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A King in New York / A Woman of Paris (2 Disc Special Edition)

35 customer reviews

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Product Description

Cinema immortal Charles Chaplin brings his talents to both sides of the camera in this deluxe double feature. The comedy king gives American pop culture and politics the royal treatment in the satiric, penultimate Chaplin film A King in New York. Advertising, movies, TV, rock music, celebrity and more are in Chaplin's comic sights as he portrays a deposed European monarch who becomes a U.S. media sensation. The acclaimed Silent-Era classic A Woman of Paris is Chaplin's first drama (a genre he visited again in Limelight). Directing with keen-eyed finesse and appearing in only a bit role, Chaplin jabs at French high society while telling a tale of tragic love. The early Chaplin. The later Chaplin. A remarkable genius infuses both in this special collector's compilation.

A King in New York
A King in New York, Charlie Chaplin's penultimate film--featuring his final starring performance--was made in 1957 but wasn't officially released in America until the '70s, when it, surprisingly enough, won an Oscar for Chaplin's score. What took so long? Thanks to his politics and unorthodox personal life, Chaplin was pretty roundly hated by the late '50s, but had the movie been better, someone might've brought it stateside sooner. Chaplin plays King Shahdov of Estrovia, on the lam when revolution grips his homeland. In New York, despite the occasional indignity, he's treated as royalty until he takes a stand against the commie-hunters, a plotline that hit way too close to home at the time (Chaplin, remember, was ahead of everyone in attacking Hitler when he made The Great Dictator). There's one inspired bit, as Shahdov orders dinner over the din of a supper club, but overall, the satire is strident, and Chaplin's takes on such things as technology and pop music make him look decidedly like an old fogey. --David Kronke

A Woman of Paris
At the height of his popularity, Charlie Chaplin chose to make a straight dramatic feature--without himself in a starring role. The plot of A Woman of Paris is perhaps not new: after a tragic misunderstanding, a small-town girl (former Chaplin paramour and longtime co-star Edna Purviance) goes to Paris and becomes the mistress of a rich playboy (Adolphe Menjou). But if the outline is familiar melodrama, the film still looks remarkable for its measured, adult attitude toward its characters; they are not black or white, but complicated, sophisticated shades of gray. Menjou, in particular, is a charming and thoroughly delightful cad. The film's matter-of-fact spirit on the subject of how adults conduct their sexual lives is also impressive. Critics loved the picture, but audiences did not, and Chaplin soon returned to comedy. He can be glimpsed, disguised, in a one-scene walk-through as a clumsy train porter. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Disc One Special Features -- A King in New York
  • Introduction by David Robinson, discussing historical and cinematic context of film
  • 'Chaplin Today: A King in New York,' Documentary by Jerome de Missolz Deleted scenes Mandolin Serenade: Rehearsing one of the film's main musical themes Photo gallery, film posters, trailers, Chaplin Collection
  • Disc Two Special Features - A Woman of Paris
  • Introduction by David Robinson, discussing historical and cinematic context of film 'Chaplin Today: A Woman in Paris,' Documentary by Mathias Ledoux 'Camille 1926,' An amateur movie by Ralph Barton based on 'La Dame aux Camelias' and featuring numerous personalities of the time 'Paris in the ‘20s,' Images of the city in the Roaring Twenties 'United Artists,' signing the contract creating UA: Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith Deleted Shots, photo gallery, film posters, trailers, interactive menus, and scene access

Product Details

  • Actors: Dawn Addams, Robert Arden, Maxine Audley, Phil Brown, Clifford Buckton
  • Directors: Charles Chaplin
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 178 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00017LVQE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,991 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A King in New York / A Woman of Paris (2 Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 25, 2006
Format: DVD
Combining two of Charlie Chaplin's more inconspicuous features into one DVD package really attests to the fact that neither 1923's "A Woman of Paris" nor 1957's "A King in New York" rank with his classics, but each provides certain pleasures that only a master filmmaker of Chaplin's status could create. Neither touches upon his Little Tramp character, which actually makes his artistic achievements in each film easier to discern. For Chaplin aficionados, viewing is a must. For others, realize that these two films represent marginally lesser work from this genius when one thinks of masterpieces like "City Lights" and "The Gold Rush".

Released in the UK in 1957 but not in the US until 1972, "A King in New York" is Chaplin's seriocomic indictment of the 1950's McCarthy witch-hunts and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), topics that have come back into the limelight thanks to George Clooney's evocative take on the Murrow-McCarty feud in "Good Night and Good Luck." At that time, Chaplin himself was expelled from the US forbidden to re-enter the country for nearly two decades. The plot focuses on King Shahdov of the fictitious country of Estrovia, an exile who arrives in New York after escaping a revolution occurring in his homeland. In a manner that recalls a bit of Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd" (also released in 1957), a shrewd TV "specialist" makes the King a popular TV celebrity thanks in part to a hidden camera at a dinner party. This portion of the film is pretty amusing, especially when the King does commercials to help gain support for his high-minded plans to harness atomic power.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Yes, it's no masterpiece. And it's certainly no CITY LIGHTS or MONSIEUR VERDOUX. But this high-strung political satire from Chaplin has many hilariously inventive moments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Love Thy.Enemy VINE VOICE on August 19, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the Woman of Paris, Chaplin wrote and directed a very early silent full length feature film seriously examining the loose life style he discovered in Hollywood, not so much in Paris. He dared not place it in the America of the time, and so relied on American prejudices about Paris to place his tale of love and deceit there. He cleverly presented themes in a way which might pass the censors of the time, including gently alluded nudity, etc. And he got excellent performances from his actors, including Mr. Menjou, who subtly at the end expresses that he too deeply regrets having lost the Woman of Paris. A profound and interesting morality play, which reveals Chaplin's intellectual and creative side beyond the vaudeville escapades which made him rich and famous before being exiled at the behest of the powerful studios which could not control him.

In fact The King in New York directly examines the irony of his being accused of communism in America while actually practicing an overly successful capitalism which threatened the politically powerful studio system. It is like cutting back Tom Cruise's price tag by accusing him of scientology, but then it cancelled Chaplin's career and forced him to flee to Europe, at which point the US government refused his re-entrance.

This excellent double disk DVD explores carefully these and other issues, and is highly recommended.For further study of the political persecution explored in the King in New York, take a look at the Front with Woody Allen and Zero Mostel, The Cradle will Rock about Orson Welles, and of course Goodnight and Good Luck with George Clooney.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Considering the worse surroundings of his creating job and life itself of those days -- and following "Limelight", one of his best -- "King in New York" should be generally rated lower than most of his other works, and also rated as the sign of the fading of his sharp genius. Even so, I can't help myself taking out this videotape very often and by the time it comes to the end, I usually find myself satisfied -- specifically, with two major funny sequences: "Bathtub nonsense" (I have named this after the accompanied tune of the sequence with the same title) and the pantomime at the night club (at which King Shadov was struggling not to laugh after facial surgery for uplifting). They are the perfect reminder of Chaplin-style pantomime slapstics in the good old silnet era. My imagination is that Charlie must have put a large amount of his passion into these sequences, and demonstrated first and instructed all by himself. In my opinion, these sequences alone give us a sense of consistency, finding not merely the same style of Charlie's comedy but its timelessness.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hui Shen ben Israel TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 26, 2014
Format: VHS Tape
A KING IN NEW YORK (Writ./Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1957, 105 minutes) ~

This light comedy with some deep (and deeply hidden) messages presents the viewer with a stunning and unexpected Charlie Chaplin as King Igor Shahdov (takes on "shadow" and "sod off") of Estrovia. Having escaped in desperation when a minister steals the treasury and the king stands accused, the king thinks New York is the place to be. When he arrives, certain misfortunes result in his being penniless. It is then he turns to television and radio commercials--for the money.

The sharp, witty and outright hilarious bits hardly assist in holding this messy film together. In a way that has informed every comedy, spoof and satire ever since, Chaplin spears the faults of America while showing his love for it. This was Chaplin's first film after his banishment from America--a subject with which I am not a great deal acquainted. The themes in the film, however, at times actual addresses directly to the audience, obviously come from a homeless, insecure place in Chaplin's heart.

Chaplin manages to sort of spit out views on imperialism, capitalism, crass commercialism, Marxism and communism--which would have been much on his mind. Yet his insanely clever skewering of the television culture, so cheap and annoying, so recent and so offensive--deserves study by us today. He is almost like Orwell, pushing us to understand the invasiveness of such 'culture'. Also--on a deeply personal note--Chaplin performs a bit here, or rather a very funny spoken sequence, in which he uses the logic term "reduction ad absurdum". Never, and I mean never, have I heard this term in any film.
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