CHAPLIN AT KEYSTONE

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 (1914), remained in theatrical distribution for decades.

 
Charles Chaplin as “The Little Tramp”, 1914

Charles Chaplin as “The Little Tramp”, 1914

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. While admitting these limitations, one can now better 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.

2011 IL CINEMA RITROVATO DVD JURY AWARD
BEST BOX SET - 
"...the long-awaited release of the first 
and most explosive stage of Chaplin’s creative career."

Charlie Chaplin and Marie Dressler in  TILLIE’S PUNCTURED ROMANCE (1914)

Charlie Chaplin and Marie Dressler in 
TILLIE’S PUNCTURED ROMANCE (1914)

CHAPLIN AT KEYSTONE is a 4-DVD collection featuring 34 restored films, all with new musical settings by outstanding practitioners of silent film accompaniment: Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Antonio Coppola, Frederick Hodges, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, Rodney Sauer and The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Ethan Uslan, and Ken Winokur's band Tillie’s Nightmare with the UCLA Film and Television Archive restoration of TILLIE’S PUNCTURED ROMANCE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus Features include:

A THIEF CATCHER (excerpt) - Chaplin appears as a Keystone Cop in this Ford Sterling comedy. Chaplin’s scene was filmed after the completion of KID AUTO RACES AT VENICE, CAL. and, MABEL’S STRANGE PREDICAMENT, but before BETWEEN SHOWERS. A copy of the film was recently discovered by historian Paul E. Gierucki.

CHARLIE’S WHITE ELEPHANT - Animated short based on Chaplin’s “Little Tramp,” courtesy of the Lobster films collection.

INSIDE THE KEYSTONE PROJECT - A short documentary detailing the international restoration efforts featuring contributions from BFI National Archive, Cineteca di Bologna, Lobster Films, Paris, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

SILENT TRACES - THE KEYSTONE LOCATIONS - Historian John Bengtson (Silent Visions: Harold Lloyd, Santa Monica Press) takes a "then and now" look at several Keystone film locations in a 12 minute tour based on his book Silent Traces.

• Rare Image Gallery - 50 rare and extraordinary images, including on-set production photos and promotional portraits.

Chaplin at Keystone: The Tramp is Born, An Essay by Jeffrey Vance - 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).

 
Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Charlie Chaplin in THE ROUNDERS (1914)

Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Charlie Chaplin in THE ROUNDERS (1914)

“For Charles Spencer Chaplin, 1914 was a very good year. In January he was a minor British vaudeville star who had just signed a contract to appear in a series of comedies produced by the Keystone Film Company... With the notion of movie stardom just coming into focus—the Keystone company, for example, did not feel the need to mention the name of its performers on the credits of its films or its posters—Chaplin skipped a stage and passed directly to superstardom. By the time he left Keystone for a more lucrative contract at Essanay in 1915, he was on his way to becoming, not just the Elvis of his day, but the Beatles and Michael Jackson too. All a theater had to do was hang out a
banner:—“Charlie Here Today”—to pack the house.”

—Dave Kehr, The New York Times

 

 
 
 

  Contents

Format: DVD-NTSC / Region 0
(No Regional Code)

     ----------------------------------------------------------

All titles in black & white, produced by Mack Sennett and distributed by The Keystone Film Company, U.S.A in 1914, unless otherwise noted.

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MAKING A LIVING

Director: Henry Lehrman
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Kirtley, Alice Davenport, Henry Lehrman & Minta Durfee

• 13 minutes

KID AUTO RACES AT VENICE, CAL.

Director: Henry Lehrman
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Henry Lehrman & Frank D. Williams

• 7 minutes

MABEL’S STRANGE PREDICAMENT

Director: Mabel Norman
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Chester Conklin, Alice Davenport & Harry McCoy

• 12 minutes

BETWEEN SHOWERS

Director: Henry Lehrman
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin & Emma Clifton

• 14 minutes

A FILM JOHNNIE

Director: George Nichols
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle, Virginia Kirtley, Minta Durfee, Mabel Normand, Ford Sterling & Mack Sennett

• 12 minutes

TANGO TANGLES

Director: Mack Sennett 
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Roscoe Arbuckle, Chester Conklin & Minta Durfee

• 12 minutes

HIS FAVORITE PASTIME

Director: George Nichols
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle & Peggy Pearce

• 12 minutes

CRUEL, CRUEL LOVE

Director: George Nichols
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Minta Durfee & Alice Davenport

• 9 minutes

THE STAR BOARDER

Director: George Nichols
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy, Gordon Griffith & Alice Davenport

• 12 minutes

MABEL AT THE WHEEL

Director: Mabel Normand & Mack Sennett
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy, Chester Conklin, Mack Sennett, Al St John & Fred Mace

• 23 minutes

TWENTY MINUTES OF LOVE

Director: Joseph Madden & Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy, Gordon Griffith & Chester Conklin

• 11 minutes

CAUGHT IN A CABARET

Director: Mabel Normand
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy, Chester Conklin, Edgar Kennedy & Minta Durfee

• 23 minutes

CAUGHT IN THE RAIN

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain & Alice Davenport

• 11 minutes

A BUSY DAY

Director: Mack Sennett
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain & Phyllis Allen

• 6 minutes

THE FATAL MALLET

Director: Mack Sennett
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett & Mack Swain

• 14 minutes

THE KNOCKOUT

Director: Mack Sennett
Cast: Roscoe Arbuckle, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy, Charles Chaplin, Al St John, Hank Mann

• 30 minutes

MABEL’S BUSY DAY

Director: Mack Sennett
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Chester Conklin, Slim Summerville & Billie Bennett

• 15 minutes

LAUGHING GAS

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Fritz Schade & Alice Howell

• 13 minutes

THE PROPERTY MAN

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Fritz Schade, Phyllis Allen, Alice Davenport, Charles Davenport & Mack Sennett

• 24 minutes

THE FACE ON THE BAR ROOM FLOOR

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Cecile Arnold, Fritz Schade  & Vivian Edwards

• 12 minutes

RECREATION

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin

• 6 minutes

THE MASQUERADER

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle, Chester Conklin & Charles Murray

• 12 minutes

HIS NEW POSSESSION

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Fritz Schade & Charles Parrott

• 12 minutes

THE ROUNDERS

Director: Charles Chaplin & Roscoe Arbuckle
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle, Phyllis Allen, Minta Durfee & Al St John

• 13 minutes

THE NEW JANITOR

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Fritz Schade, Jack Dillon, Minta Durfee & Al St John

• 12 minutes

THOSE LOVE PANGS

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Cecile Arnold, Vivian Edwards & Edgar Kennedy

• 12 minutes

DOUGH AND DYNAMITE

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Fritz Schade & Norma Nichols

• 28 minutes

GENTLEMAN OF NERVE

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Mabel Normand, Chester Conklin, Phyllis Allen & Edgar Kennedy

• 15 minutes

HIS MUSICAL CAREER

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain & Charles Parrott

• 13 minutes

HIS TRYSTING PLACES

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain & Phyllis Allen

• 21 minutes

GETTING ACQUAINTED

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain & Mabel Normand

• 14 minutes

HIS PREHISTORIC PAST

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain & Gene Marsh

• 22 minutes

TILLIE’S PUNCTURED ROMANCE

Director: Mack Sennett
Cast: Marie Dressler, Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand & Mack Swain

• 85 minutes

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 Bonus Material

A THIEF CATCHER (Excerpt)

Director: Henry Lehrman

• 6 minutes

CHARLIE’S WHITE ELEPHANT (CHARLIE ET SA BELLE)
(US, 1916)

Director: John Coleman Terry, H.M. Shieds

• 6 minutes 
• Animated
• B&W, Tinted

INSIDE THE KEYSTONE PROJECT
(France, 2010)

Director: Pauline Ritchard
Writer/Narrator: Serge Bromberg
Producer: Lobster Films for The Chaplin Keystone Project

• 10 minutes 
• B&W, Color

SILENT TRACES - THE KEYSTONE LOCATIONS
(France, 2010)

Writer/Narrator: John Bengston
Editor: Pauline Ritchard
Producer: Serge Bromberg/Lobster Films for The Chaplin Keystone Project

• 15 seconds 
• B&W

• Rare image gallery.

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Total Running Time: 10:40:00 (4 Discs)

Language: English intertitles

Musical Score: Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Antonio Coppola, Frederick Hodges, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, Rodney Sauer and The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Ethan Uslan & Ken Winokur's band Tillie’s Nightmare

Booklet Text: Jeffrey Vance

Published By: Flicker Alley

Institutional Price: $500 (plus shipping)

To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.