested in hearing your opinions about:
    The Chaplin Mutuals (Volumes 1-3)
    Chaplin's First Nationals
    Chaplin's Essanay Comedies (Volumes 1-3)
    Monseuir Verdoux
    A King In New York/A Woman In Paris
    The Kid/A Dog's Life
    I'm really impressed by the quality of the 4 discs I already own, so I'm more than open to getting more of the Image discs. I won't touch those public domain discs put out by Laserlight and UAV with a ten-foot pole!
     
  2. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

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    Are all the Chaplin DVDs still available ? I thought many of them already went out of print. I picked up the 10 Image DVDs (except the Mutuals and the Essanays) last year. The quality on all of them is definitely acceptable. All the DVDs also feature some valuable extras. I would definitely recommend picking up all the titles you can get your hands on (or that your budget will permit - the DVDs are a bit expensive).
     
  3. Jean-Michel

    Jean-Michel Supporting Actor

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    Image's website still lists the Chaplin Mutual, Essanay, and First National box sets as "active" (i.e. still in print). The others are discontinued. Why the short film sets are still in print while the features aren't is a bit of a mystery to me, since I was under the impression they were all licensed from the Chaplin estate.

    In any event, there are still plenty of copies of them floating around, so they're not hard to come by.
     
  4. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The Mutuals, Essanays and First Nationals are public domain, so the Chaplin estate can't stop Image from releasing them like they did the later films.

    That said, they're not your usual PD releases because they're taken from the Blackhawk film library and meticulously restored by David Shepard. Blackhawk ended up with the original postives and negatives for the Mutuals, so no one has better source material, period. The Essansays don't look much worse, being carefully cribbed together over a decade from the best available prints. The First Nationals look very nice indeed. If you like Chaplin, they're all recommended. In the Essanays (circa 1915) you see the Little Tramp come into being. The Mutuals (1916-17) are considered to be Chaplin's finest work. The First Nationals (1918-1920) are a transition between the Mutuals and the features. I tend to like the First Nationals best, since they feature the better comedy mixed with some of the later pathos. There's also the Image disc of Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914), done while Chaplin was at Keystone, along with one Keystone short, both in his pre-Tramp days, playing a masher instead.
     
  5. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

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  6. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

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    I had heard that the First National Collection was going to go out of print. The Mutuals and Essanays will remain in print and that's the reason I did not pick them up last year. I will be picking up at least the Mutuals pretty soon.
     

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