http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/chaplin.htm
U.S.A.  1952

Chaplin's last American film is a masterful meditation on the highs and lows of fame.

A story of a ballerina and a clown set in London in the summer of 1914, Limelight begins with washed-up pantomime performer Calvero (Chaplin) saving young Thereza (Bloom) from committing suicide. By the time the credits roll, Chaplin's taken us on a self-flagellating trawl through the highs and lows of success, failure, old age and celebrity.

Melancholic to the point of being embarrassingly self-pitying, Limelight is a profoundly moving film, an aging artist's philosophical mediation on life that's full of grandstanding declarations of intent: "What is there to fight for? Everything! Life itself. Isn't that enough. To have lived, suffered and enjoyed!" As drunken has-been Calvero claws his way back to the stage for one final moment of glory, with the help of the devoted Thereza, Limelight takes us deep into Chaplin's own fears and dreams, from the vaudeville world of his childhood to his awareness of the transitory nature of public adoration. How ironic, then, that it should be the last film he'd make in America, before the anti-communist lobby forced him into permanent exile.

Tackling the sad business of being funny with an unflinching - yet often overly sentimental - gaze, Chaplin delivers a true auteur's film, a work of great personal resonance that stands as the summation of his tragicomic view of life. In many ways, it's the inverse of Chaplin's acclaimed comedies, yet it's also a fitting conclusion to their vision of a world in which the good (like the perpetually downtrodden Tramp) are oppressed by great forces that are out of their control. Here it's celebrity and fortune that are the crushing oppressors, making Limelight a work of immense sorrow.

Verdict: Moving, sentimental and deeply sad, this is the greatest moment in Chaplin's late career, a powerful work of cinema that remains essential viewing for Chaplin fans and non-believers alike.

Excerpt of review from Channel 4 located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 23rd, 1952 - London, England

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DVD Comparison:

Image - Region 0 - NTSC (oop) vs. Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC

(Image - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

     

  

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

Warner
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:17:28 2:11:24 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.27:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.40 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.36 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 Image

 

Bitrate:

Warner

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles None English, Spanish, French, Korean, Portuguese, Thai and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.27:1

Edition Details:
• All Regions
• Black & White
• Four minutes of additional footage cut from the film by Chaplin after the premiere
• Six minutes of unreleased film shot in 1919 that shows the original flea circus routine that appears in Limelight
• Sections of Chaplin's working text for the novel on which the film is based
• Production summary

DVD Release Date: April 11th, 2000
Snapper Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Black & White, Dolby
• All-new restoration with digital transfer from the Chaplin family vault and remastered
• Introduction to the film by biographer David Robinson, illustrated by stills
Chaplin Today: Limelight documentary directed by Edgardo Cozarinsky with Bernardo Bertolucci
• Gallery of film posters
• Set photo gallery (over 200)
• Deleted scene
• Complete musical soundtrack
• Extract from "The Professor", unfinished mute Chaplin's movie 1919
• Home movies: Chaplin's children (1952), Chaplin in London (1959)
Footlights: two excerpts from the original novel, ready by Chaplin

DVD Release Date: July 1, 2003
Custom Case

Chapters 20

 

Comments: I am already un-sold on the new Warner discs and each comparison I make to the old Image Entertainment discs confirms that Warner have 'dropped the ball'. I can only conclude that laziness or lack of investment has prompted using the unconverted PAL transfers from Mk2. I suppose they didn't think they would get their money back and it is the oblivious purchaser that is the one that suffers.

Again, one of these DVDs is out of ratio. The Warner characters appear slimmer and taller. I don't know which is wrong, but my guess is the Warner's. The PAL versions are probably the same.

What a waste. Obviously the Warner image appears sharper than the Image Entertainment one but I am very disappointed in the blurring which is still prevalent here as in The Great Dictator DVD. The Warner disc is very dark. My bet would still be to buy the European versions. I am very disappointed in my purchase of this newer Region 1 DVD. It does have quite an array of Extra Features, but the "ghosting" is extremely visible as well as other associated artifacts that appear with improper PAL->NTSC transfers.

Here, we get the worst of both worlds: 4% PAL speedup from original source and lower NTSC resolution (AND "ghosting"). It looks to me to have excessive digital processing. I'm glad I still have my Image discs, but will look into the PAL Mk2 versions when I have time.

 - Gary W. Tooze





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Image - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Image - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


 


(Image - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Image - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Image - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Image - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


Recommended Reading on Chaplin (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

     

  

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

Warner
Region 1 - NTSC

 


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Report Card:

Image:

Image Entertainment   (Warner is mostly sharper but suffers PAL->NTSC blurring)

Sound:

Warner for optional 5.1

Extras: Warner for 2nd disc
Menu: Image Entertainment




 

 

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