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The Charlie Chaplin Collection

3.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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(Apr 23, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A must-have for any fan or film buff’s library. This definitive collection of 12-DVDs contains 57 of Chaplin’s legendary early films in chronological order…a true historical legacy of the greatest comedian who ever lived. In addition to these film gems, also included is an exclusive 90 minute documentary on the life and times of this comedic master.



"Their print of "The Kid", in particular, is one of the best I’ve ever seen." -- Bob Stilson,

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Chaplin
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 12
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Delta
  • DVD Release Date: April 23, 2002
  • Run Time: 1110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008OM6Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,865 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Not another cheapo crummy box set! No No No!!

Okay, so here's what we have -

The Keystone films - Once again, the SAME crummy prints that are used every time. Sadly, only a couple of these are available in any good condition. They are -

TIllie's Punctured Romance and Mabel's Married Life, available on Image's "Tillie's Puctured Romance" dvd. let me put it this way - Tillie on the present set is a 50 minute pile of poorly narrated and terrible condition garbage that is missing a lot of essential scenes. The Image disc has a mostly complete print that is actually quite watchable and - wait for it - actually makes sense! Amazing!

The Knockout and The Rounders - available in the "Forgotten Films of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle" set. These look quite nice here. The Rounders is also available in the Slapstick Encyclopedia set, along with a Chaplin fragment unavailable anywhere else.

Okay, that takes care of the films filmed at Keystone. The fact is, if you want to see most of the Keystone films, you might as well get this set or one even cheaper if possible. But there are MUCH better copies of ALL of these films out there, waiting to be released.

AS far as the rest of the material from the Essanay, Mutual, and First National years, this set is nowhere near as good the the Image and M2K releases, and shouldn't even be considered in those cases. In fact, it still remains to be determined if the use of some of these prints is even legal, since they were clearly duplicated from official releases.

There is also a documentary included. Sadly, it's not really about Chaplin, but is a fascinating documentary about how badly somebody can screw up a life story. The information is often false, misleading, or simply a big fat pack of lies.
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Comment 39 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I claim no more knowledge of Chaplin movies than the average fan. I gave this collection four stars, and I'll give 4 reasons why.

1. i don't think that, considering the fact many of the shorts are roughly between 80-90 years old, it is too much of a stretch to imagine that the image quality is less than stellar. we in the digital age are lucky to have them at all, given the fact that many early movie pioneers (m.sennett included)considered their finished products disposable, to be used until they couldn't be thread into the projector anymore.

2. it's been said that CC's Keystones are only fit for antiquarians and sentimentalists. i disagree. it's in his keystones, that we can see the stirrings of CC's genius. his lack of over acting (excessive mugging/gestures) immediately sets him apart from his contemporaries. chaplin's economy of movement, his deft manipulation of props, and his ability to convey his attitude to the audience with only quick facial expressions,all begin here in his keystone efforts.

3. not only do we get chaplin in this collection, but we also see other great stars of the silent era. mable normand, chester conklin, ben turpin, mack swain, and of course the incomporable edna purviance are just a few of the luminaries contained in these discs. i think you'd be hard pressed to find this much talent in one set.

4. lastly, i don't think i'm alone when i say that to a great degree i find silent movies in general a refreshing alternative to some of today's movie offerings. i'm constantly amazed at how much silents give to their audience, when you consider how little they had to work with, compared to today. and no one was more of a master of that than Charlie Chaplin - don't pass this opportunity up to get so much, for so small a price !
Comment 19 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Gehrig on January 7, 2004
Format: DVD
I received this collection (the "Essential Charlie Chaplin Collection" box set from Delta Entertainment) as a gift, watched about five minutes, and returned it right away. It is a cheap public domain set to which no apparent thought or care has been given.

An example: In the middle of "Easy Street," you suddenly hear a break in the music and people talking. Why? Because the producers of this collection just threw any old public domain music onto the soundtrack, in this case an old blues song in which the musicians begin talking and laughing. It's a great song, to be sure, but totally inappropriate and distracting, having nothing to do with the action on-screen and really ruining the experience.

I should add that the prints look terrible.

Save your money.
Comment 31 of 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
By this point it ought to be blatantly obvious that the recent reviews are for the 8 disc Sams Club edition for under $20. But, just for the record, that's the copy that I'm reviewing as well.

I can understand the reviewers who give this set praises for being the only available DVD releases of the old Keystone shorts. On certain levels it's comforting to know that some of film history's most important shorts can never truly die, thanks to DVD preservation. However, when the quality is this bad, my opinion is that it's not really worth releasing at any price. If the originals have deteriorated to the point where they are this poor in quality, they simply shouldn't be seen by the average viewer. They certainly shouldn't be sold at a grab bag price to try to rope in as many sales as possible. The lower the price, the more newcomers will see Chaplin (or silent short comedy in general) for the first time in a set like this, and I believe that that does a great disservice to the silent film era. I can't help but feel that most people who buy this set are going to come away from it with a serious loathing of silent film short comedy. The quality destroys any enjoyment that undoubtedly at one time would have been had.

For example, on the first disc, which is obviously the one that most people will watch first, only "Kid Auto Races at Venice" is even remotely close to entertaining. It's quality is high enough that it is still relatively pleasant to watch. The other six shorts on the disc are an absolute disaster... Two of which spend a considerable amount of time with the heads cut off of all the actors due to cropping issues.

The prints are bad. Rarity, for me, is not the issue. These prints are beyond watchable quality even if they are the only ones left.
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