The films having Chaplin's voice are in BOLD
Image Entertainment - First National and United Artists Films
restored by David Shepard and Roy Export - 1990's
A collection of the Chaplin films restored and remastered by David Shepard and his associates during the 1990's. These films were from United Artists, First National and Britain Films. Available in the U.S., this now out-of-print collection was unique, because the films were returned to their original theatrical release versions, including all the scenes Chaplin had removed during the 1940's thru the 70's. Chaplin felt the deleted scenes didn't suit a modern day audience.
In the see-saw of versions the latest and current Warner Bros. Chaplin Collection has once again deleted the footage that was included in this 1990's remastering.
The Warner Bros. versions have the better sound and film quality, but the Shepard versions have scenes in the actual films available now only in this collection. The films that received the most editing were the pre-sound era films, which included films like The Kid and Pay Day. All the films before City Lights were true silent films (no soundtrack on the actual released films). All the films from City Lights onward had a soundtrack composed by Chaplin. This is why the pre-City Lights films have the most versions, because Chaplin was not dealing with a pre-recorded sound track. And that is why Shepard and Roy Export had the option to re-create the original silent versions of these early films. So now, there are in some case, two editions of these early works.
These out-of-print films are still available at Amazon, as used or occasionally still new, factory sealed editions. The most collectable are the Charlie Chaplin First National Collection and The Kid and A Dog's Life . Please note, many bootleg versions are showing up on the market. SEE the COVERS BELOW and be careful who you buy from. (Note: This collection is only available on DVD.)
This rare DVD contains six of the First National Films and the bonus feature 'Nice and Friendly', with Lord and Lady Mountbatten and Jackie Coogan. It also includes scenes now deleted from the current Chaplin Collection.
Films included: 'Shoulder Arms', 'Sunnyside', 'A Day's Pleasure', 'The Idle Class', 'Pay Day' and 'The Pilgrim'.
The best part about this collection is seeing the films in nearly their full original theatrical release versions.
The films did have film speeds corrected, but there was no budget to rescore the music, so the music was adjusted to fit the restored film and is not the smoothest. But a great collection to have for the rare film edits not available on any of the new collections.
Beware: Many bootleg versions on the market. Must look like this cover from Image Entertainment CBS/FOX USA release.
The Kid and A Dog's Life
Charlie Chaplin in The Kid and A Dog's Life
Image Entertainment - collectable
with Edna Purviance and Jackie Coogan as The Kid
This is becoming a collector's item for fans who want to see the original 1921 version of 'The Kid', which is not available in the new Chaplin Collection series. This version is the best one for seeing more of Edna Purviance's scenes and more of the story about the child's parents.
It is still available, but getting rare. 'The Kid' and 'First National Collection' are the most valuable from this set of films. 'A Dog's Life' co-stars Edna Purviance and Sydney Chaplin.
Beware: Many bootleg versions are on the market. Must look like this cover with 'A Dog's Life' from Image Entertainment CBS/FOX USA release.
The Gold Rush
Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush
with Georgia Hale and Mack Swain
1942 version with the intertitle removed and Chaplin speaking the narrative. It was also is the edition re-edited with scenes like the ending changed.
For most fans the original 1925 silent version is the favorite. Both 1925 and 1942 versions are now included in the new Chaplin Collection DVD set from Warner Home Video.
Includes an interview with Lita Grey Chaplin, original scenario called 'The Lucky Strike - A Play in Two Scenes', and production photos.
Charlie Chaplin in The Circus - 1928
with Merna Kennedy and Harry Crocker
A very popular film for many Chaplin fans, even if it wasn't very popular with Chaplin. Has the favorite funhouse scenes that includes the house of mirrors and Chaplin on the high wire, which he learned how to walk from Henry Bergman. This film opens like the original silent version. Chaplin created music in the late 60's, early 70's for this film. Film was originally shown with live music, like all the Chaplin films before 'City Lights'.
Includes the extras: the deleted 1970's reissued title and credits with Chaplin singing 'Swing Little Girl', and film footage with Chaplin, Kennedy and Crocker at a cafe with David Shepard narrative. Set sketches by Charles D. Hall and daily production reports.
Charlie Chaplin in City Lights - 1931
with Virginia Cherrill
One of Chaplin's most popular movies about a tramp, a drunk and a blind flower girl. This DVD has both the original 1931 Chaplin-recorded film score and Carl Davis' digital recording of the same music. This was the earliest recorded soundtrack of all of Chaplin's films.
Includes an interview with Carl Davis, production and publicity information.
Note: Carl Davis' City Lights recording is available on CD, and is included in the Limited Edition City Lights 3-disc set. The Royal Festival Hall in London also has a store where is it available. See the Charlie Chaplin Festival article for more details.
Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times - 1936
with Paulette Goddard
Chaplin's last silent film, released in 1936. It was Paulette Goddard's first starring role and made her a star. It is about Charlie's battle in the machine world, strikes and unemployment, and the 'The Gamin' who join him in the battle.
Modern Times' theme music is well known as the melody for 'Smile'. Includes original story notes, shooting log and production reports.
The Great Dictator
Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator - 1940
with Paulette Goddard and Jack Oakie
Chaplin's first talking film about a Jewish barber who happens to look like the dictator Hynkel. With Jack Oakie as Benzino Napaloni. Made before WWII, it was Chaplin's first talking picture.
Includes a deleted barbershop scene from Sunnyside, Fox Movietone Newsreel about Hitler, original story notes, drafts of scripts and production records and more.
Charlie Chaplin in Monsieur Verdoux - 1947
with Martha Raye and Marilyn Nash
Monsieur Verdoux was Chaplin's dark comedy about a out-of-work French bank clerk who leads a life as a 'bluebeard'. He marries and murders his 'wives' for money to help out his real wife and son.
Includes sketches of sets, production photos and records and original segments of the script with changes suggested by the Breen Office. (The censors of Chaplin's day.)
Charlie Chaplin in Limelight - 1952
with Clare Bloom, Sydney Chaplin and Buster Keaton
Chaplin's last America film created at the Chaplin Film Studio. This film has several of Chaplin's own children in roles including a supporting role played by Charlie's son, Sydney Chaplin. Plus Chaplin's half-brother, Wheeler Dryden, playing the part of the doctor.
The story is about an aging clown, Calvero, who helps a young ballerina Terry rise to fame.
Includes deleted footage after the premiere, the 1919 original flea circus routine and working text from the novel upon which this film is based.
A King of New York
A King of New York - 1957
with Dawn Addams and Michael Chaplin
King of New York was the last film starring Chaplin. It is about an exiled King who travels to New York and America's commercialized society.
It was created in Britian and is not one of Chaplin's popular films. Extras includes film footage of Chaplin conducting for the King of New York score.
A Woman of Paris - 1923
with Edna Purviance and Adolphe Menjou
'A Woman of Paris' was Chaplin's first drama and first Untied Artists Film. (Chaplin co-founded United Artists.) This is Edna Purviance's first starring role and her last film under Chaplin's direction. The film broke new ground and was critically acclaimed in 1923. Our research so far is showing that the film played in theaters much longer than popularly reported, and was more favored by the public than has been described in Chaplin literature.
It is actually a very good silent film that should be in any silent film collection.
Learn more from this excellent article on the film: 'A Woman of Paris'.
A King of New York
Charlie Chaplin Boxed Set - 2000
with The Gold Rush, City Lights, The Great Dictator, Modern Times