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Barbara Burkowsky Says, in 1-21-2010 at 11:26:43 from     

As the name of this DVD series implies, the three films on this volume are among the essentials in any Chaplin, comedy or silent film collection, and also an excellent choice for anyone not very familiar with Chaplin or silent comedies. The highlight on this DVD is definitely “The Kid”, which is actually quite a sad and serious story for the most part, lightened by some funny moments and a satisfying, happy ending. It is Chaplin’s first feature-length film (from 1921) being an hour long, while the other two films on this DVD are about 20 and 30 minutes in length. This makes for a nice variety on the one DVD, and the quality of all three films is excellent, making this budget-priced DVD an extremely good value buy.

The two shorter comedies are “Sunnyside” and “A Day’s Pleasure”, both from 1919 and written and produced by Chaplin. The first one shows what Charlie, the all-round hotel employee, gets up to on a Sunday morning in the village of Sunnyside, from sleeping in as late as possible to botching the cow-herding, resulting in his tumble from a bridge. Here begins an interesting sequence of dancing with fairy-like nymphs in a dream state while he is knocked out, and some later adventures that day also turn out to be just a dream, so there are some clever aspects to look out for, not mere slapstick comedy routines all the time.

The second short comedy, “A Day’s Pleasure”, is about the family’s outing, from getting the rattling old car going to everyone being seasick on the boat trip and traffic chaos on the way home. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment and even the accompanying music for the two short comedies is lively old-style Jazz which suits the mood of these two films perfectly. In contrast, the music for “The Kid” is quite different and much more sombre, which is also fitting to most parts of this special feature about a tramp finding an abandoned baby and raising the child himself – and what a cute and clever kid he turns out to be! All round, a most enjoyable and entertaining DVD!
Rating: 4 / 5

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