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Copyright © 1999-2014 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
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Chaplin
at Keystone

(1914)
 

Contents: Making a Living (1914), Kid’s Auto Race (1914), Mabel’s Strange Predicament (1914), A Thief Catcher (1914) [exerpt], Between Showers (1914), A Film Johnnie (1914), Tango Tangles (1914), His Favorite Pastime (1914), Cruel, Cruel Love (1914), The Star Boarder (1914), Mabel at the Wheel (1914), Twenty Minutes of Love (1914), Caught in a Cabaret (1914), Caught in the Rain (1914), A Busy Day (1914), The Fatal Mallet (1914), The Knockout (1914), Mabel’s Busy Day (1914), Mabel’s Married Life (1914), Laughing Gas (1914), The Property Man (1914), The Face on the Bar Room Floor (1914), Recreation (1914), The Masquerader (1914), His New Profession (1914), The Rounders (1914), The New Janitor (1914), Those Love Pangs (1914), Dough and Dynamite (1914), Gentlemen of Nerve (1914), His Musical Career (1914), His Trysting Place (1914), Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914), Getting Acquainted (1914) and His Prehistoric Past (1914).

This collection of the Keystone Film Company short comedies that feature Charles Chaplin is the result of a multiyear cooperative restoration program between the British Film Institute, the Cineteca di Bologna, and Lobster Films, Paris, in cooperation with Association Chaplin.

Some of the restoration footage has never been seen on home video before as the source prints utilized for previously-released DVD, laserdisc and VHS videotape editions were often incomplete.

2010 Flicker Alley DVD edition

Chaplin at Keystone (1914), black & white, 590 minutes total, not rated
including Making a Living (1914), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated, Kid’s Auto Race (1914), black & white, 7 minutes, not rated, Mabel’s Strange Predicament (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, A Thief Catcher (1914) [exerpt], black & white, 6 minutes, not rated, Between Showers (1914), black & white, 14 minutes, not rated, A Film Johnnie (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, Tango Tangles (1914), black & white, 10 minutes, not rated, His Favorite Pastime (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, Cruel, Cruel Love (1914), black & white, 10 minutes, not rated, The Star Boarder (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, Mabel at the Wheel (1914), black & white, 23 minutes, not rated, Twenty Minutes of Love (1914), black & white, 11 minutes, not rated, Caught in a Cabaret (1914), black & white, 23 minutes, not rated, Caught in the Rain (1914), black & white, 11 minutes, not rated, A Busy Day (1914), black & white, 6 minutes, not rated, The Fatal Mallet (1914), black & white, 14 minutes, not rated, The Knockout (1914), black & white, 30 minutes, not rated, Mabel’s Busy Day (1914), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated, Mabel’s Married Life (1914), black & white, 15 minutes, not rated, Laughing Gas (1914), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated, The Property Man (1914), black & white, 24 minutes, not rated, The Face on the Bar Room Floor (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, Recreation (1914), black & white, 6 minutes, not rated, The Masquerader (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, His New Profession (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, The Rounders (1914), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated, The New Janitor (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, Those Love Pangs (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, Dough and Dynamite (1914), black & white, 29 minutes, not rated, Gentlemen of Nerve (1914), black & white, 15 minutes, not rated, His Musical Career (1914), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated, His Trysting Place (1914), black & white, 21 minutes, not rated, Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914), black & white, 85 minutes, not rated, Getting Acquainted (1914), black & white, 14 minutes, not rated, and His Prehistoric Past (1914), black & white, 22 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.

Our first inspection of the collection has been a positive experience. For our reviews of the individual films, see our Making a Living on home video, Kid’s Auto Race on home video, Mabel’s Strange Predicament on home video, A Film Johnnie on home video, Cruel, Cruel Love on home video, Tillie’s Punctured Romance on home video pages. Further critical examinations of the films in the collection will follow. Apparently, the print utilized for the transfer of His New Profession (1914) is missing the ending, footage that has survived in other 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.
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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