• For this week’s festival of free films on Hulu, Compare and Contrast, we serve up four pairs of titles that give the viewer a chance to see alternate visions of similar or the same material. For instance, we have two versions of Maxim Gorky’s play The Lower Depths, one by Akira Kurosawa and the other by Jean Renoir; both of Charlie Chaplin’s iterations of The Gold Rush, the original 1925 silent version and the 1942 version with new music and narration; and Yasujiro Ozu’s silent classic A Story of Floating Weeds and his own remake of twenty-five years later, Floating Weeds.

    Also available are a matched pair of Harold Lloyd films: the silent 1923 classic Safety Last and the 1930 talkie Feet First, essentially a remake and once again featuring the slapstick comedian making a daredevil climb up the side of a department store building. The latter is not currently available on DVD or Blu-ray in the United States, but you can watch it below or at Hulu. And remember, if you sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month, you can see more than 900 Criterion films commercial-free, anytime.

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