Charlie Chaplin The Essanay Comedies
Across the course of just one year, Charlie Chaplin went from a popular stage actor to screen megastar and box office draw with the films he made at Mack Sennett’s Keystone Company. Keystone turned out fast-paced, broad slapstick comedy shorts which delighted audiences of their day but often look a little crude by modern standards. Nevertheless, Chaplin shone out amongst his contemporaries and when his contract came up for renewal at the end of the year, he demanded a higher wage of $1,000 a year. When Sennett refused this demand, Chaplin negotiated an even higher wage of $1,250 a year (plus a $10,000 signing bonus) with the Essanay Company. Chaplin’s move was not only financially beneficial but also crucial in allowing him the greater creative freedom to refine his art. Though the Essanay films are now seen as a transitional period for Chaplin, it is quickly apparent when watching the films chronologically that he is going from strength to strength and, to audiences who were not aware that even better was to come, the films on the BFI’s new complete overview of Chaplin’s Essanay work were considered the gold standard of screen comedy at the time.

2 x BD50 | 1080p AVC | 03:31:42 + 03:02:18 | 90.1 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English intertitles
Subtitles: none
Genre: Short, Comedy

The result of a 12 year project, led by Lobster Films and the Cineteca di Bologna, this comprehensive 2 disc Blu-ray collection features 15 films, fully restored, presented alongside exclusive special features.


- "His New Job" (1915) (28:57)
- "A Night Out" (1915) (27:27)
- "The Champion" (1915) (31:12)
- "In the Park" (1915) (14:11)
- "A Jitney Elopement" (1915) (25:05)
- "The Tramp" (1915) (26:43)
- "By the Sea" (1915) (14:22)
- "His Regeneration" (1915) (15:10)
- "Work" (1915) (28:30)

• Charlie Butts In (1920, 10:40): short compilation of out-takes and alternative shots from Chaplin's 1915 film A Night Out

- "A Woman" (1915) (23:20)
- "The Bank" (1915) (25:20)
- "Shanghaied" (1915) (27:45)
- "A Night in the Show" (1915) (24:34)
- "Burlesque on 'Carmen'" (1915) (31:26)
- "Police" (1916) (26:03)

• Charlie Chaplin: The Long Year at Essanay (2016, 22:24): newly recorded video essay presented by writer and broadcaster Glenn Mitchell
• Charlie's Triple Trouble (c1944,15:33): the re-released British version of Chaplin's 1918 films triple Trouble
• A Burlesque on Carmen (1951, 36 mins): containing additional footage filmed after Chaplin's departure from Essanay. This version features commentary by comedian Peter Sellers, which was used for the films British re-release