Silent Era Information*Progressive Silent Film List*Lost Films*People*Theaters
Taylorology*Articles*Home Video*Books*Store*Search
 
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Vagabond
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.

The Vagabond
(1916)

 

Charles Chaplin was delighted when he began fulfilling his 1916 contract with the Mutual Film Corporation, a distribution outfit that handled the films of many of the top film producers of the time. The contract was the first made with Chaplin’s own production company, which meant that he could produce his comedies with total creative control.

The Mutual comedies show signs of Chaplin maturing as a cinema artist. His Mutual stories became more carefully constructed and less reliant on senseless bash-and-bop slapstick. The gags show flashes of comic brilliance. — Carl Bennett

coverFlicker Alley
2014 Blu-ray Disc / DVD edition

Chaplin’s Mutual Comedies 1916-1917 (1916-2013), black & white, 400 minutes total, not rated,
including The Vagabond (1916), black & white, 27 minutes, not rated.

Flicker Alley, FA0034, UPC 0-17311-67859-2, ISBN 1-893967-859.
Two single-sided, dual-layered?, Region A Blu-ray Discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels) progressive? scan MPEG-4 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; and three single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 16:9 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced? scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; five-disc BD steelbook, $59.99.
Release date: 19 August 2014.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 8 / audio: 9 / additional content: 9 / overall: 9.

This edition of the twelve Chaplin Mutual contract films features a new high-definition pillarboxed video transfer from 35mm archival materials, including additional footage and quality improvements from film materials which have surfaced since David Shepard’s earlier home video editions. The edition has been a cooperative project of Cineteca de Bologna, Film Preservation Associates and Lobster Films in cooperation with Association Chaplin.

As stated in the introduction to the film, The Immigrant was restored from a 35mm full-aperture safety duplicate negative held by Film Preservation Associates, which was duplicated from a print held by the Museum of Modern Art. The English language intertitles were reconstructed from records of the original Mutual intertitles and styled according to contemporary prints. The restoration work was performed by L’Immagine Ritrovita film laboratory in 2012.

The running times are slightly longer here than in previous home video editions. We hope that apart from a different video transfer frame rate this also means that additional footage will be seen that has not been part of previous editions. The opening shot of the ship carrying the immigrants is repeated three times to lengthen the establishing shot.

As would be expected, the film has never looked better on home video as from the Blu-ray Disc in this collection. However, there are still fragments missing from the restoration as evidenced by a very few abrupt changes in narrative locations.

The film is presented with optional music scores; the default score is an ensemble score performed by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, compiled and conducted by Rodney Sauer, with an alternate improvisational piano score by Antonio Coppola.

The supplemental material includes a 28-page booklet, the documentary The Birth of the Tramp (2013); the documentary Chaplin’s Goliath (1996) on Chaplin star heavy Eric Campbell.

The collection is issued in limited-edition steelbook packaging, which we feel must be handled gingerly to avoid damaging its discs and the case itself.

 
USA: Click the logo to purchase this Region A Blu-ray Disc / Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
 
Canada: Click the logo to purchase this Region A Blu-ray Disc / Region 1 NTSC DVD from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
coverImage Entertainment
2006 DVD edition

The Chaplin Mutual Comedies (1916-1917), black & white, 301 minutes total, not rated,
including The Vagabond (1916), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment,
ID2477DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-24772-5.
Four single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; plastic trays in cardboard wrapper box (reissued in four-disc DVD keepcase), $59.99.
Release date: 11 July 2006.
Country of origin: USA
This edition of the twelve Chaplin Mutual contract films features new video transfers from premium 35mm prints, including additional footage and quality improvements from film materials which have surfaced since David Shepard’s earlier laserdisc and DVD editions.

The presentations include new orchestral scores composed and conducted by Carl Davis.

 
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.
coverImage Entertainment
1997 DVD edition

The Chaplin Mutuals, Volume 1 (1917), black & white, 100 minutes total, not rated,
including The Vagabond (1916), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment,
ID4100DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-41002-0.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; snapper DVD case (reissued in standard DVD keepcase), $29.99.
Release date: 19 November 1997.
Country of origin: USA
We have viewed this DVD and have seen the program material in its corresponding laserdisc edition. Upon viewing the DVD versions, our expectation will be that each of the three DVDs in this set of 12 Chaplin Mutual comedies will be identical or slightly improve upon the laserdisc box edition of 1995. That box set marked the third time all of the Mutual films had been released on laserdisc. Each successive edition improved on its predecessor. Picture quality has improved. Each film is more complete in content. And each film is slightly windowboxed to allow the maximum picture area to be seen on all televisions.

That being said, readers have noted that there is surviving footage from these films that does not appear in this home video edition. Our understanding is that most (if not all) of these films have originated from the Van Beuren Company 35mm negatives that were prepared in the 1950s. Those prints featured music by Winston Sharples and synchronized sound effects, and they can be viewed in their 1950s form (transfered at sound speed) on early laserdisc and VHS collections from Image and Republic. While these 35mm negatives feature superior visual quality, portions of the original footage and intertitles were removed in the 1950s. Some early 16mm reduction prints from Blackhawk Films and others, which originated from other surviving positive prints, feature footage that doesn’t appear in this DVD edition. Logic would lead some to assume that this extra footage survives in 35mm prints held by the world’s film archives and by private collectors.

Previously we recommended the now out-of-print The Chaplin Mutuals DVD series with the caveat noted that there was missing footage. David Shepard has now released a new edition of the Chaplin Mutual comedies that are more complete and feature some improvement in visual quality.
Laserlight Digital
1999 DVD edition

Charlie Chaplin Marathon (1914-1917), black & white, 133 minutes total, not rated
including The Vagabond (1916), black & white, 22 minutes, not rated.

Laserlight Digital, 82 028, UPC 0-18111-99883-3.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 3 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $7.95.
Release date: 12 October 1999.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 5 / additional content: 0 / overall: 4.

For this low-budget edition, the film has been transferred from a very-good 16mm reduction print prepared by Blackhawk Films. The quality of the video transfer is coarser the original 1980s laserdisc releases of these films. The picture image retains most of the film’s original greyscale tones, but is slightly greyed in its shadows and picture detail is lacking due to the low video bit rate and overcompression of the video information. The image looks particularly rough on an HD monitor. The transfer cropping is tight but is different from the 1980s laserdiscs, indicating new transfers from the same source materials. Because each source print was from the Blackhawk sound versions (all produced at the sound film speed of 24 FPS), each of the Mutual films on this disc run noticeably faster than the original camera speed of approximately 18-20 FPS.

We don’t recommend this edition but, despite the faster running speed, we sometimes like to return to these older Blackhawk prints, which feature Winston Sharples music, to enjoy the silly sound effects that accompany the slapstick action.

 
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.
Delta Entertainment
2002 DVD edition

Charlie Chaplin Marathon (1914-1917),
black & white, 133 minutes total, not rated
including The Vagabond (1916), black & white, 22 minutes, not rated.

Delta Entertainment, 82 365, UPC 0-18111-23659-1.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 3 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, $7.95.
Release date: 5 February 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 5 / additional content: 0 / overall: 4.

This low-budget edition is nothing more than a 2002 Delta Entertainment repackaging of the remaining, unsold stock of the 1999 Laserlight edition. Since the only thing new about this Delta edition is its cardboard slipcover, its content is the exactly same as the Laserlight edition reviewed above.

This one isn’t recommended either.

 
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 SHORT COMEDY FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Charles Chaplin filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Vagabond
 

SUPPORT SILENT ERA
USING THESE LINKS
WHEN SHOPPING AT
AMAZON

AmazonUS
AmazonCA
AmazonUK

When Knighthood Was in Flower BD/DVD

Chaplin Mutuals on Blu-ray/DVD

Silent Era Ads
Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology (1902-1943). Films by Blaché, Weber, Dulac and more!
 
AVAILABLE
from Amazon

Chaplin’s Essanay Comedies

Chaplin at Keystone

The Kid on Blu-ray

Gold Rush on Blu-ray Disc

Gold Rush on DVD

Unknown Chaplin on DVD

Silent Era Ads
Irvin Willat’s
Behind the Door (1919) starring Hobart Bosworth, Jane Novak and Wallace Beery.
 
AVAILABLE
from Amazon

The Lost World BD

The Last Laugh BD

Dawson City BD

The Champion Documentary

Chaney Before Thousand Faces

Whispering Shadows DVD

The Lost World BD

Beggars of Life BD

Beggars of Life DVD

Variete BD

*