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Chaplin At Keystone: An International Collaboration of 34 Original Films
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Imagine seeing the Keystone Chaplins projected on a theater screen, most looking as good as the Chaplin Mutual restorations! Seven films from this set were shown to an amazed audience. All were accustomed to the washed out, fuzzy, jumpy videos that have been on the market for ages, making it hard to enjoy the films. Now they are razor sharp, with perfect contrast & stabilized images. The projection speed has been slowed down, now you have time to see Charlie's facial reactions & body mannerisms. At this corrected speed these comedies feel more mature, Chaplin's genius is more apparent.
David explained that all of these comedies on the DVD set were sourced from multiple archival prints (30 different prints were used to make the most complete version of TILLIE'S PUNCTURED ROMANCE). Most of the time it is not apparent when the source material changes. ALL films are mastered from 35mm archive sources except "RECREATION" which had to use 16mm prints for several sequences missing from the existing 35mm sources.
Here are the seven 1914 comedies from this set that were shown in the theater, six of which looked perfect.
The first one shown, MABEL'S STRANGE PREDICAMENT (with & directed by Mabel Normand, w/ Chester Conklin, Alice Davenport & Billy Gilbert), was the weakest restoration as negative spots appeared through out the short. I thought it was odd to start the show with this comedy as it kind of set the tone that these will be sharp & clear, but with defects.Read more ›
Until BFI's restorations on the Chaplin-Keystones were finally released a few weeks back, no soul could imagine just to what degree the original pleasure of his first films had been obliterated. I had personally been waiting six years for this set to become true, and am immensely happy to finally witness it being completed, like so many other Chaplin-fans. Now, we are finally able to study Chaplin's evolvement both as an actor, director and story constructor during his first year in the medium of celluloid; and what's more, we're forced to recognize that the reason why Chaplin made it big so quickly was because he made damn funny films from the very beginning.
I want to tip my derby in gratitude to everyone involved in this project.Read more ›
For decades these films have had significance in the minds of historians only because Chaplin created his tramp character at Keystone, this despite the fact that he made 36 movies while at the studio in 1914 - a considerable output. For the most part though, the Keystones have been unfairly dismissed as unimportant and primitive in their knockabout comedic style. This opinion has been fostered largely because the films, which were hugely popular in their day, have been available in very poor quality prints with improperly sped up projection and inappropriate musical accompaniment. This kind of careless presentation through the years gave a wrong impression and hid the true merits that the Keystone films contain. Roughly 95% of the material in this new collection has been pieced together from 35mm nitrate sources so that we can now better appreciate the importance of the films and view them as they were intended to be seen.
Chaplin's tramp is already the familiar "little fellow" in these films, and he displays a knack for mischief - like the early Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny - which he gradually discarded in his later work but in retrospect is very refreshing to see. The pathos Chaplin became so famous for may not be as evident in the Keystones, but everything else - the costume and make-up, the body language, the facial expressions, the waddling walk - is all there right from the start.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While these movies have been restored keep in mind that the original films were mostly 16mm nitrate negatives that were 100 years old. Read morePublished 21 days ago by B. Sahn
Amazing that modern technology can restore these films to the quality these releases are. I have all these films on other DVD's and VHS tapes. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dennis H.
Restored from all over the world and well worth a film fans time.Published 15 months ago by Jack Hardy
Decent enough collection of Chaplin's early films. Some appear fairly scratchy but that's only to be expected. Read morePublished on July 13, 2014 by Dean
If you are a die hard Charlie Chaplin fan then you need to add this to your collection. The prints are not that bad.Published on May 28, 2014 by James Licata
Chaplin at Keystone is the recently released four DVD set of all of Chaplin films except one,"Her Friend the Bandit". Read morePublished on October 29, 2013 by Robert Badgley