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.
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.
Bonus Materials Include:
•Triple Trouble (1918), an unofficial Chaplin film, edited together from outtakes and footage shot by the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company without Chaplin’s approval
•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
•The two-reel edits of A Night Out and Charlie Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen, restored and conforming as nearly as possible to Chaplin’s original intentions for release
•A never-before-seen restoration of Police, including a newly improved final shot
•A 28-page booklet with rare, behind-the-scenes images, and an extensive essay by film historian and author Jeffrey Vance (Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema)