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on November 15, 2012
Excellent footage! The restoration work these fellas did to this film is truly amazing. The image is so clear and crispy, and the mono sound is perfect and it totally rocks in a good amp system. This is (in my humble opinion) the best era of the Stones (followed by their early 70s), and the footage of old Ireland is completely amazing: downtown streets, the country side, the people, the kids. I never imagined I would be able to see and hear the 60s Stones that clear! This is a true gift for all the true fans of the lads. I have to admit that it's obvious that Andrew Oldham was an awesome manager, that knew quite well that this footage would be soon mythic. I wish the Beatles could have that foresight (Mr. Epstein?). And in spite of Jagger's and Brian's sardonic ego, it's clear from the first second that the engine behind the Stones is Keith, an impression I've already had since I've heard the Satanic Sessions (available in internet) and saw the Rock'n'roll Circus DVD... He was the boss all the way! I just hope that the Stones have more hidden jewels from those high times. I've already got their TAMI show, Sympathy for the Devil, Rock'n'Roll Circus, Gimme Shelter, Ladies & Gentlemen and Some Girls in Texas.

And I'm still waiting for MORE!!!
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on June 24, 2013
The latest to be released (as of November 2012), but chronologically the first Rolling Stones movie in order of sequence made. Charlie Is My Darling was shot on the Rolling Stones November 1965 "tour" of Ireland, which means two nights there - November 4th and 5th. The box set contains two original edits of the film (the director's cut of 35 minutes, and the producer's cut of nearly 49 minutes), as well as the new version with restored footage, which is 62:21. The box set folds out nicely, with surprises all along the way - there's an enlarged and numbered cell frame (mine has one of Mick from the interview sessions). There's a nice hardcover booklet, and then there's a cool poster. The pack comes with a DVD of all visual materials (and a Blu-Ray disc of the same material if you have a Blu-Ray player), a CD of the soundtrack of the album (not every scrap of music in the movie, as the jam sessions on Beatles and Elvis songs are omitted), and a bonus CD of 11 songs from the March UK tour (the same one that produced the "Got Live If You Want It" EP that was released in June 1965).

The full movie is great, even if the restored film is quite inky-looking (you see a before-and-after of the restoration - I'd say that, with the exception of the blobs and lines, the original looked better). Starting off the first thing we see is the strange ABKCO logo, and then introductions to the band members that includes Andrew Loog Oldham (who is rarely present in pictures of the Stones from those days, as if the band wants to minimalise his importance). Oldham, clearly, had a hand in the production of this - he isn't listed alongside the Stones in the producer's cut or the director's cut. The film opens with the wacky orchestral "Play With Fire" from the Andrew Oldham Orchestra (other orchestral versions play throughout the film from time to time - none of them are any good, except for the awesome "Satisfaction", which is spruced up with some pretty funky fuzz bass). There's some sweet fan talk, "I like the one who plays the drums." Bizarre, haughty answers to the question of "why do you like the Stone that you like?" Answer: I don't have a reason, I just like him. I just like him. I just like him. One person goes so far as to say "I like his hair." Great prophetic quotes from Brian Jones, "My futures as a Rolling Stone is uncertain." He's generally very negative, talking about marriage in a doubtful way with that soft voice of his (of course he couldn't get married - he beat and cheated on his women after getting them pregnant). But he's more upbeat about the film he wants to make, which is about love, and in which Love is one of the (abstracted) characters (Bergmanesque?). Interview clips from Mick, Charlie, rian, Bill and Keith. Mick's quotes are the best: "You have to be very egotistical (onstage). It's an act, it's not really you."

The progression of the film seems to be chronological - leaving London for Ireland, hanging out before the first show, the first show, then some more hanging around, then the second show, some more hanging around, then scenes of the journey home (to the strains of "Going Home"), and then the arrival back in London. Scenes from the road, driving down a wet motorway, in the airport at customs. What appears to be an undercover cop strolls by the camera, a deer caught in the headlights. Smallish crowd around the venue. The director interviews an Irish bloke with long hair who says he's in a band called The Creatures - Van Morisson? Brian Jones practicing on his Firebird. "We want BILL!!!" The first set is electric, and we see the band jumping around, the camera swaying and not really catching things well. The band sings into strange little tulip mics, and when Mick detaches his there's a whole long piece he has to take off. A riot breaks out onstage after "It's Alright." Charlie gets tugged-upon, Brian spins around, people stay away from a ferocious Keith, but they have to call it a show eventually. The band practices "Sitting On A Fence" backstage. Keith so young, pre-junkie days, wearing a cop's hat. "Tell Me" solo practice. The band breaks into a groan-a-thon of the Beatles' "I've Just Seen A Face", then "Eight Days A Week." Nice shot of Andrew Loog Oldham picking his nose. In the train smoking just next to a No Smoking sticker. Brian Jones complaining that fame means "no physical freedom." Nice shots of old cars, the boys harassing/following school kids like a bunch of perverts. A prophetic/obvious Mick: "The kids of 21 now have to become 75 before the whole thing is changed." Well, the kids of 21 in 1965 are now 68 (and Mick is 69), and how much has changed? A lot, but we're still much more conservative than we should be by the indications of the change that was beginning to show itself that year. Brian Jones relates the story of the Long Beach mob when they were nearly crushed inside of a car by the surrounding fans. "Most successful entertainers have always been the most egotistical ones onstage. They might not be as egotistical as that offstage. But all that ego is got rid of onstage. (I'm) about half as egotistical (offstage as on)." Brian picks nose. Charlie sings!! Keith looks like Lou Reed. Great finger picking guitar. There seems to be an aborted plug for Lipton's Tea, which the boys promote but in such a sarcastic way that it really takes the piss.

At the concert on the second day, we see the band from behind the curtains just as they open and the show begins - exciting fly-on-the-wall feeling. Mick really spazzes out during "Reeling And Rocking". A priest shows up at the concert and he's interviewed (now living in Cambodia, there's an interview with him in the booklet where he describes the ruckus that erupted in the Church after this scandalous incident - happily, the bishop supported him, knocking down all the haters). "I feel like Robert Browning. Actually, I was thinking of Shelley," sys Mick, wankily. Keith on piano, singing like Elvis, as camera zooms in and out. Four hands on piano. Great camera work with glowing lamp in hotel room (it's crap throughout most of the film). Bored, bored, bored Stones before a show. Brian Jones: "Yes, I've never thought very far ahead at all. I've always ben a little apprehensive about the future." Great pics of the sleeping Stones at the back of the airplane - Brian, Charlie and Bill in the second-last row, Andrew Loog Oldman, Mick and Keith in the very back row.

The bonus features are decent, giving the 12 minutes of the raw interview footage of the individual Stones (Mick 2 minutes, Charlie 5 minutes, Brian 4 minutes, Bill 1 minute). Charlie's interviewer follows wonky line of questioning. Bill: "I'm not a musician, I just play in a band."

The CDs are good. The soundtrack contains a blend of orchestral Stones (so-so), live songs, and interview segments. It makes a great listen on the commute. The live CD from March is even better, as it's a full concert from 1965 (the Got Live If You Want It EP may be from the same month but, with its six songs, it's much less than a concert - if you can even find it!), and it shows a proper setlist of the band before they had any hits, when they were still primarily playing others' songs (eight of the 10 songs they play are covers). The setlist is:

1. Everybody Needs Someone To Love (Solomon Burke)
2. Pain In My Heart (Allan Toussaint)
3. Down The Road Apiece (Don Raye)
4. Time Is On My Side (Jerry Ragovoy)
5. I'm Alright (The Rolling Stones)
6. Off The Hook (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards)
7. Little Red Rooster (Willie Dixon)
8. Route 66 (Bobby Troup)
9. I'm Moving On (Hank Snow)
10. The Last Time (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards)
11. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Solomon Burke)

Interestingly, they start the set off with "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love", but they only play the first verse, before jumping into Pain In My Heart (it's reprised at the end in full). Nice effect. The band is full of energy, and the crowd screaming is not too distracting - each instrument is to be heard very nicely balanced in the mix. Perfect. Mick's voice is young, pure and strong, he never roars or blasts out his voice, nor does he add peculiar flairs. They sound like the Stones, but they are not really yet sleazy and shamboling (no hints of "Midnight Rambler" here yet), just gritty and raw.

The soundtrack CD has some interesting moments. Probably the highlight is the sound of the band being interrupted by the band storming the stage during "It's Alright." There is also Oldham's "Theme For A Rolling Stone", which is a nice little show tune instrumental.

Interestingly, this is coming out in the year of the Stones' 50th anniversary celebrations, when they have their new compilation album GRRR! and other projects; but this is an ABKCO production, and as such doesn't really have anything to do with the Stones but Alan Klein's estate, so the Stones aren't promoting it at all. Weird.
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on December 21, 2012
I am the Stones Authority. Cool film. Thank you Andrew Loog Oldham and Allen Klein. Thanks for preserving this all these years. I know that it has been out in various forms befre, but it is now generally available for everyone, not just aficionados who'd pay stupid money to see anything "Stones". Great footage of the guys that is nicely restored. I like also that it is a peek behind the scenes of one of their small tours. We are not in L.A., London or New York. We are in Ireland. And I think that you get to see an authentic look at what touring bands of the early 60's experienced. Small and oddball venues, with not much staging for fans who were there as much to see this still relatively new "spectacle" called Rock and Roll, as they were to see the band themselves. Certainly new for those Irish kids, that is for sure. It is also nice to get a couple of moments where we see Mick and Keith hashing out a couple of songs that would later make their appearance on a record, such as "Sitting On a Fence". One of my favorites. The film has a very strange vibe all the way through, but it is a valuable record of this band as they are breaking out in '65. A record of not just the band, but also of the age and the place. A wonderful time capsule - nearly 50 years ago. And you can also see that they are a very good band, a tight outfit. They can play. Given the limitations of the technology and audience expectations of that time period the audio is all in all not that bad. And the interviews - of which I wish there was more to them - are very good. English schooling of the period certainly paid off in general, because you notice that they can actually form and speak ideas. They weren't just a bunch of yobs. And Jagger is a sharp cat. Even then. As the films ends he speaks what will be remembered as his all time greatest quote - as far as I am concerned. "There is no secret to our success. It is all rather obvious". And obviously one of the best outfits to have ever done it. Their potential greatness clear to see from the beginning, if you know what to look for.
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on January 5, 2013
To begin the photography was stunning. I love the black and white filming with the very artful and beautiful compositions that were made by the photographer, who showed the Stones off at their most beautiful. Very stylish. It was really fun to listen to them jamming together especially interspersed between interviews. In particular, I loved Keith singing "Santa bring my baby back to me;" He sounded exactly like Elvis. Unfortunately, Mick stuck his face in after only a few seconds and it was bye, bye Keith. "Satisfaction,"really rocks.

I never realized how much Keith resembled an urchin out of a Charles Dicken's novel. The interviews with Brian revealed him to be fragile in my estimation and foreshadowed what was to come. Charlie was charming as was Bill.

The media questions were so insipid as in, "Why is your hair long?" Nothing has changed in that Department. As the boys walked off at the end, Bill Wyman stuck his tongue out at the camera which was sort of a buzz kill. All in all, I watched it six times during my first sitting so it was mostly great fun.

For a movie titled, "Charlie is My Darling," it is interesting that no one has less screen time than Charlie. I was also annoyed when Keith started to sing, "Santa Bring my Baby Back to Me," and after only a few seconds the camera went to Mick's face. I sometimes get annoyed by having to overdose on Mick. He's not alone up there but you'd never know it.
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on April 13, 2016
This was a birthday present for my wife and she loved it! This DVD was filmed during a tour of Ireland back in 1965 and shows the Rolling Stones when they were still a younger band and having fun. Brian Jones is particularly noticeable as an energetic musician, before the drugs took their toll on him. Mick and Brian are both featured in interview segments which show them as intelligent men who had lives outside of the band. I also enjoyed some after-hours sessions with Mick and Keith having a few drinks and working on their music/clowning around. Fun stuff - wouldn't have missed this DVD for the world...
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on December 31, 2013
I was a teenager in 1965, and those times it was possible only to hear them at the radio.
I'ts an emotion to see images of that generation who changed the world (at this point, however, I don't know if in better or in worse, but we tried).

If a band still stands after 50 years, means that they are really big and must have a place in our bookshelves.
I suggest the DVD to both the "old" and "new" teenagers.

To those who blame the quality of the documentary, I remember that 1965 was not a multimedia world: good images could be taken on by cinema movies (film) cameras or important broadcast companies' television-cameras.
We can then suppose that the source of many parts of the video were amatorial and nowadays post-processed.
I feel lucky to have had the possibility to "be there" for less than $20.
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on December 2, 2014
This is worth it just for the extra live concert footage added that were never before seen. The original only showed bits of The Last Time and I'm Alright. This shows both of them in there entirety. It also adds Time is on My Side, Satisfaction and a few others. Mick Jagger and Brian Jones stand out the most live. Brian Jones cranked out the Last Time. Keith Richards cranked out Satisfaction. Two of the mid 60's best guitarists. Keith and Mick also do an unplugged version of Tell Me. The rest of the movie is OK. Basically just a film of the stones on tour. If you like rare early live performances eith the late Brian Jones this is definitely worth it.
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on November 10, 2012
The packaging on this super deluxe version is a complete pain in the ass so be prepared to buy some empty jewel cases to house the discs. That being said this is the best version of the film available and the bonus live CD and LP are AWESOME sound quality. The live bonus audio deserves a release on it's own; some of the best sound quality Brian Jones era live Stones material I have heard...I only wish there was more. Brian really tears up the slide on "Little Red Rooster". As a long time Stones fan this is truly a treasure.
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on December 5, 2012
Intimate look at the young "innocent" Stones. Want to see backstage Pepsi sipping instead of Jack Daniels chugging? This film has it. An eerie prophecy is made by Brian Jones that in hindsight is very chilling. Listen closely, because this turns out to be a major part of this document. Songwriting sessions in the hotel room, private dining room dinners, train rides through the Irish countryside, whilst Keith Richards sings his favorite nursery rhymes? Yeah, all that is here too. What a wonderful film. You kinda feel like you really get to know them better after watching it. This is a great piece of history for the person interested in knowing what were like before they became mega-stars.
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on May 2, 2013
This documentary bumps Don't Look Back down a notch, Charlie Is My Darling has the best looking rock concert footage of the era that precedes Monterey Pop.
The interviews with Stones members are refreshingly unaffected, Jagger in particular comes across as insightful and self aware during his interviews in this context, something he hasn't managed since. Even the notoriously taciturn Charlie Watts expounds for more than a grunt and a snarl, genuinely answering questions from an off camera interviewer. Hard to imagine that the footage was gleaned from only 2 or 3 days during an Ireland tour in '65, this is a brilliantly edited slice of life within the Stones maelstrom at their very early peak. The sound is big and full, the stage footage from the wings is electric, fantastic film making on every level, 5 stars for this recently remastered doc from 47 year old 35mm reels.
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