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

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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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 (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00017LVQE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,246 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

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD
These are two bad films by Chaplin. A Woman of Paris is a romantic drama written and directed by Chaplin but without his participation as an actor. A King in New York was the last film he made centered on himself. Both of value mostly to showcase Chaplin's limitations and mis-steps. They are not great as films, but are of value in terms of understanding Chaplin as film maker.

A Woman of Paris is the old story of the innocent young women who is destroyed by circumstance. Its a romantic tragedy with a happy ending bolted on the end. The film is best understood as the first-time effort of a comedy director to do drama and a comedy writer to write a serious drama. As a first film, its acceptable. The film is too heavy in terms of dialogue (too much script). Chaplin as director doesn't quite understand how to use visual drama to economize the words necessary to tell the story. His greatest problem is lack of experience in serious drama.

The second film "A King in New York" was an angry and bitter film made in 1957. Chaplin uses the film basically to settle scores from many years before. He attacks American films, he attacks American advertising, he attacks cosmetic surgery and he attacks American music. The film is full of dated and stale physical comedy gags. Even the motion in the gags looks it came from 30 years before. There is an undeveloped romantic bit in the film that goes nowhere and ends with Chaplin sort of saying he is too old. The character is also given a wife to double down on the idea that there will be no romance. There is also an undeveloped bit about the main character selling some nuclear invention but that goes nowhere too.

A long way into the film, we get to the heart of what Chaplin wants to do.
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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These two films are Charles Chaplin's lesser known works, yet no less important than everything else the great man has done. Let's begin with his early feature "A Woman of Paris". After the triumph of his first feature film "The Kid" (1921), Chaplin chose to do something completely different. Thus was born this 1923 dramatic debut which Chaplin directed but did not appear. The public's reaction? It was not exactly a box office success; after all, who wants to see a Chaplin film with no Chaplin in it? Too bad. For Chaplin directs with a style & panache all his own (you almost feel as if he could be performing one of the roles), giving his players layers of expression & moods to peel away. The art direction is simply flawless & sumptuous. Chaplin allows touches of humor so the film does not become heavy-handed. The plot is familiar but absorbing: A small-town girl (Chaplin former leading lady Edna Purvience, quite a beauty in her day) from an unhappy home goes--via circumstance & time--to Paris, where she is inducted grandly into its extravagant social setting, and becomes the lover of a wealthy man (played by a slyly brilliant Adolphe Menjou) in a casual relationship. In short, Menjou becomes her "sugar daddy", giving her everything she'd ever want. But affairs of the heart rule, as time changes everything. She yearns for the love of a man whom fate had separated the two. Thus, she must make a choice: Embrace the life she had left behind, or remain in a comfortable arrangement with a man she doesn't truly love. As the story unfolds, misguided love, jealousy, fate, personal choices & tragedy all play their roles. The closing shot says it all: The roads you don't take can pass you by without you even noticing in wry irony, as our heroine has finally found a simpler & more satisfying life.Read more ›
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