Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

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Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby Brent_Reid » 22 Jun 2017 16:08

I'll be adding specs for various new discs, as well as corrections to existing entries. It will be an ongoing effort, so please don't archive this thread without checking with me first!

This entry should be added to the top of the Chaplin Keystones DVD comparison page, as it's the only other restored Keystones-only DVD ever issued:

Title: Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914)
Country: US
Region: 0
Releasing Studio: Image Entertainment
Case Type: Snapper case
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 (windowboxed)
Anamorphic?: No
PAL or NTSC?: NTSC
Soundtracks: Dolby Digital (Tillie: John Muri 2.0 mono organ score; Mabel: Gaylord Carter 2.0 stereo organ score)
Subtitles (are they optional?): None
Cuts: (and if you know it, precise run time) None (71:37)
Commentaries: None
Extras: Mabel’s Married Life (1914) Chaplin Keystone short (14:11)
- Text filmography
Notes: 1997 Film Preservation Associates (David Shepard) restoration
Easter Eggs: None
Amazon ASIN (UK, French, German, USA releases only): B00000JMPM
Source: Own copy

The Flicker Alley Keystones set is in stereo, not mono as stated. It should be noted that its discs are PAL-NTSC transfers, so all runtimes are exactly the same as the BFI. They're currently unlisted. Obviously, the BFI set is the overall winner.

I suggest amending each of the box sets' notes to:
    Includes an illustrated 60-page booklet featuring film and restoration notes, and an essay by Jeffrey Vance. These films were restored between 2003-2010 by the Chaplin Keystone Project (Lobster Films, BFI, Cineteca di Bologna, Library of Congress and UCLA) and are the most complete, best quality versions available.
Add to the footnotes:
    There are countless unrestored public domain DVDs of Chaplin's early 1914-1923 films. They're all in terrible quality, especially the Keystones, and are best avoided.
There are also some typos in the page's footnotes...

I added fresh release info to the end of this thread three weeks ago; I assume it's been overlooked...
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 22 Jun 2017 23:08

With "Tillie" being significantly shorter, is this just running at a different speed or are there cuts?
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby Brent_Reid » 23 Jun 2017 00:13

Both, and more: it's a completely different restoration and has no relation to the more recent version. Different total footage length, from different print sources, running at a different speed and finally, a different score. As I've said in the notes, it's less complete than the more recent restoration - though not by too much. Regardless, these are the only two decent versions around; the rest are utter crap, believe me.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 23 Jun 2017 12:18

Got it. Although I have not updated the Flicker Alley runtimes. I do believe they should have about the same runtimes as the PAL release, but I've always found comparing PAL and NTSC releases with no speedup or speeddown applied, there are always a few seconds difference in runtime and never exactly the same.

Anyway, updated and added. Thanks!
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs ADDED

Postby Brent_Reid » 23 Jun 2017 13:09

Ta muchly, James. A few things:

    The Tillie DVD has a snapper case.
    You've listed the main feature as being part of the extras.
    There are two extras: the Mabel short and the filmography, which you've omitted.
The fact the FA set has unconverted transfers should be in the footnotes. It affects the overall quality and is a definite demerit. If I were considering either of these sets I'd avoid it and import if necessary. In fact, I frequently do!

The bulk of the sets' booklets is taken up with notes on each film and its restoration; they're not written by Jeffery Vance. The current wording makes it looks as if he's done the whole thing. This is hardly longer than the current entries:

    Illustrated 60-page booklet of film and restoration notes, and an essay by Jeffrey Vance
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs ADDED

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 23 Jun 2017 13:23

With the 60 page book, which are you referring to? The Flicker Alley or BFI?

Decided to place the two films on the Image set as the current listing so it clearly shows the two films being included on the disc. It should be obvious in an individual listing, but since the page is a collection for the Keystone shorts, it might look strange that the title and the runtime were not in the individual listing. We've contemplated on possibly making a separate listing for each Chaplin short, just as was done for the Keaton short films, but it's one that would take some time - at least an entire week on and off.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs FAO Br

Postby Brent_Reid » 23 Jun 2017 14:20

Good question. The BFI's booklet is 60 pages; Flicker Alley's is 40. The Keystone box set was planned for simultaneous identical releases in the US, UK, Italy and France, who all collaborated on its films and extras. I don't have it so don't know why FA's booklet is shorter, but here's a pic. According to various reviews it appears to have the same info; perhaps it isn't as copiously illustrated as the BFI. Maybe someone reading this has it and can enlighten us?

As for the way you've chosen to list the Image disc: fair enough. I'm actually really pleased you guys decided to lump all the Chaplin Keystones, Essanays and Mutuals together. Now they've all been restored it's the most logical, user-friendly way to organise them. What's more, it further separates them from the useless PD collections. I plan the layout of my own articles and pages very carefully and know just how complicated presenting info like that can get. Please don't bother listing all the Chaplin films individually: they're fine as they are and It will just create a ton of unnecessary work.

I haven't tackled Buster's films (yet), but think I'd probably have split the shorts according to the studios they were made for, as with the Chaplins, and listed the later features individually. While we're on the subject, I strongly think you should create a page for the handful of Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes complete restored DVD sets, as exists for the BD sets.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs FAO Br

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 23 Jun 2017 15:21

Brent_Reid wrote:While we're on the subject, I strongly think you should create a page for the handful of Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes complete restored DVD sets, as exists for the BD sets.

Some of the Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes DVDs are in the database already though the pages do need some updating. If you have some additional DVDs of the series not listed that would be great. (I personally only have the MPI Blu-ray set)

I would do research and combining, but for now I have 5 reviews to post this weekend and those are taking top priority!

For the booklets, made BFI 60 pages and lifted the 38 page booklet notes from DVDBeaver's description.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs FAO Br

Postby Brent_Reid » 23 Jun 2017 15:41

I only have the MPI Holmes BD set too, as well as two incomplete DVD sets. I'll open a request...
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby Brent_Reid » 01 Jul 2017 08:57

I know this set is already listed, but they're currently missing the timings and have incorrect ARs and soundtrack info. The latter two points apply to the listed German and UK discs too. Plus, I've added some notes; the restoration ones should be added to all the DVDs listed.

Title: Chaplin's Essanay Comedies, Volume 1
Country: US
Region: 0
Releasing Studio: Image Entertainment
Case Type: Keep case
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Anamorphic?: No
PAL or NTSC?: NTSC
Soundtracks: 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo scores: Eric James piano and Robert Israel orchestral
Subtitles (are they optional?): None; all fims have English intertitles
Cuts: (and if you know it, precise run time) None
    His New Job (1915) (30:11)
    A Night Out (1915) (34:02)
    The Champion (1915) (30:48)
    In the Park (1915) (14:07)
    A Jitney Elopement (1915) (26:29)
Commentaries: None
Extras: Text Chaplin filmography
Notes: 1995 restorations by Film Preservation Associates (David Shepard)
Also available in Charlie Chaplin Short Comedy Classics: The Complete Restored Essanay & Mutual Collection (B00009Q4VX)
Easter Eggs: None
Amazon ASIN (UK, French, German, USA releases only): B00000JWWZ
Source:* Own copy

Title: Chaplin's Essanay Comedies, Volume 2
Country: US
Region: 0
Releasing Studio: Image Entertainment
Case Type: Keep case
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Anamorphic?: No
PAL or NTSC?: NTSC
Soundtracks: 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo scores: Eric James piano and Robert Israel orchestral
Subtitles (are they optional?): None; all fims have English intertitles
Cuts: (and if you know it, precise run time) None
    The Tramp (1915) (26:24)
    By the Sea (1915) (14:01)
    Work (1915) (28:11)
    A Woman (1915) (26:14)
    The Bank (1915) (25:05)
    His Regeneration (1915) (14:59)
Commentaries: None
Extras: Text Chaplin filmography
Notes: 1995 restorations by Film Preservation Associates (David Shepard)
Also available in Charlie Chaplin Short Comedy Classics: The Complete Restored Essanay & Mutual Collection (B00009Q4VX)
Easter Eggs: None
Amazon ASIN (UK, French, German, USA releases only): B00000JWX5
Source:* Own copy

Title: Chaplin's Essanay Comedies, Volume 3
Country: US
Region: 0
Releasing Studio: Image Entertainment
Case Type: Keep case
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Anamorphic?: No
PAL or NTSC?: NTSC
Soundtracks: 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo scores: Eric James piano and Robert Israel orchestral
Subtitles (are they optional?): None; all fims have English intertitles
Cuts: (and if you know it, precise run time) None
    Shanghaied (1915) (27:25)
    A Night in the Show (1915) (23:30)
    Burlesque on 'Carmen' (1915) (31:26)
    Police (1916) (25:42)
    Triple Trouble (1918) (23:01)
Commentaries: None
Extras: Text Chaplin filmography
Notes: 1995 restorations by Film Preservation Associates (David Shepard)
Also available in Charlie Chaplin Short Comedy Classics: The Complete Restored Essanay & Mutual Collection (B00009Q4VX)
Easter Eggs: None
Amazon ASIN (UK, French, German, USA releases only): B00000JWX6
Source:* Own copy

More corrections and additions:
    The "featurette" mentioned on the first German DVD is actually Bravo Charlot! (France 2002, 39min) retitled Bravo, Tramp Charlie, a Chaplin documentary featuring veteran screen star Pierre Tchernia.
    The trailer reels on the three German DVDs are 0:31, 0:56 and 0:47 respectively.
    The German DVDs are identical to the French Arte Éditions DVDs issued three years prior. You can safely add the French discs, based on your (corrected) German info.
All this is in my Chaplin Guides... If you should wish to add a link to my site, I'd suggest either the relevant section for the 1995 Essanay restorations or just to the whole lot. ;)
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 02 Jul 2017 10:40

Soundtracks: 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo scores: Eric James piano and Robert Israel orchestral

Are there two scores for each film?
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby Brent_Reid » 02 Jul 2017 10:50

No, James: each film has a score either by Eric or Robert.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 02 Jul 2017 12:04

Updated the Image Essanay DVD listings.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby Brent_Reid » 02 Jul 2017 20:27

Nearly there...
    A cut 'n' paste error: each French DVD says "Includes an 8 page booklet in English and German." I've only seen them without booklets, though some copies may have had them.
    All ARs are the same as the US DVDs.
    All scores need changing to stereo.
    The US DVD scores and restorations notes need adding to all the others.
It's important to detail the scores and restorations, as I plan to add DVDs with the more recent scores and restorations too.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 03 Jul 2017 00:03

Brent_Reid wrote:All ARs are the same as the US DVDs.

All the US DVDs are stated as the same 1.37:1 aspect ratio. Do you mean the non-US DVDs are also 1.37:1 and not 1.33:1?

Brent_Reid wrote:All scores need changing to stereo.
The US DVD scores and restorations notes need adding to all the others.[/list]
It's important to detail the scores and restorations, as I plan to add DVDs with the more recent scores and restorations too.

Is it confirmed that the non-US releases have stereo audio? Are they the same scores? The specs that baggish submitted recently stated the BFI scores were mono.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby Brent_Reid » 03 Jul 2017 05:51

The links I posted above detail exactly what restorations were licensed for inclusion on which releases; any questions are answered there.

All discs currently listed have exactly the same restorations: they should have the same ARs and stereo scores. Could Baggish be mistaken on the mono; maybe he'd like to weigh in and confirm it? Also, I see that his German and UK timings are almost identical to my US ones. If they're accurate it means the Euro discs all use unconverted NTSC-PAL masters.

How about those trailer reel timings? They merit inclusion, as per those in all the other Chaplin DVDs and BDs.
Last edited by Brent_Reid on 11 Sep 2018 09:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 04 Jul 2017 14:07

Updated listings to 1.37:1, updated about the scores, NTSC to PAls transfers, and restoration notes. As for the bonus trailer on the French/German releases, could not find info on the length.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby Brent_Reid » 04 Jul 2017 16:54

Great work, James. We're even closer to the finish line now:

Some of the French and German DVDs are still listed as mono and don't have the "NTSC to PAL transfers" note.
I listed the trailer reel timings in my first Essanay post, a few back.
In the same post I mentioned the documentary; it retains its original French title on the French discs.
    I suggest you alter the French disc to: "Bravo Charlot! Comedian Pierre Tchernia talks about Chaplin" documentary (39 mins)"
    And the German disc to: "Bravo Tramp Charlie! (aka Bravo Charlot!) Comedian Pierre Tchernia talks about Chaplin" documentary (39 mins)"
The comparison footnotes could do with amending. Something along the lines of:
    OVERALL: Draw
    The US releases have the best quality, native NTSC transfers but only a basic filmography as an extra.
    The French and German releases have a documentary on Volume 1, but are unconverted NTSC-PAL transfers.
    The UK releases have an essay and gallery, identical on the two volumes, but are also NTSC-PAL transfers.
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 04 Jul 2017 22:47

Shows what happens when you don't save and you work til midnight without final checks...

With the "Bravo Charlot!" extra, is the runtime (39:00) exactly?
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Re: Charlie Chaplin Keystone, Essanay and Mutual DVDs

Postby Brent_Reid » 05 Jul 2017 15:38

'Tis fatal trying to write or publish anything in the wee small hours. When rechecking my posts I often pick up on some right howlers!

The first line of the new footnotes no longer scans properly. Your alteration should read: "The US releases have proper NTSC transfers but only the same filmography as an extra."

The documentary title is still incorrect on the French DVD: it should be Bravo Charlot! The German DVD should indicate that it has the same French-made documentary, albeit now retitled - as per my suggestion a couple of posts back.

A friend of mine has the French DVDs; I made notes on them a few years ago but rounded the timings off to the nearest minute, hence me not adding them sooner. Have emailed him but perhaps Baggish can supply it? Have you messaged him about this thread?
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