Charlie Chaplin: The Essanay Films Volume 1
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Genre: Early Cinema
TV System: Pal
Language: Silent with music
Extras: Photo gallery; Essay
Label: British Film Institute
In December 1914, Charlie Chaplin began his one-year contract with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, shooting films in both their Chicago and California studios. During that one year he made fifteen films, earned an unprecedented salary and established himself as a firm box-office favourite. Unlike other artists, Chaplin had full control over his Essanay films from writing the scripts and directing, through to choosing his cast members. Audiences around the world clamoured to see his latest Essanay picture.
Charlie Chaplin was born on 16 April 1889 in East Street, Walworth, South London, and from extremely humble origins (part of his childhood was spent in homes for destitute children) he rose to become one of the most extraordinary and enduring icons of the cinema, whose power to move audiences is undiminished. In Britain, Chaplin's critical reputation suffered a period of eclipse from the 1960s, in reaction to the high regard in which he was held by public and critics alike at the peak of his career. Now the BFI is leading a major revaluation of his life and achievements.
Despite their obvious importance, Chaplin's Essanay films have only previously been available in poor or incomplete prints. The films in each of these 2-disc DVD editions contain the best vintage material gathered in a nine-year search and are the most complete editions available. They also contain scenes never before seen by audiences in the UK.
Volume 1 includes The Champion, in which Charlie is rescued from a boxing match by his faithful dog, His New Job which parodies the film-making process and The Tramp which forever established the image of Charlie's much-loved lonesome tramp in the popular imagination.
List of titles: His New Job; A Night Out; The Champion; In the Park,A Jitney Elopement; The Tramp; By the Sea; Work