King in New York/a Woman of Paris

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This DVD release -- Warner Home Video's two-disc set of Charles Chaplin's A King in New York and A Woman of Paris -- is both delightful and frustrating. On every technical level, it surpasses the earlier CBS/Fox-produced pairing of the two movies, released on laserdisc in the early '90s, and the DVD by Image Entertainment. The Warner double-disc offers superior transfers and, in the case of A King in New York, louder and richer audio fidelity. A Woman of Paris looks so good that it doesn't even seem like the same...
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Overview

This DVD release -- Warner Home Video's two-disc set of Charles Chaplin's A King in New York and A Woman of Paris -- is both delightful and frustrating. On every technical level, it surpasses the earlier CBS/Fox-produced pairing of the two movies, released on laserdisc in the early '90s, and the DVD by Image Entertainment. The Warner double-disc offers superior transfers and, in the case of A King in New York, louder and richer audio fidelity. A Woman of Paris looks so good that it doesn't even seem like the same movie, and, in a sense, it isn't. In place of the original 90-minute version of the 1923 film, the Warner disc utilized the 78-minute edition that Chaplin prepared in 1976 (with a new recording of the score) for its reissue, and therein lies the serious rub about this release: As good as this double-disc is, Chaplin fans who already own the Image disc may well want to hold on to the earlier release, and those who don't have it may want to find a copy of it. Taken purely on its own terms, Warner's release of A Woman of Paris is filled with deep contrasts throughout and a crispness that reveals skin textures and other details that were totally absent from the older Image DVD. Indeed, the 1923 movie looks at least a decade newer than its age would indicate -- and a perfectly preserved decade at that. Overall, this most obscure of Chaplin's silent features has a sharpness at least equal that of Modern Times, The Great Dictator, etc. from this DVD series. What's more, the score that Chaplin devised in the '70s gets the kind of fidelity that it deserves; it's equal to the best CD and brings out the richness of the playing that went into it. The accompanying documentary short, Chaplin Today: A Woman of Paris, is also delightful -- a lively and informative account of the origins of the movie, and is supported by recollections from the late filmmaker Michael Powell about its original release and perceptions of it at the time. Also included are re-enactments of Monta Bell, Rollie Totheroh, and Adolphe Menjou's comments about Chaplin's way of working, in addition to observations by actress/director Liv Ullmann about the movie's extraordinary maturity and complexity and its influence on her. A King in New York has also gotten a sparkling new transfer here, with a far sharper and brighter picture than the Image Entertainment DVD. As they did with A Woman of Paris, however, the makers have utilized Chaplin's 1970s-cut re-release of King, which was shorn of five minutes of footage from the original. The Image edition used the 1957 version, running 105 minutes, but the latter is preferable. It might be a little more scattered in its aim and focus, but it's also more piercing and direct, and slightly zanier as well. The documentary Chaplin Today: A King in New York, which features observations by Jim Jarmusch and recollections by Michael Chaplin (who appeared in the movie as a child), gives a good account of the film's complex political and personal origins, and the forces that influenced its content and structure, including Chaplin's need (for the first time in his career) to work quickly and within a budget, as he was no longer working at his own studio. It also explains the movie's failure to find a distributor in the U.S. until the '70s. The supplements for each title includes an array of missing scenes -- in tandem with edited versions of the same scenes for contrast -- though it's not the same as having the complete movie intact. In addition, one has to say that Warner Home Video is being a little misleading (or perhaps even deceptive) in its packaging when it refers to the presences of "deleted scenes" among the bonus features; unless one reads the fine print or is intimately familiar with the running times of both movies, it would be easy for an unsuspecting purchaser to expect to see some rare, never-before-seen outtakes, à la The Unknown Chaplin. Instead, there are merely shots that were in the older DVDs as a matter of course in releasing the movies. (Wouldn't it have been simpler and more honest to put both versions of each film in the DVD package, as Warner did in the first round of its Chaplin Collection with The Gold Rush?) On the positive side, the chaptering for each movie is extremely generous, and both discs feature concise and easy-to-use menus. In addition to excellent introductions, documentaries, and accounts of the missing scenes, each film comes with its respective reissue trailer, relevant production stills, and poster art. The disc containing A King in New York also includes the newsreel footage of Chaplin conducting the orchestra in the "Mandolin Serenade," while the A Woman of Paris disc contains documentary material on the city in the 1920s and the amateur 1926 film Camille, which includesChaplin in its cast. The language selections for subtitles include French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. Ultimately, there's no question that this 2004 Warner release is worth owning -- and that Chaplin fans will love it -- but thanks to the choices made by the producers here, those who already have the Image DVD version should hang on to that edition, as well.
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Special Features

A King in New York:; Introduction by Charles Chaplin biographer David Robinson; "Chaplin Today: A King in New York" documentary by Jérôme de Missolz with the participation of Jim Jarmusch; 14 deleted scenes; Mandolin serenade conducted by Chaplin; Photo gallery; Film posters; Trailers; The Chaplin collection; ; A Woman of Paris:; "Chaplin Today: A Woman of Paris" documentary by Mathias Ledoux with the participation of Liv Ullmann; Deleted shots; Signing the contract creating United Artists; Images of Paris in the 1920s; "Camille," a 1926 amateur movie by Ralph Barton based on "La Dame aux Camélias"; Photo gallery; Film posters; Trailers; The Chaplin Collection
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/2/2004
  • UPC: 085393765323
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 2:58:00
  • Format: DVD

Scene Index

Side #1 -- A King in New York
1. Directed by Charles Chaplin [1:22]
2. One of the Minor Annoyances of Modern Life [3:55]
3. Coming Attractions [5:27]
4. Caviar and Turtle Soup [1:47]
5. The Queen [6:59]
6. The Bathroom [4:37]
7. Real Life [11:27]
8. $20,000 [3:59]
9. The Progressive School [7:09]
10. Royal Crown Whisky [8:25]
11. Plastic Surgery [5:15]
12. Undone [4:56]
13. The King's Nephew [7:07]
14. The Atomic Commission [3:42]
15. Rupert Macabee [5:15]
16. A Royal Communist [1:07]
17. The Fire Hose [5:14]
18. Back to the Continent [7:44]
19. Nothing to Worry About [:42]
20. Finis [2:16]
1. Chapter 1 [:57]
2. Chapter 2 [1:08]
3. Chapter 3 [:48]
4. Chapter 4 [:52]
5. Chapter 5 [:54]
6. Chapter 6 [:47]
7. Chapter 7 [:43]
8. Chapter 8 [:45]
9. Chapter 9 [:51]
10. Chapter 10 [:44]
11. Chapter 11 [:49]
12. Chapter 12 [1:17]
12. Chapter 13 [1:17]
12. Chapter 14 [1:17]
Side #2 -- A Woman of Paris
1. Directed by Chales Chaplin [1:04]
2. Locked Out [5:43]
3. The Son [3:02]
4. Death of a Father [5:44]
5. Champagne Truffles [6:03]
6. Engagement Announced [5:22]
7. Depressed [2:37]
8. Quartier Latin [3:07]
9. Jean [4:03]
10. The Gown [4:36]
11. Le Portrait [3:07]
12. Marriage or Luxury [6:19]
13. Mother and Son [3:00]
14. Night [4:52]
15. Dinner Tomorrow [4:41]
16. Remorse and Despair [2:13]
17. The Last Time [4:41]
18. Vengeance [3:28]
19. The Secret of Happiness [2:13]
20. Whatever Became of Marie St. Clair [1:42]
1. Chapter 1 [:57]
2. Chapter 2 [1:08]
3. Chapter 3 [:48]
4. Chapter 4 [:52]
5. Chapter 5 [:54]
6. Chapter 6 [:47]
7. Chapter 7 [:43]
8. Chapter 8 [:45]
9. Chapter 9 [:51]
10. Chapter 10 [:44]
1. Paul Robeson [1:36]
2. Sinclair Lewis [:46]
3. Anita Loos [:59]
4. George Jean Nathan [1:54]
5. Donald Freeman [:12]
6. Pauline Stark [:28]
7. Theodore Droiser [:29]
8. Sherwood Anderson [:19]
9. Clarence Darrow [:18]
10. Lois Moran [:17]
11. Edouard Bourdet [:08]
12. Jacques Copeau [:30]
13. Georges Lepape [:10]
14. Denise Bourdet [:23]
15. Berrard Boutet de Monvel [:15]
16. Sacha Guitry [:35]
17. Yvonne Prineupe [:17]
18. Alfred Knopf [:16]
19. Serge Kouasevitsky [:15]
20. Wally Toscanini [:13]
21. H.L. Mancken [:26]
22. Joseph Hergesheimer [:08]
23. Aileen Pringle, Joan Marie [:16]
24. Marie-Blanche de Folignac [:10]
25. Julia Hoyt [:12]
26. Charles Chaplin [1:17]
27. Ethel Barrymore [:11]
28. John Emerson [:35]
29. Sen [1:05]
30. Paul Morand [:18]
31. Patsy Ruth Miller [:35]
32. Morris Gest [2:48]
33. Lili Darvas [:17]
34. Alex Ingras [2:30]
35. Paul Claudel [:28]
36. W. Somerset Maughan [:06]
37. Roland Young [:14]
38. Sultan of Morocco [:40]
39. Frank Keenan [:02]
40. Ferenc Molnar [:00]
41. Max Reinhardt [:06]
42. Charles G. Shaw [:08]
43. T.H. Smith [:30]
44. Edna Naylor [:17]
45. Mary Hutchins [:04]
46. Richard Barthelness [:00]
47. Chauncey Olcott [:07]
48. Nikita Salieff [:15]
49. Dorothy Gish [:26]
50. James Bonnie [:06]
51. Carmel Myers [2:24]
52. Fanny Ward [1:10]
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Menu

Side #1 -- A King in New York
   The Film
      English Version
      English Version 5.1
      French Version
      Direct Access to the Scenes
      Subtitles
         No Subtitles
         English
         Español
         Português
         Français
         Chinese
         Korean
         Thai
         English for the Hearing Impaired
   Supplements
      Introduction
      Chaplin Today
      Outtakes
      Mandolin Serenade
      Trailers
      Photo Gallery
      Film Posters
      The Chaplin Collection
Side #2 -- A Woman of Paris
   The Film
      English Version
      English Version 5.1
      Direct Access to Scenes
      Subtitles
         No Subtitles
         Español
         Português
         Français
         Chinese
         Korean
         Thai
   Supplements
   Supplements
      Introduction
      Chaplin Today
      Deleted Shots
      United Artists
      Paris in the 20's
      Camille (1926)
      Trailer
      Photo Gallery
         Charles Chaplin Directs A Woman of Paris
         Sets
         Edna Purviance
         Miscellaneous
      The Chaplin Collection
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