Charlie Chaplin's Documentaries
A USA shop for Chaplin films available on DVD and VHS at Amazon


Charlie Chaplin Documentaries
This is a mixed collection of Charlie Chaplin documentaries on DVD and VHS still available in the USA, but some are becoming rare and maybe available only used. The best known with Chaplin fans is 'The Unknown Chaplin' series produced and written by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. This series is a 'must' for any Chaplin or silent film collector. The same team created the 13-part Hollywood Series about the silent era, which includes Comedy: A Serious Business. Both series are excellent.

The three part 'UNKNOWN CHAPLIN SERIES' has just been released on DVD with the Italian and English book 'The Search for Charlie Chaplin'. Also the DVD has been released in Canada and USA.

The Hollywood Series is still on hold for DVD release at this time (March 2007).


Richard Schickel's informative documentary
Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin is available in the Volume 2 Chaplin Collection in the USA and also as single DVDs (see below). 'Chaplin's Goliath' about Eric Campbell, Chaplin's co-star during the Mutuals, is available as a single DVD or with the Essanay and Mutual Collection.

This is the USA guide to The Chaplin Collection created by ednapurviance.org.



See one to buy? Click on the DVD/VHS button to view the video's page on Amazon.com
Follow these links below to the different sections and pages:
WARNER HOME VIDEO - 2003-04 IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT DOCUMENTARIES AND MORE
THE CHAPLIN COLLECTION ESSANAY AND MUTUALS - DVDS UNKNOWN CHAPLIN
CHAPLIN COLLECTION EXTRAS ESSANAY AND MUTUALS - VHS CHAPLIN DOCUMENTARIES
CHAPLIN - DVD & VHS INDEX FIRST NATIONAL/UNITED ARTISTS KEYSTONE - DVD AND VHS
CHAPLIN'S BLU-RAY AND KEYSTONE COLLECTIONS
CRITERION COLLECTION UK - PARK CIRCUS
FLICKER ALLEY AND BFI

See one to buy? Click on the DVD/VHS icon for the Amazon page it is located.
Documentaries by David Gill and Kevin Brownlow
DVD VHS
Unknown Chaplin DVD
Unknown Chaplin Collection DVD
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow - Thames Television
Narrator - James Mason


On DVD by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. The three part series includes 'My Happiest Years' - Part One, 'The Great Director' - Part Two and 'Hidden Treasures' - Part Three. Music by Carl Davis.

Includes new extras and interview with Kevin Brownlow. The Italy DVD in the book version 'The Search for Charlie Chaplin' plays on both European and USA DVD players. Italy link to DVD/BOOK version: libreriauniversitaria.it Also a Chaplin Fan review on the Italian book/dvd.

Also, the
DVD ONLY (pictured left) available at Amazon in the USA. And also in the UK.


Thankfully, this series has been released on DVD. See above.
The following listing is for people who still collect VHS

Unknown Chaplin Collection Set
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow - Thames Television
Narrator - James Mason


Released in 1990's, the Unknown Chaplin series is still the best series on Chaplin's work available. The three part series includes 'My Happiest Years' - Part One, 'The Great Director' - Part Two and 'Hidden Treasures' - Part Three.

See individual films below for more details. Music by Carl Davis.

Unknown Chaplin My Happiest Years Unknown Chaplin - My Happiest Years - Part 1
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow - Thanes Television
Narrator - James Mason

See how Charlie Chaplin created his films with these great Mutual Outtakes which feature Edna Purviance and the other Chaplin Stock players. Excellent series to see Chaplin at work in films like 'The Cure', 'Behind the Screen', 'The Immigrant', 'The Adventurer' and much more....

Rare film footage of Sydney Chaplin on the
'Pawnshop' Mutual set

Unknown Chaplin The Great Director Unknown Chaplin - The Great Director - Part Two
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow - Thames Television
Narrator - James Mason


Part Two includes interviews with Lita Grey Chaplin, Georgia Hale (The Gold Rush star) Jackie Coogan (The Kid Star), 'Dinky' Dean Riesner (The Pilgrim), Sydney Chaplin (Charlie's son) and Virginia Cherrill (the blind girl in City Lights).

Includes a home movie taken during the making of
'City Lights', behind-the-scenes story of the making of 'City Lights' and rare photos during filming in Truckee, California for 'The Gold Rush'. And more!
Unknown Chaplin Hidden Treasures Unknown Chaplin - Hidden Treasures - Part 3
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow - Thames Television
Narrator - James Mason


Part Three includes the never finished project called 'The Professor' , deleted street scene from 'City Lights' , home movies at Pickfair, the deleted barbershop scene from 'Sunnyside' and much more...

This whole series on
VHS is becoming rare and may not be available new at times, but can be brought used.


NOTE: This have been removed from the Amazon UK listing.

HOLLYWOOD SERIES - DVD
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow - Thames Television
Narrator - James Mason
Music by Carl Davis

The Hollywood Series is on hold at this time. It is a GEM that deserves to be on DVD and in your collection! Copyright issues has held this DVD release. (read more below about the series)

Check out to learn more: THE HOLLYWOOD SERIES!

One of the VHS Tapes from Hollywood Series
Hollywood - Comedy 'A Serious Business'
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow - Thames Television
Narrator - James Mason
Music by Carl Davis

This thirteen part Hollywood Series is THE BEST on the silent Hollywood film era. Created by David Gill and Kevin Brownlow it covers all the silent film years to the start of the talkies. With priceless interviews with the stars of the silent era, it sprawned great series like 'Unknown Chaplin', Buster Keaton 'A Hard Act to Found' and 'Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood'.

In the Beginning
The Hollywood Series Collection
A Celebration of American Silent Film
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow
Thames Television - Photoplay Productions
Narrator - James Mason
Music - Carl Davis


The Hollywood Series should be an essential part of any film collection! This excellent 13-part series covers the full Silent Era from its earliest beginnings to the start of the talkies. Included are priceless interviews of the stars, directors and techincians who worked in the era. Click on VHS link to the right for the full collection available. UPDATE: This series is now on hold for DVD release.

This series spawned many other fine series created by Brownlow and Gill and led to Cinema Europe:The Other Hollywood in 1997.

Special page of the Full Individual Films in VHS Collection!


Buster Keaton, D.W. Griffith, Harold Lloyd and more
David Gill and Kevin Brownlow
Documentary Collections


See more of the great documentaries from Kevin Brownlow and David Gill including the excellent three part Buster Keaton's 'A Hard Act to Follow' and Harold Lloyd 'The Third Genius'. Some of the these collections are becoming rare and only on VHS, but I have links to Amazon to help you keep track when they are available. All are a must for any serious film collection.

Chaplin's Goliath, Chaplin & Co. and more documentaries DVD VHS
Charlie Chaplin: Forgotten Years (2003)
Hart Sharp Video* - Documentary - DVD

Now available! This latest documentary contains 22 minutes of interviews with Chaplin's children and stars Sir Peter Ustinov and Petula Clark. I have seen this film and would recommend to fans who like to learn more about Chaplin's later years. Special thanks to former Hart Sharp Video (*now Arts Alliance America).

Here is a review of this documentary.
Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin
Richard Schickel Documentary

This excellent documentary by Richard Schickel is available with 'The Chaplin Collection Volume 2' in the U.SA. It is also available used from Amazon. Check this link to Amazon for availability.

The Chaplin Complete Collection available in the UK, has this documentary as well.
Check: The Charlie Chaplin UK DVD and Video Guide and Shop for more details.


Available in
The Chaplin Collection
Volume 1*

in the USA
The Tramp and the Dictator
Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft Documentary

This excellent documentary by Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft covers the lifes of both Chaplin and Hitler. Born in the same month in 1889, both gained the world's attention. Chaplin took aim at Hitler in his film 'The Great Dictator'.

It also includes very rare color film footage of Chaplin at work on the Great Dictator taken by Charlie's brother, Sydney Chaplin.

*Available with
'The Chaplin Collection Volume 1', 'The Great Dictator Limited 3-disc Collector's Edition' and 'The Great Dictator 2-disc Special Edition' in the U.SA.

Available on
The Chaplin Collection DVDs

in the USA and UK
Chaplin Today
Special Series Created in France

This special series of documentaries was created in France about each of Chaplin's feature-length films. Viewers will find each documentary very different and some quite informative. Check The Chaplin Extras for more details on each production.



Slapstick Encyclopedia, Vol. 6 - Chaplin & Co.
VHS - Kino Video

While this collection includes 'The Rink' and 'A Night at the Show', the best part about this collection is seeing the stars of Chaplin's days impersonating the real Charlie Chaplin.

Volume six contains Billy West, Billie Richie and Stan Laurel. Plus a rare 1916 clip of Chaplin in New York City conducting an orchestra for a fund-raiser.

The Gentleman Tramp
Official Biography - 1975

Narrated by Walter Matthau, this was the only authorized video biography created while Charlie was still alive. Includes home movies, news footage and scenes about Chaplin's life and career.

Available on VHS and on DVD in the newly restored
The Chaplin Mutual Comedies 90th Anniversary Edition from Image in the USA. (This is the collection with the music by Carl Davis.)

Chaplin's Goliath Chaplin's Goliath - 1996
In Search of Scotland's Forgotten Star
Image Entertainment


Chaplin's Goliath is the documentary on Scottish-born Eric Campbell. Eric co-starred in nearly all of Chaplin's Mutual comedies. This documentary covers his early days in United Kingdom to his death in late 1917.

Includes rare pictures of Campbell, interviews with film experts David Robinson and Kevin Macdonald. Also interviews from the Campbell Family.
The Eternal Tramp - 1965
Released from FOX VIDEO - 2003

Chaplin documentary created in 1965. Narrated by Gloria Swanson, it takes a look at Chaplin's film career. Many later documentaires are far better, but this is interesting to see how Chaplin was viewed in the 1960's.

Side note: actress Gloria Swanson was once an extra in Chaplin's first Essanay film.
When Comedy was King
Days of Thrills and Laughter - 1961
Released from VCI Entertainment - 2010

First time on DVD, hosted by Robert Youngson. Made in 1961 this documentary has been on TCM for many years, but finally on DVD. It includes Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Fatty Arbuckle, the mystery of Harry Houdini and much more.

When Comedy was King
When Comedy was King - 1959/1960
Released from Televista - 2007

An early look at a collection of silent comedy scenes which included Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson, Mabel Normand, Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel. DVD Release.

When Comedy was King When Comedy was King - 1959/1960
Released from Terra Entertainment - 2003

An early look at a collection of silent comedy scenes which included Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson, Mabel Normand, Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel. VHS Release.

X Chaplin's Art of Comedy- 1969
Released from Image Entertainment - 1999

When this was created in 1969, seeing any Chaplin film in the U.S. was rare. Few cities were showing Chaplin films. Charlie was restoring his films during the 1950's, 60's and 70's. As he released his copyrighted films in theatres, interest in Chaplin's earlier work increased. Films such as this one were rushed to market.

Compared to the outstanding documentaries done later, this is quite poor, but is an excellent example on how far documentaries have come since. A few rare bits, here and there. DVD Release.

Oscar's Greatest Moments

I mention this out-of-print VHS video because it is one of the very few sources to see Charile Chaplin receive his honorary Oscar at the 1972 Academy Awards. The moment is on the end of the tape.

It is available used.
EARLY DAY FILMS
Three Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg
Underworld, Last Command, Docks of New York
Crierion Collection - 2010
Three Disc DVD Set


These are the three films Josef von Sternberg made after 'A Woman of the Sea' (The Sea Gull) wasn't released by Charlie Chaplin. Includes extras.
The Movies Begin
The Movies Begin The Movies Begin: A Treasury of Early Cinema 1894-1913
Kino International - 2002
Five Disc DVD Set


See the films Charlie and Edna could have seen before Chaplin made it to the silver screen. David Shepard helped produced this best collection of early day films available. Read the Amazon reviews to learn more. Great for any collector of silent films.

The Movies Begin

Can't decided what gift to give?


Amazon Gift Cards


UNKNOWN CHAPLIN AND OTHER CHAPLIN DOCUMENTAIRES
DVD VHS

WARNER HOME VIDEO - 2003-04 IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT DOCUMENTARIES AND MORE
THE CHAPLIN COLLECTION ESSANAY AND MUTUALS - DVDS UNKNOWN CHAPLIN
CHAPLIN COLLECTION EXTRAS ESSANAY AND MUTUALS - VHS CHAPLIN DOCUMENTARIES
CHAPLIN - DVD & VHS INDEX FIRST NATIONAL/UNITED ARTISTS KEYSTONE - DVD AND VHS
CHAPLIN'S BLU-RAY AND KEYSTONE COLLECTIONS
CRITERION COLLECTION UK - PARK CIRCUS
FLICKER ALLEY AND BFI


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