Ten iconic Charlie Chaplin films restored for cinema release
In the 1910s and 1920s, Charlie Chaplin was possibly the most famous person on the planet. Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin KBE (1889–1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, writer and composer who rose to superstardom in the silent film era, through his beloved screen character, The Tramp.
In a cinematographic career spanning more over 50 years, he came to be widely regarded as the greatest comic artist of the screen and one of the most important figures in motion picture history.
Chaplin’s first full-length film and one of his highest-grossing cinematic masterpieces, The Kid (1921), celebrates its centenary this year, one of the cinema’s first features to reach 100.
To celebrate this milestone, The Kid, newly restored in stunning 4K, will be back on the big screen for Australian and New Zealand audiences from July 14. The international theatrical distribution company Piece of Magic Entertainment, and mk2 Films, one of France’s biggest independent film companies, have forged a partnership to release a collection of ten iconic Chaplin films in cinemas worldwide.
mk2 Films has completed 2k or 4k restorations of the films in the Chaplin Collection. In Australia and New Zealand, the films will be released as two seasons. Season One will present five Chaplin films from the Silent Films era: The Kid (1921), A Woman of Paris (1923), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936). Season Two will present five Chaplin films from the Talking Pictures era: The Great Dictator (1940), The Gold Rush (1942), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952) and A King in New York (1957).
Season One will launch with The Kid in July, then follow with the other four films, in chronological order, one each month. Season Two will launch with The Great Dictator in early 2022, then follow with the other four films, in chronological order, one each month.
A series of new posters and trailers designed for contemporary audiences have been commissioned to commemorate the anniversary.
SEASON ONE – The Silent Era
THE KID – 1921 / B & W / Silent / 53’ / in 4k
Musical soundtrack by Charles Chaplin 1971
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Edna Purviance, Lita Grey, Chuck Reisner
Widely considered one of the greatest films of the silent era, Charlie Chaplin’s first full-length film gives his iconic and beloved character, the Little Tramp, a new sidekick in the Kid (Jackie Coogan). One of the first feature films in cinema history to combine comedy and drama, The Kid remains significant, timeless and much loved. Website: www.thekid.film
A WOMAN OF PARIS – 1923 / B & W / Silent / 81’ / in 2k
Musical soundtrack by Charles Chaplin 1976
Cast: Edna Purviance, Adolphe Menjou, Carl Miller
Against the wishes of their tyrannical parents, Jean and Marie decide to elope to Paris. The sudden death of Jean’s father makes it impossible for him to meet her at the station, and Marie heads for Paris alone. A year later, Jean finds her in the arms of a rich and decadent playboy… and tragedy ensues. Highly acclaimed by filmmakers from Lubitsch to Scorsese, this brilliant yet subtle
Parisian fresco reveals the dramatic genius of the King of Comedy.
THE CIRCUS – 1928 / B & W / Silent / 72’ / in 4k
Musical soundtrack by Charles Chaplin 1968
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Allan Garcia, Harry Crocker, Henry Bergman, Stanley J. Sandford
The Little Tramp is hired by a circus and soon becomes the main
attraction when his comedic blunders drive the crowd wild. Having
fallen in love with the ringmaster’s daughter, he doesn’t even realize
he is the show’s main feature. In this high-flying comedy, we are
quickly caught up in Chaplin’s whirlwind of gags, where even the
acrobats and clowns watch his show- stopping stunts from the
CITY LIGHTS 1931 / B & W / Silent / 87’ / in 2k
Musical soundtrack by Charles Chaplin, La Violetera by Jose
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers,
Allan Garcia, Hank Mann
The loveable and hapless Little Tramp falls for a blind flower girl,
who mistakes him for a millionaire. We enter a world of a
disenchanted bourgeoisie, where a tramp is king and a blind girl, queen…
MODERN TIMES – 1936 / B & W / Silent / 87’ / in 2k
Music and sound effects by Charles Chaplin 1936
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman
The Little Tramp struggles to live in a modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. Chaplin provides a critical look at productivity in the early 20th century…and well beyond. A newly restored 2K-resolution digital transfer of Modern Times from Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Criterion Collection, with an outstanding new recording of the original score restored and conducted by Timothy Brock and performed by the NDR Radiophilharmonie Orchestra.
SEASON TWO: The Talking Pictures Era
Although Charlie Chaplin famously resisted the move to “talkies”, The Great Dictator gave audiences not only their first opportunity to hear Chaplin talk, but also deliver one of the most significant monologues in cinema history. This film launches Season Two of Chaplin masterpieces (with films from 1940 -1957) and shows
Chaplin breaking free from the confines of the studio system, unafraid to express his political views, taking brave paths and cementing his status as one of cinema’s most beloved geniuses.
THE GREAT DICTATOR – 1940 / B & W / 125’ / in 2k
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie,
Reginald Gardiner, Henry Daniell, Billy Gilbert, Grace Hayle
A Jewish barber returns home after twenty years to find his shop dilapidated and marked with hateful graffiti, the work of a tyrannical regime under xenophobic dictator Hynkel. A visionary satire that marked history, just as history itself left its mark on the film.
THE GOLD RUSH – 1942 / B & W /72’ / in 2k
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Georgia Hale, Henry Bergman, Tom Murray, Malcolm Waite
The 1942 re-release with music and narration by Charles Chaplin of the 1925 feature film. The Little Tramp seeks his fortune in the gold mines of the Klondike. In this world where shoelaces become spaghetti and bread rolls become ballet shoes, Chaplin, the alchemist, turns gold into poetry.
MONSIEUR VERDOUX – 1947 / B & W / 124’ / in 2k
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Martha Raye, Isobel Elsom, Marilyn Nash, Robert Lewis, Mady Correll
Inspired by notorious French serial killer Landru, a suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.
In this particularly dark comedy, Chaplin questions our perception of evil: isn’t this refined criminal a mere amateur compared to weapons suppliers and dictators? We stand ready to condemn a murderer, but when war victims are counted in millions, we celebrate a hero.
LIMELIGHT – 1952 / B & W / 137’ / in 2k
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Buster Keaton, Sydney Chaplin
A once famous music hall star saves a young ballerina from suicide. He nurtures her back to health and helps her regain her self-esteem so that she may return to the stage. In this film Chaplin intimately and poignantly explores the twilight years of glory: what it means to be forgotten, to despair, and how to gather the strength to overcome. Chaplin also offers Buster Keaton a highly memorable appearance in their musical duet.
KING IN NEW YORK – 1958 / B & W / 105’ / in 2k
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Dawn Addams, Michael Chaplin, Maxine
Audley, Jerry Desmonde, Oliver Johnston
A recently deposed European monarch seeks shelter in New York City, where he becomes an accidental television celebrity and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist. A biting satire of everything from communism to consumerism.
In Melbourne, Season One films will screen at The Astor Theatre St Kilda, Village Knox, Southland & Rivoli, Classic Elsternwick & Lido & Cameo Belgrave (screening dates/sessions to be confirmed). Season Two to follow in early 2022.
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