Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp
Charlie Chaplin is universally hailed as the greatest comedic talent in the history of motion pictures. And yet Chaplin's early efforts-which account for more than half of his total output-are often overlooked in favor of his later films. In 1914 Chaplin appeared in a total of 35 films for the Keystone Film Company; the following year he signed with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, where he wrote, directed and starred in more than a dozen short comedies. Though the resulting pictures were frequently crude and erratic, they reveal the emergence of a formidable comic genius. Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp is a film-by-film examination of this period in Chaplin's career, tracing the birth of his beloved 'Tramp" character and his evolution as an actor and filmmaker. Also discussed are how these movies have been re-edited, recopied, reissued and retitled over the years, with a special section that matches pseudonym titles to their original source film. Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp is a fascinating look at the first celluloid steps taken by this legendary laughmaker, and is a must for all Chaplin fans, old and new.
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