April 18, 2009

Chaplin: The Collection: Volume 1

Titles: "Cruel, Cruel Love" / "A Film Johnnie" / "Triple Trouble"
Year: 1914, 1918
Directors: George Nichols, Mack Sennett, Charles Chaplin, Leo White
Writers: Craig Hutchinson, Charles Chaplin, Leo White
Starring: Charles Chaplin, Edgar Kennedy, Minta Durfee, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Virginia Kirtley, Edna Purviance, Leo White, Billy Armstrong
Music: random anachronistic jazz
How I saw it: on video (rented on VHS from the library), today
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay).
Objective Rating: 2/10 (gets points for acting and subjective rating) c. 1.5/4 (Eh).

The movies themselves get the 6/10. This video gets a 3/10 at most. There hasn't been any restoration done (and on "A Film Johnnie," the film is over exposed so much that you can't even see what's going on in places), and for music they just put on some public domain tracks without any bother to line things up, or pick appropriate music, or avoid tracks with spoken vocals. It is horrendous. So much for watching early Chaplin. Maybe some day there will be a reasonable release and I can give it another try. But these shorts don't offer anything that isn't done ten times better in his 1920's films anyway.

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