bfi Chaplin Keystone Restorations

The project to restore the Chaplin Keystone titles is taking place over several years and will restore all 35 titles to as near their original release versions as possible.

In this section we will describe the restoration work to date that is being undertaken at the bfi National Archive. We also have a short film illustrating the decision-making process in restoring A Film Johnnie.

We describe each individual film restoration, its sources and the process of the restoration work.

Case Study

There is also an in-depth case study of one of the films, A Film Johnnie by National Archive archivist Kieron Webb which gives a blow by blow account of this actual film restoration. We discuss the processes, the skills, knowledge and equipment needed and the decisions taken to bring the film back to as near original release condition as is possible.

Photo © Glenn MitchellInterview (mp3)

We talk about why it is important to restore the Chaplin Keystones in an interview with Glenn Mitchell, author of The Chaplin Encyclopaedia and tireless documenter of the Keystone prints.