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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
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The Circus
(1928)

 
Park Circus
2010 Blu-ray Disc / DVD edition

The Circus (1928), black & white, 69 minutes, BBFC Classification U.

Park Circus, PCB0018, UPC 5-060203-34018-6.
Pillarboxed 16:9 24FPS AVCHD / full-frame 4:3 PAL, one single-sided Blu-ray Disc and one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region B / Region 2, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, two-disc BD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, £19.99.
Release date: 15 November 2010.
Country of origin: Scotland
This UK high-definition edition of The Kid, from a Scottish distribution company and produced for home video by MK2, features a new high-definition video transfer from 35mm print materials controlled by the Estate of Charles Chaplin.

The film is presented with the established music score composed by Charles Chaplin.

The disc’s supplemental material includes an introduction by David Robinson, outtakes from The Circus, and a photo gallery.

Other than its HD transfer, and this edition being nearly identical in content to the 2004 Warner Home Video edition noted below, owners of that edition may not feel the need to acquire this Park Circus edition. This edition, currently the only high-quality edition in print, is recommended for those who want to add the film to their collection now.

North American collectors will need a Region B or region-free Blu-ray Disc player and/or a region-free PAL DVD player capable of outputting an NTSC-compatible signal to view this edition.

 
United Kingdom: Click to buy this Region B Blu-ray Disc / Region 2 PAL DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
Warner Home Video
2004 DVD edition

The Circus (1928), black & white, 69 minutes, Rated G,
with Circus Days (1923) [exerpts], black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Warner Home Video, 37644,
UPC 0-85393-76442-5, ISBN 0-7907-7161-6.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai and Korean language subtitles, 20 chapter stops, two plastic DVD trays on cardboard wrap in cardboard slipcase, $29.95.
Release date: 2 March 2004.
Country of origin: USA

This edition from Warner Home Video is sanctioned by the Estate of Charles Chaplin and was digitally restored from excellent 35mm materials held by the estate. However, we have had problems with the disc displaying properly to a 16:9 high-definition television when played from one of our DVD players. The picture fills the 16:9 monitor in width (already wrong for a 4:3 format picture) and crops the top and bottom of the picture to do so. No amount of manipulation of the picture settings ideally resolves the issue. Other DVD players will not have this problem.

The disc’s supplementary material includes outtakes from The Circus, studio visitor footage, 3D test footage shot by Chaplin’s long-time cameraman, A-B camera footage comparisons, and more.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
CBS/Fox Home Video
2000 DVD edition

The Circus (1928), black & white, 71 minutes, Rated G.

CBS/Fox Home Video, distributed by Image Entertainment, ID9180CUDVD, UPC 0-14381-91802-1.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, snapper DVD case, $29.99.
Release date: 8 February 2000.
Country of origin: USA
We have not seen the DVD, however, we are familiar with this film. The Circus is one of Chaplin’s best films is one not so well known as his other features. We love the tightrope-walking sequence. The disc features an outtake scene.

It appears that the masters from the 1993 Chaplin: A Legacy of Laughter laserdisc series were utilized for this and other year 2000 Chaplin DVD releases. The disc is now contractually out-of-print to make way for the Warner edition noted above.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other silent era CHARLES CHAPLIN films available on home video.
Charles Chaplin filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
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