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Copyright © 1999-2014 by Carl Bennett
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Caught
in the Rain

(1914)
 

This early Charles Chaplin comedy is another of the flirting-in-the-park escapades that punctuated his work at the Keystone studio in 1914. Chaplin is ably supported by Mack Swain and Alice Davenport.

Drunken and flirting Charlie is rebuffed by a woman and her irate husband in the park. Back at their hotel, Charlie stumbles into the couple again causing them his usual Keystone distress.

2010 Flicker Alley DVD edition

Chaplin at Keystone (1914), black & white, 590 minutes total, not rated
including Caught in the Rain (1914), black & white, 11 minutes, not rated.

Flicker Alley, FA0018, UPC 6-17311-67579-9, ISBN 1-893967-57-3.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, four single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, four slimline DVD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, $79.95.
DVD release date: 26 October 2010.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 8 / audio: 8 / additional content: 8 / overall: 8.
This four-disc DVD collection has, for the most part, been mastered from 35mm source material to render the best-looking editions of these Keystone films on home video. The prints are often conflated from two or more 35mm prints, with missing footage duplicated from 16mm reduction prints. The results are generally very-good to excellent, with moments of fair to good footage. Many of the 35mm source prints are worn, but the picture clarity allows the identification of supporting actors and extras much easier than from earlier home video editions from substandard 16mm and 8mm reduction prints.

The films are accompanied by music scores performed by Robert Israel, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Neil Brand, Frederick Hodges, Stephen Horne, Ethan Uslan, Antonio Coppola, Eric Le Guen, Eric Beheim, and Ken Winokur (of The Alloy Orchestra) with the Tillie’s Nightmare ensemble.

The collection’s supplemental material includes Charlie et sa Belle [Charlie’s White Elephant] (1916), Inside the Keystone Project (2010) documenting the Chaplin Project (10 minutes), Silent Traces: The Keystone Locations (2010) with John Bengtson, author of Silent Traces (12 minutes), and a stills gallery.

Overall, the improvement in quality over previous home video editions is so great that you’ll toss your other Keystone Chaplin discs when you see this collection. Highly recommended!

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2004 Reel Classic DVD edition

A Festival of Silent Comedy, Volume 1 (1914-1929), black & white, ? minutes total, not rated,
including Caught in the Rain (1914), black & white, 14 minutes, not rated.

Reel Classic DVD, no catalog number, no UPC number.
Windowboxed 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD-R disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $20.00.
DVD release date: 2004.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 5 / audio: 7 / additional content: 6 / overall: 6.

This edition has been mastered from a contrasty but good-quality 16mm reduction print prepared by Essex Films. There is some loss of highlight and shadow details, however the middle graytones are coarse but intact. Like most of the Keystone films, this film has obviously survived as a dupe of a dupe (of a dupe) — at least three sets of 35mm sprocket holes are visible at the right-side of the picture. The visual quality of the source print is not great, but the natural-speed video transfer itself is pretty good. The slightly windowboxed transfer will make the picture appear as full-frame on most televisions. A small “RCDVD” legend in yellow type runs over the lower right-hand corner of the picture for 12 seconds in the middle of the film. Intended to discourage would-be video pirates, we still wish that it wasn’t there — even for such a short time.

The film is accompanied by a music score composed and performed by Ben Model. It is quite pleasant to have custom music scores on DVD product from 16mm prints by small home video producers.

Not at all that common on home video, this DVD edition of Caught in the Rain is current the only one we know of. It is also better-looking than many surviving Keystone films we have seen on home video.

 
This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from REEL CLASSIC DVD.
Other silent era CHARLES CHAPLIN films available on home video.

Other KEYSTONE comedy films available on home video.

Other SHORT COMEDY FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
Charles Chaplin filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
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