In late 1914, Charlie Chaplin was paid the then-unprecedented salary of $1,250 per week (with a bonus of $10,000) in exchange for signing a one-year contract with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. The resulting 14 films he created for Essanay find Chaplin continuing to add complexities and pathos into his celebrated Little Tramp character. With the release of DVD editions of CHAPLIN’S ESSANAY FILMS (together with CHAPLIN AT KEYSTONE and CHAPLIN’S MUTUAL COMEDIES) it is now feasible for the first time, from an academic perspective, to study in depth the first four years (1914 – 1917) of Chaplin’s rise to international fame.
Long considered lost until a complete dupe negative was identified in the vaults of the Cinémathèque Française last year, this Essanay production is a vital missing link in the history of Sherlock Holmes on screen. By the time SHERLOCK HOLMES was produced at Essanay Studios in 1916, the film's star, William Gillette, had been established as the world’s foremost interpreter of Holmes on stage—having played him approximately 1300 times since his 1899 debut.
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