CHAPLIN RARITIES: Alternate Versions - CHARLIE ON THE OCEAN, PAY DAY, THE KID
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CHARLIE CHAPLIN RARITIES
CHARLIE ON THE OCEAN (1921)
PAY DAY (1922)
THE KID (1921)
CHARLIE ON THE OCEAN A short documentary film produced by Topical Budget which chronicles Chaplin's first trip back to England following his phenomenal success in the U.S. First, Charlie receives a send-off from Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Chaplin is then warmly greeted by his fellow passengers. He helps them organize a circus and a "Charlie walk" contest. Upon his arrival in England he is mobbed by throngs of adoring fans.Original music score composed and performed by Matthew John Marshall.
PAY DAY (1922) starring Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Phyllis Allen, Edna Purviance and Syd Chaplin. Charlie is a harried construction worker who tries to avoid the wrath of his brutal, rolling pin wielding wife after a night out with the boys. An unusual, shorter edit of this classic film with a vintage music and effects track.
THE KID starring Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan and Syd Chaplin. Chaplin's celebrated first feature film. A woman abandons her baby boy who is subsequently discovered and adopted by a lowly tramp. One of Chaplin's greatest achievements - combining laughter and tears. This version, taken from a British re-issue print, contains several scenes not included within commercial video releases. There's a scene in which Edna, after abandoning her baby, encounters a playful toddler which inspires her attempt to retrieve her own child. There's another scene in which Edna encounters a wedding party leaving a church. When the stained glass window behind her is illuminated, it creates the image of a halo around her head. There's also a lengthy sequence which depicts an accidental meeting between Enda and the father of her abandoned child. By all accounts, this version is much closer to the film as originally released than any subsequent re-issues. Original music score composed and performed by Matthew John Marshall.
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If you're a collector, as I am, you will be pleased with the embossed tin that this 2-DVD set comes in. It is made of good quality metal and will be a nice addition to your DVD collection.
Inside the tin are 2 DVDs in regular-size keep cases that are housed in a cardboard slip case that matches the design of the tin.
Disc one contains "Shoulder Arms" (45 mins), "The Champion" (20 mins) and "The Kid" (60 mins). Video quality is actually very decent, although I'm sure no remastering was done. As for the audio... well, it sounds like someone put an old vinyl album of ragtime piano on a turntable and let it play along as the videos were being transferred. The music is not bad at all (Scott Joplin maybe? I'm not sure.), but it is complete with the pops and scratches inherent to vinyl. And if the music follows the action of the story at all it is pure coincidence.
Disc two contains "Easy Street" (11 mins), "The Vagabond" (19 mins), "Work" (24 mins), "The Tramp" (26 mins), "The Knockout" (25 mins) and "Kid Auto Races at Venice" (6 mins). Video quality here is not as consistent as disc one. "Work" is almost unwatchable, and "The Knockout" fares little better. However, for what it's worth, the audio is much better. It sounds like they used a CD instead of vinyl this time. Again, the music does not follow the on-screen action, but it's not bad music. I believe Chaplin himself composed the music for most of his features and it is a shame that that music is not included here, but considering the age of these films (1914-1921) there's probably a valid reason why it is not.
One other thing--there are no chapter divisions in this set, so you can't skip forward or backward very easily.
Overall, not a bad deal for the money IF you catch it at the sale price or used. (For some reason it seems to be selling for really outrageous amounts lately!) If you're a Chaplin collector you probably already own "The Kid" and "Shoulder Arms"; but the remaining films, while not among his best, are certainly worth adding to your collection.