Chaplin at Keystone: An International Collaboration of 35 Original Films

Chaplin at Keystone [Cover]

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Director: Mack Sennett
Featuring: Charlie Chaplin
Composers : Eric Beheim Antonio Coppola Frederick Hodges Stephen Horne Robert Israel Rodney Sauer The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra Ethan Uslan Ken Winokur's band Tillie’s Nightmare Neil Brand
Year: 1914
Length: 590 minutes
Format: DVD-9: NTSC
Region: Region 0
Language: Silent with English Intertitles

Charles Chaplin came to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios late in 1913 as a little-known British vaudevillian, and after a year, had not only established his Tramp character, learned to write and direct his own films, and also achieved public recognition as a star comedian. Although Keystone did not publicize its performers by name, standees of Chaplin's likeness outside theatres sufficed to attract audiences. Some of the films, especially Tillie's Punctured Romance, remained in theatrical distribution for decades. The fact that all but one of the Chaplin Keystones exist is due, of course, to the star’s enormous subsequent popularity. Most of the original Keystone negatives, however, were simply printed away and the survival of all but a few of these films depends upon a very few original prints, a larger number of reissue prints, and some duped prints from later years. With the support of Association Chaplin (Paris), 35mm full aperture, early-generation materials were gathered over an eight year search on almost all the films from archives and collectors around the world, and were painstakingly pieced together and restored by the British Film Institute National Archive, the Cineteca Bologna and its laboratory L’Immagine Ritrovata in Italy, and Lobster Films in Paris. Most are now clear, sharp and rock-steady, although some reveal that their source prints are well-used and a handful survives only in 16mm. One can now understand Chaplin's meteoric rise, for it is possible for the first time in generations to see clearly what clever and imaginative films he made at Keystone.

Chaplin At Keystone also includes several fascinating special features. An extensive booklet provides an overview of the importance of the Chaplin Keystone comedies and detailed notes on the individual films by film historian and author Jeffrey Vance (Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema). Inside the Keystone Project is a short documentary detailing the international restoration efforts; historian John Bengtson takes a "then and now" look at several Keystone film locations in a 10 minute filmed tour based on his book Silent Traces. There is also a short excerpt from A Thief Catcher, recently-discovered by Paul E. Gierucki, with Chaplin as a Keystone Cop; along with the animated Charlie's White Elephant, and a gallery of rare photographs.

DISC 1        

1                  MAKING A LIVING - 12’53                 

2                  KID AUTO RACES IN VENICE – 6’33

3                  MABEL'S STRANGE PREDICAMENT – 11’51

4                  BETWEEN SHOWERS – 14’01

5                  FILM JOHNNIE (A) – 11’46

6                  TANGO TANGLES – 9’51

7                  HIS FAVORITE PASTIME – 12’11

8                  CRUEL, CRUEL LOVE – 9’23

9                  STAR BOARDER (THE) – 11’37

10                 MABEL AT THE WHEEL – 23’18

11                 TWENTY MINUTES OF LOVE – 10’37

12                 CAUGHT IN A CABARET – 22’42


DISC 2    

13                 CAUGHT IN THE RAIN – 11’10

14                 BUSY DAY (A) – 5’57

15                 FATAL MALLET (THE) – 13’53

16                 KNOCK OUT (THE) – 30’06

17                 MABEL’S BUSY DAY – 12’39

18                 MABEL'S MARRIED LIFE – 14’38

19                 LAUGHING GAS – 12’49

20                 PROPERTY MAN (THE) – 24’00

21                 FACE ON THE BAR ROOM FLOOR (THE) – 11’47

22                 RECREATION – 6’22


DISC 3      

23                 MASQUERADER (THE) - 12’21

24                 HIS NEW PROFESSION – 11’30

25                 ROUNDERS (THE) – 13’15

26                 NEW JANITOR (THE) – 12’03

27                 THOSE LOVE PANGS -11’59

28                 DOUGH AND DYNAMITE – 28’29

29                 GENTLEMAN OF NERVE – 14’54

30                 HIS MUSICAL CAREER – 13’10

31                 HIS TRYSTING PLACES – 20’44


DISC 4      

32                 TILLIE'S PUNCTURED ROMANCE – 85’17

33                 GETTING ACQUAINTED – 13’32

34                 HIS PREHISTORIC PAST – 21’49

  • Posted by Kevin Race, 01/05/2014 2:23pm (10 months ago)

    Thanks to this set I am proud to say I own the best available copy of every available Chaplin film ever made. The fact that these films exist at all is mind blowing. I do hope that a better print of Recreation and a copy of Her Friend the Bandit eventually turns up, but even without them this set is still a miracle in a box. I hope it will one day be available on Blu Ray, perhaps if more material surfaces and an updated second edition becomes a genuine possibility. I look forward to seeing what Flicker Alley has in store for the Mutals, and hopefully they'll eventually make their way to the Essanays and First Nationals, which still need some much deserved TLC. After the Criterion Collection's treatment of his later UA films and what I've seen from Flicker Alley so far it is clear that these two premier companies should be the only ones in dealing with Chaplin's material from this point forward. Many props, and thank you so much for all your efforts thus far!

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