Charles Chaplin was delighted when he began fulfilling his 1916 contract with the Mutual Film Company, a distribution outfit that handled the films of many of the top film producers of the time. The contract was the first made with Chaplin’s own production company, which meant that he could produce his comedies with total creative control.
The Mutual comedies show signs of Chaplin maturing as a cinema artist. His Mutual stories became more carefully constructed and less reliant on senseless bash-and-bop slapstick. The gags show flashes of comic brilliance. — Carl Bennett
2014 Blu-ray Disc / DVD edition
Chaplin’s Mutual Comedies 1916-1917(1916-2013), black & white, 400 minutes total, not rated,
including The Floorwalker (1916), black & white, 29 minutes, not rated, The Fireman (1916), black & white, 26 minutes, not rated, The Vagabond (1916), black & white, 27 minutes, not rated, One A.M. (1916), color-tinted and color-toned black & white, 27 minutes, not rated, The Count (1916), black & white, 25 minutes, not rated, The Pawnshop (1916), black & white, 27 minutes, not rated, Behind the Screen (1916), black & white, 25 minutes, not rated, The Rink (1916), black & white, 26 minutes, not rated, Easy Street (1917), black & white, 27 minutes, not rated, The Cure (1917), black & white, 26 minutes, not rated, The Immigrant (1917), black & white, 25 minutes, not rated, The Adventurer (1917), black & white, 27 minutes, not rated, Chaplin’s Goliath (1996), color and black & white, 52 minutes, not rated, and The Birth of the Tramp (2013), color and black & white, 63 minutes, not rated.
Flicker Alley, FA0034, UPC 0-17311-67859-2, ISBN 1-893967-859.
Pillarboxed 16:9 NTSC, two single-sided Blu-ray Discs, Region A, and three single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, five-disc BD/DVD steelbook, $59.99.
Release date: 19 August 2014.
Country of origin: USA
This edition of the twelve Chaplin Mutual contract films features new high-definition pillarboxed video transfers from 35mm archival material, including additional footage and quality improvements from film materials which have surfaced since David Shepard’s earlier home video editions. The edition has been a cooperative project of Cineteca de Bologna, Film Preservation Associates and Lobster Films in cooperation with Association Chaplin.
The running times are slightly longer here than in previous home video editions. We hope that apart from a different video transfer frame rate this also means that additional footage will be seen that has not been part of previous editions.