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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka " The Masses ")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/chaplin.htm
U.S.A.  1936

Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp, puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard). With its barrage of unforgettable gags and sly commentary on class struggle during the Great Depression, Modern Times—though made almost a decade into the talkie era and containing moments of sound (even song!)—is a timeless showcase of Chaplin’s untouchable genius as a director of silent comedy.

***

The title alone would mark Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times as a period piece. In fact, Chaplin's most elaborate feature was anachronistic even in 1936—a proud rejection of talking (but not sound) pictures, released over eight years after The Jazz Singer.


Playing for a week in the new digitally scrubbed and remastered version that closed this year's Cannes Film Festival, Modern Times was seemingly made under the twin influences of Walt Disney (the cartoon-like use of sound effects) and Fritz Lang (the vast art deco factory that initially employs the Little Tramp). More than any previous Chaplin film, albeit setting the precedent for all subsequent ones, Modern Times was a statement—Chaplin's conscious, if sentimental, attempt to locate his alter ego in the context of class struggle. The working title was supposedly The Masses.

 

Excerpt from J. Hoberman's review at The Village Voice located HERE

Posters (Click Top LEFT poster to enlarge)

Theatrical Release: February 5th, 1936 - USA

Reviews         More Reviews         DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Warner - Region 2- PAL vs. Image - Region 0 - NTSC (oop) vs. Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kinowelt/Park Circus - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Thanks to Ole of DVDBasen for the Region 2 PAL DVD captures!

 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC  - SECOND

3) Warner - Region 2- PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

This will be the same transfer as the UK Park Circus Release available HERE:

Distribution Warner
Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

Warner
Region 1 - NTSC

Kinowelt

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection - spine # 543

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:23:08 ( 4% PAL Speedup) 1:27:24 1:23:04 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:26:52.207 1:27:17.273
Video 1.33:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.54 mb/s
PAL 720X 25.00 f/s

1.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.76 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.33 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 24,070,614,227 bytes

Feature Size: 18,988,707,840 bytes

Average Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Disc Size: 46,516,726,062 bytes

Feature Size: 21,296,965,632 bytes

Average Bitrate: 28.52 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

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

Bitrate:

 Warner Region 2

 

Bitrate:

 Image

 

Bitrate:

Warner

Bitrate: European

Blu-ray

Bitrate:  Criterion

Blu-ray

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

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

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1737 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1737 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1644 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1644 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, English for the hearing impaired, French for the hearing impaired, Italian for the hearing impaired and none - Extras is subtitled in: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, German, Dutch and none English, French and none English, Spanish, French, Korean, Portuguese, Thai and none German, none English (SDH), none
Features 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
The Tramp and the Dictator: documentary directed by Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft
The Production Filmed in Color by Sydney Chaplin (1939/40)
• Gallery of film posters
• A seven-minute sequence shot in 1918 for Sunnyside that inspired the famous barber scene in The Great Dictator
• A scene from Monsieur Verdoux
• Trailers

The same as Warner R1, but if you buy the Chaplin Collection Volume One you get an extra disc that's not with the R1 Box: Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin - A film by Richard Schickel (2:06:39).

DVD Release Date: September 22nd, 2003
Custom Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.31:1

Edition Details:
• All Regions
• Black & White
• Production notes
• Never-before-seen original story notes, shooting log and production reports for the "feeding machine" sequence in slideshow format  (5 Chapters) (33:06)
• A witty video reminiscence by music arranger David Raksin, accompanied by original photos and manuscripts (17:04)

DVD Release Date: March 14, 2000
Snapper Case

Chapters 14

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 Cineteca Bologna and remastered
• Introduction to the film by biographer David Robinson, illustrated by stills
Chaplin Today: "Modern Times" documentary directed by Philippe Truffault
• Gallery of film posters from the world
• Karaoke version of Chaplin's "nonsense" song
• Set photo gallery including original story notes, shooting log and production reports (over 250)
• Two deleted scenes
• "Smile" sung by Liberace (1956)
Behind the Scenes in the Machine Age (1931); U.S. Government -sponsored film
Symphony in F (1940); promotional musical film by the Ford Motor Company
Por primera vez (For the First Time) (1967); Cuban short film
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: July 1, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio:
Kinowelt

 

Disc Size: 24,070,614,227 bytes

Feature Size: 18,988,707,840 bytes

Average Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Introduction by David Robinson (discusses details of production 6:07)
• Chaplin Today: Modern Times (26:13)
• Outtake Scenes (1:42 / 4:10)
• Trailer (3:10)

8 Galleries

Chaplin ABC (30:02)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: May 6th, 2010
Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

Disc Size: 46,516,726,062 bytes

Feature Size: 21,296,965,632 bytes

Average Bitrate: 28.52 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• New, restored 2K-resolution digital transfer, created in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna
• New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson
• Two new visual essays, by Chaplin historians John Bengtson and Jeffrey Vance
• New program on the film’s visual and sound effects, with experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
• Interview from 1992 with Modern Times music arranger David Raksin, plus a selection from the film’s original orchestral track
• Two segments cut from the film
All at Sea (1933), a home movie by Alistair Cooke featuring Chaplin and actress Paulette Goddard, with a new score by Donald Sosin and a new interview with Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge
• The Rink (1916), a Chaplin two-reeler
• For the First Time (1967), a short Cuban documentary about first-time moviegoers seeing Modern Times
• Chaplin Today: “Modern Times” (2003), a program with filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
• Three theatrical trailers
• 39-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Saul Austerlitz and a piece by film scholar Lisa Stein that includes excerpts from Chaplin’s writing about his 1930s world tour
)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 16th, 2010
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' Blu-ray - (November 2010) - So, Criterion's first (of, hopefully, many) Chaplin Blu-rays.

There are differences in the 1080P image compared to the European - region 'B'-locked releases. We lose the rounded corners (no projectionist worth his salt would show them, IMO) and hence we lose a bit of information from the frame. I'd guess that Criterion have worked some of their black level magic with some marginal tweaking to make the contrast a bit more prominent and it brings up detail. Generally speaking, the Criterion is darker - it still exhibits notable flickering but appears cleaner without the frayed edges of the film edge. What came to my eye first was the Criterion visuals shows much more texture - the grain is even and extremely pleasing. It is described as a restored 2K-resolution digital transfer, created in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna. Technically Criterion advances with a higher file size and bitrate. Because of Criterion's extensive HD extras this is housed on a dual-layered Blu-ray disc. I did some back to back scenes with the Kinowelt/Park Circus and I think the Criterion definitely looks superior. I prefer the more pronounced contrast and grittier textures. Visually this is a huge success and the best it may ever look for your home theater enjoyment.

Criterion stick with the original 1.0 channel mono supporting the score with a linear PCM Audio track at 1152 kbps. The score sounds great and its evolution is discussed in the supplements by music arranger David Raksin. Criterion include optional English (SDH) subtitles describing some of the sounds (ex. 'whirring') and any relevant dialogue. My Momitsu confirms that the disc is region 'A'-locked.

Extras are magnificent... and lengthy. Firstly we get a new, very professional, audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson (author of Chaplin: His Life and Art). It is filled with valuable information about the film and Chaplin the man. I've read a couple books on Chaplin but I still learned a lot from Robinson's discussion in this factual commentary. There are 2 new visual essays, the first by Chaplin author (see, with Kevin Brownlow: "Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin") and historian John Bengtson (Menu title: Silent Traces: Modern Times running 15:07) tours the locations used in Modern Times through photographs, vintage maps and film clips revealing what Chaplin's camera captured of the backdrop of the silent era and how things have changed. The second visual essay is by Jeffrey Vance (author of Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema). This supplement is called Modern Times: A Closer Look and we get to see some amazing production photography stills from the film as he discusses Modern Times for over 16-minutes. There is a new program entitled 'A Bucket of Water and a Glass Matte' on the film’s visual and sound effects, with experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt. It runs for 20:02. We get a fascinating 15-minute interview from 1992 with Modern Times music arranger David Raksin, plus a selection from the film’s original orchestral track. Ruskin is frank about Chaplin methods and what their relationship evolved to be. Included are two segments cut from the film. The first scenes was deleted by Chaplin before the original 1936 release and the second, with the Tramp's momentous song, was removed in 1954 when Chaplin edited Modern Times for re-release. These are without orchestral sound and run less than 2-minutes. There are US, France and German trailers of Modern Times plus shorts; All at Sea (1933) - a home movie by Alistair Cooke featuring Chaplin and actress Paulette Goddard, with an optional new score by Donald Sosin and a new interview with Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, The Rink (1916) is a Chaplin two-reeler and For the First Time (1967), is a 9-minute Cuban documentary about first-time moviegoers seeing Modern Times. We also get the same Chaplin Today: “Modern Times” (2003), discussion with filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Lastly is a 39-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Saul Austerlitz and a piece by film scholar Lisa Stein that includes excerpts from Chaplin’s writing about his 1930s world tour. Phew.

This is one of the great Blu-rays of the year to date. Don't hesitate buying - not even for a moment. The extras alone seem worth the price plus you get a beautiful transfer of the classic film for your, repeatable, home theater presentations. An essential purchase.  

***

ADDITION: Park Circus Region 'B' Blu-ray - (August 2010) - From what we have been told this will be the exact same A/V transfer as the Kinowelt - BUT the Park Circus UK release is a dual-format edition with a DVD of the film included in the package. Extras too - should be the same but we will confirm this at a later date.

 - Gary W. Tooze

Comments:

ADDITION: Kinowelt - Region 'B' Blu-ray - April 2010: I think this fares even better than City Lights on Blu-ray but there are some issues to bring up. The 1080P transfer has taken more of the negative showing frayed edges and rounded corners. Now this is a personal decision where some may find it inappropriate. I would suspect that most projectionists would not allow this to happen but for systems with a bit of overscan it shouldn't be a problem. At least we can feel more sure that nothing has been cropped.

The image quality is a significant improvement - detail and visible, textured, grain have really made a huge move forward. Where the DVDs could look hazy - the Blu-ray tightens up looking very pleasing. Thankfully these are in the NTSC running time (that neither the Warner's were). The image is reasonably clean but I did note light damage/scratches that didn't seem prevalent on the 2003 SD-DVDS. So, it is possible that this is a different source - or not digitally manipulated (boosted) to remove them. Contrast is fainter but the presentation shows more background information. I'm quite happy with the appearance - it really looks better.

I suspect this will be the same transfer offered in France, the UK and eventually the US but I can't be certain. Stay tuned.

Audio is lossless, 2.0 channel mono and sounds better than I have heard before - there is an optional German DUB and subtitles. The sound is at the mercy of the production and has its expected limitations but it never distracted me from my viewing.  My Momitsu has identified it is being Region 'B'-locked.

Extras, like on the City Lights Blu-ray, duplicate some of the Warner supplements with the Dardenne brothers commenting in the French Chaplin Today: "Modern Times" documentary directed by Philippe Truffault. It's German biased with no English subs though. The Chaplin ABC is there and the two deleted scenes. I can't determine if there is anything new - but it does have less than the Warner packages.

Well, some finally did get this right! .... or, at least, more right. No PAL speed-up, no pictureboxing, no chroma, cleaner, non-bumped, audio - the rounded corners and frayed edges aside - this is presently the definitive digital presentation of this masterpiece - the last appearance of  'the little tramp'. 'Nuff said - for now.

****

UPDATE: October 9th, 2004 - Warner Region 2 added: Well, in short the image on the Warner Region 2 is superior for the three DVDs. I would like to point out that I, personally, wouldn't trade in the Image Entertainment discs for the Warner Region 2's even though they are imperfect with picturboxing. I am more content with the Image discs - no PAL speedup - less cropping - but lighter contrast. This is not counting the valuable Extras on the Region 2 and the extra disc with "The Life and Art of Charlie Chaplin" that you don't even get on the Warner Region 1 set. It would be nice to own that.... and the unnecessary 5.1 sound... ohh who am I kidding, I'll be getting the R2's as well.

On normal viewing on a television I saw some PAL to NTSC 'ghosting' on the Warner Region 1 disc - as well as heavy chroma. It was more prevalent while obtaining captures (as it always is), but not overly obtrusive during normal screenings. By judging the times we can see that Warner has not accounted for the PAL speedup and we have the infamous "blurring" occurring in rapid motion scenes (Charlie frenetic dancing around the machines). We are seeing the film at 4% faster than normally which I suppose is not that big a deal but include the other faux-pas by Warner: The Warner is cropped on all 4 sides - enough to notice.

What a waste. Obviously the Warner image is sharper than the Image Entertainment image, but I am very disappointed in the apparent contrast boosting. I will pay more attention to the flaws than the film itself while watching the Warner DVD. I hope to get some captures of the PAL mk2 versions to further compare, but my bet would be to buy the European versions. I am very disappointed in my purchase of this Region 1 DVD. It does have quite an array of Extra Features.

Instead of doing the transfer from the original source themselves, Warner let someone else do it (mk2) then took THEIR PAL transfer. Now we get the worst of both worlds: 4% PAL speedup from original source and lower NTSC resolution (AND "ghosting" artifacts). Throw in the cropping and looks to have excessive digital processing. It has been cleaned up, but at what expense? each of these DVDs have an issue to contend with - perhaps one day someone will get this right!

 - Gary W. Tooze


Associated Reading  (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

DVD Menus

(Image - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner - Region 1 - NTSC and  Warner - Region 2- PAL- RIGHT)

NOTE: Warner Region 1+2 DVD Menus
are identical (negligible differences)

 

 

Kinowelt - Region B - Blu-ray

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC  - SECOND

3) Warner - Region 2- PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

NOTE: Image Entertainment captures are kept in their "picture-boxed" format.



 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC  - SECOND

3) Warner - Region 2- PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Notice the cropping on all 4 sides of the Warner image.


 

 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC  - SECOND

3) Warner - Region 2- PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC  - SECOND

3) Warner - Region 2- PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC  - SECOND

3) Warner - Region 2- PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC  - SECOND

3) Warner - Region 2- PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Edge enhancement on the bottom fray of her skirt, the light fixture and decoration high on the wall behind her.

 


 

 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC  - SECOND

3) Warner - Region 2- PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

This is a good example to see the contrast boosting. The Warner Region 1 image looks almost over-exposed.

 

More Blu-ray captures

1) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Kinowelt - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


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

Check out more in "The Library"

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras: Criterion Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

This will be the same transfer as the UK Park Circus Release available HERE:

Distribution Warner
Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

Warner
Region 1 - NTSC

Kinowelt

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection - spine # 543

Region 'A' - Blu-ray



 

 

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Gary Tooze