Chaplin at Keystone Studios (1914)

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Charles Chaplin came to Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios late in 1913 as a little-known British vaudevillian, and after a year, had not only established his Tramp character, learned to write and direct his own films, and also achieved public recognition as a star comedian. Although Keystone did not publicize its performers by name, standees of Chaplin's likeness outside theatres sufficed to attract audiences. Some of the films, especially Tillie's Punctured Romance, remained in theatrical distribution for decades. The fact that all but one of the Chaplin Keystones exist is due, of course, to the star's enormous subsequent popularity. Most of the original Keystone negatives, however, were simply printed away and the survival of all but a few of these films depends upon a very few original prints, a larger number of reissue prints, and some duped prints from later years. With the support of Association Chaplin (Paris), 35mm full aperture, early-generation materials were gathered over an eight year search on almost all the films from archives and collectors around the world, and were painstakingly pieced together and restored by the British Film Institute National Archive, the Cineteca Bologna and its laboratory L'Immagine Ritrovata in Italy, and Lobster Films in Paris. Most are now clear, sharp and rock-steady, although some reveal that their source prints are well-used and a handful survives only in 16mm. One can now understand Chaplin's meteoric rise, for it is possible for the first time in generations to see clearly what clever and imaginative films he made at Keystone.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Comedy , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for Chaplin at Keystone Studios

All Critics (1)

What we see in these films is Chaplin learning to translate stage business to screen action, which he grasps almost immediately.

Full Review… | November 4, 2010
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