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Chaplin's Essanay Comedies [Blu-ray]

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/chaplin.htm

 

His New Job (1915)          A Night Out (1915)                      The Champion (1915)

 

 In the Park (1915)                         A Jitney Elopement (1915)                            The Tramp (1915)

 

By the Sea (1915)           His Regeneration (1915)          Work (1915)               A Woman (1915)              The Bank (1915)

 

Shanghaied (1915)                          A Night in the Show (1915)

 

Burlesque on 'Carmen' (1916)                            Police (1916)

 

 

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 further experimenting with new cinematic techniques, while continuing to add complexities and pathos into his celebrated Little Tramp character, soon to become immortalized as the face, hat, and mustache of modern screen comedy.

Flicker Alley and The Blackhawk Films Collection are proud to present Chaplin's Essanay Comedies, the third and final installment of the Chaplin Project (lead by Lobster Films and Cineteca di Bologna), a massive, twelve year endeavor to restore all of Chaplin s cinematic output from 1914-1917. This 5-disc box Blu-ray/DVD box set features 15 newly restored films His New Job, A Night Out, The Champion, In the Park, A Jitney Elopement, The Tramp, By the Sea, His Regeneration, Work, A Woman, The Bank, Shanghaied, A Night in the Show, Charlie Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen, and Police. All were scanned under the aegis of Association Chaplin at a resolution of 2,000 lines from original 35mm prints gathered from archives all over the world, then digitally assembled and restored, a collaborative effort of Lobster Films and Cineteca di Bologna. These editions feature scores from some of the foremost composers and musicians of silent film accompaniment, including Timothy Brock, Robert Israel, and The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

Essanay and Mutual were Chaplin's laboratory and he later would borrow heavily from the films he created there to craft the masterworks The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) for which he is best known and for which he always will be remembered.

 

  Flicker Alley - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

1) Flicker Alley - Region FREE- Blu-ray  LEFT

2) BFI - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

   

 

Distribution

Flicker Alley - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Running Time: 3:35:00.721 + 2:41:10.243 3:31:42.541 + 3:02:18.166

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,497,016,776 bytes

Features: 49,302,792,192 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,489,835,981 bytes

Features: 39,496,704,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P / 24 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,286,035,224 bytes

Features: 47,175,146,112 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.64 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

1080P / 24 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,618,909,448 bytes

Features: 36,074,901,312 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.38 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate Flicker Alley:  Blu-ray 1
Bitrate: Flicker Alley  Blu-ray 2
Bitrate: BFI  Blu-ray 2
Bitrate: BFI  Blu-ray 2

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2005 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2005 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Flicker Alley

Edition Details:

Triple Trouble (1918), an unofficial Chaplin film, edited together from outtakes and footage shot by the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company without Chaplin's approval (23:50)
• The Blu-ray/DVD premiere of the newly restored Charlie Butts In, a one-reel film widely distributed in the 1920s assembled from alternate takes of the standard, two-reel version of A Night Out (10:24)
• The two-reel edits of A Night Out and Charlie Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen, restored and conforming as nearly as possible to the Chaplin s original intentions for release
• A never-before-seen restoration of Police, including a newly improved final shot
• A booklet with rare, behind-the-scenes images, and an extensive essay by film historian and author Jeffrey Vance (Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema)

2 Blu-rays and 3 DVDs

• 24-Page Booklet with liner notes by Fangoria’s Michael Gingold, featuring never-before-seen photos, storyboards, and sketches

Blu-ray Release Date: November 17th, 2015

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

 

Edition Details:

• Charlie Chaplin: The Long Year at Essanay (2016, 22:24): newly recorded video essay presented by writer and broadcaster Glenn Mitchell
• Charlie's Triple Trouble (c1944,15:33): the re-released British version of Chaplin's 1918 films triple Trouble
• A Burlesque on Carmen (1951, 36 mins): containing additional footage filmed after Chaplin's departure from Essanay. This version features commentary by comedian Peter Sellers, which was used for the films British re-release
• Charlie Butts In (c1920, 10:40): short compilation of out-takes and alternative shots from Chaplin's 1915 film A Night Out
• Fully illustrated booklet with essays by Frank Scheide, new writing by Glenn Mitchell and Vic Pratt, and full film credits
 

Blu-ray Release Date: January 23rd, 2017
Custom
Blu-ray case

Chapters 19 + 18

 

 

Flicker Alley Blu-rays Reviewed at DVDBeaver:

 

Blu-ray Package

 

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray- January 2017: Okay, so there is a ton of parity here - as expected - the 1080P image quality, from the same restoration, is almost exactly the same. I played them one-after-the-other on my system and was not able to distinguish between the video quality - and the static captures can't either. But I should qualify that I haven't compared every frame of every short... to me, what I have tested, looks the exact same... perhaps in-motion the Flicker Alley might get a modest nod on the second Blu-ray disc transfer (modestly higher bitrate). I don't see the prefacing text screen detailing the specifics of each restoration of each film on the BFI until the short is concluded - except for m the extra A Burlesque on Carmen where it prefaces the film:

"Triple Trouble" (both versions on BFI) don't have restoration credits at all.

For audio - the Flicker Alley, may be marginally superior with a more technically robust transfer and in 24-bit as opposed to BFI's 16-bit. The titlecards look the same and BFI Blu-ray discs is region 'B'-locked and, unlike the USA package, don't include DVDs.

Although with some jumbling around as to citing a few of extras or the other package including them in the list of shorts. Both have the one-reeler Charlie Butts In (c1920, 10:40): a short compilation of out-takes and alternative shots from Chaplin's 1915 film A Night Out. Flicker Alley has the original "Triple Trouble" only as a bonus but the BFI has 2 versions, the original "Triple Trouble" as a "main feature film" and a bonus UK version with BFI's latter being the 1944 re-released British version with audio by Tommy Handley. Same deal on A Burlesque on Carmen with the BFI's having 2 versions - the 'main' and the extra one that features a commentary by comedian Peter Sellers, which was used for the films British re-release. What is very appealing on the BFI is the 23-minute Charlie Chaplin: The Long Year at Essanay newly recorded video essay presented by writer and broadcaster Glenn Mitchell. It is excellent - I only wish it was longer! Both package include a booklet but I have not been privy to the BFI one yet.

You are still getting a fabulous package here, with a few, relatively invisible minor differences in a/v and a solid addition with the visual essay in the supplements. UK, Chaplin, fans should find this a no-brainer purchase. Solidly recommended!

***

ON THE Flicker Alley Blu-ray (November 2015) : Flicker Alley comes back with their third (of 3) restoration/Blu-ray projects form Chaplin's early shorts (1914-1917).

The 14 Essanay films have all been restored and the specifics of each restoration are outlined in a text screen before each film (example below). There are also screens, after each short, stating support from various individuals or foundations including The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, The George Lucas Family Foundation and the Material World Charitable Foundation (among others).

The image quality generally looks impressive - there are still inconsistencies (see last two screen captures), but they are the exception and I believe thee restorations have made these Chaplin films more watchable than every before - scanned at 2K - and transferred at 1080P. The two-reel edits of A Night Out and Charlie Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen, restored and conforming as nearly as possible to the Chaplin's original intentions for release. The never-before-seen restoration of Police, includes a newly improved final shot.

 

Every score is in DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at around 20000 kbps and at the end of the short it identifies, ex. 'Robert Israel on the Fotoplayer' (from By the Sea) - others include Timothy Brock or The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. The titles and intertitles have been redone and are consistent (see samples below).

Both Blu-ray discs are dual-layered. You can see the image quality below. It looks strong in-motion (as good as it does in the below stills.) There is some expected contrast flickering and scratches, a few missed frames and a one, brief, duplicated scenes (in His New Job) - but overall marvelous.

Blu-ray Disc one has the first eight shorts with the next 6 on disc two - which also has the extras.  We get Triple Trouble (1918), an unofficial Chaplin film, edited together from outtakes and footage shot by the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company without Chaplin's approval. It runs just shy of 24-minutes and is in 1080P but looks a notch below the Essanays. This Blu-ray also has the premiere of the newly restored Charlie Butts In, a 10-minute one-reel film widely distributed in the 1920s assembled from alternate takes of the standard, two-reel version of A Night Out. The package has 3 DVDs with the same content as the Blu-rays and there is a booklet with rare, behind-the-scenes images, and an extensive essay by film historian and author Jeffrey Vance (Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema).

What a great set - I rifled through these and loved every minute. I should note that these seemed a shade more 'adult' with Charlie (and others) frequently flirting (see capture samples below) something his more innocent 'Little Tramp' character, in features, wasn't seen doing as often.

Louis tells us in email: The PQ of the Flicker Alley set of Chaplin Essanays is outstanding, especially compared to their set of Chaplin Mutuals (I found the BFI Mutuals from the same source to be slightly superior in terms of brightness/contrast). However I had the feeling that they were too fast, so I compared "A Night in the Show" on their set to the version on Criterion's extra on their "Limelight" BD. Both are from the exact same source and have the same content (except FA has some additional copyright stuff), but the Criterion is over a minute longer than the Flicker Alley. This made me think that FA has speedup, and sure enough FA runs 1080p24 while Criterion runs just 1080i, meaning that the Criterion is able to achieve a slower frame rate by being non-progressive. Some of the gags on the FA set go by so quickly that I did a lot of rewinding. I felt sure the frame rate was wrong. I still highly recommend the FA set for its superb PQ. (Thanks Louis!) NOTE: At 1080i interpolated frames will slow down the speed the film moves.

Gary W. Tooze

 

 

Titles

 


Menus


 

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Sample Restoration Screen Information before each short only on the Flicker Alley - Region FREE- Blu-ray

 

(restored) Intertitle Sample

 


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

 

 

1) Flicker Alley - Region FREE- Blu-ray  TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

1) Flicker Alley - Region FREE- Blu-ray  TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

1) Flicker Alley - Region FREE- Blu-ray  TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Screen Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
More Damaged Sequences - usually brief (from A Night Out - TOP and Shanghaied - BOTTOM)
 
 

 


Box Covers

   

   

 

Distribution

Flicker Alley - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Flicker Alley Blu-rays Reviewed at DVDBeaver:



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