Showing posts with label Dean Reisner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dean Reisner. Show all posts

Thursday, February 26, 2015

THE PILGRIM, released February 26th, 1923

This was Chaplin's final film for First National and as usual it has an "escape-from-prison" theme (see The Adventurer, his last film for Mutual, and Police, his last film for Essanay.)

"May be disguised. 30 to 35 years of age. About five feet four inches in height.1 Weight about 125 pounds. Pale face. Black bushy hair sometimes parted in the middle. Small black mustache. Blue eyes. Small hands, large feet. Extremely nervous. Walks with feet turned out."

Charlie (aka "Lefty Lombard" aka "Slippery Elm") grabs the bars at the train station as if they were a cell.  There is a similar joke in The Adventurer where convict Charlie wakes up in a strange bed with bars on the headboard and wearing someone else's striped pajamas.

Syd Chaplin plays two roles in the film: one of the elopers (above) & the brat's father.

"Convict Makes Daring Escape"

After Charlie passes around the collection boxes, he gives a thankful look to one side of the room and an accusatory look to the other side who apparently didn’t give as much.

"The sermon--the sermon!"

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side.

The brat ("Dinky" Dean Reisner) shoves a piece of flypaper into his father's face.
Reisner said in an interview years later that the fly paper was real.
"I still feel it on my skin. It was awful!" he said.

Syd describes his missing hat to Charlie.

That moment when you realize your missing hat is part of the pudding.

 Charlie transforms himself into a riverboat gambler right in front of the camera.

"Mexico--a new life--peace at last"
 (Nitpicky note: there is no Rio Grande River separating the U.S. and Mexico)

1In real life, Chaplin was closer to 5' 6 1/2."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chaplin & "Dinky" Dean Reisner, c. 1922

More photos with Dinky at Chaplin's home here. Reisner describes this photo shoot (+ more photos) here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

With "Dinky" Dean Reisner, c. 1922

In a 1997 interview, Reisner describes how he came up with his own gag in the The Pilgrim and his favorite thing about this photo shoot:
I remember my dad being on the set during the shooting of my scene. And they used real fly-paper, I'll never forget that, REAL fly-paper. I still feel it on my skin, it was awful! And I remember the fish bowl I said, "I'll throw water and you stretch your hand out to think it's raining"--that was my gag! 
But the best part about making the film was when we went down to Hollywood Boulevard and bought me this overall suit. You know how they're crinkly when you get into them for the first time and the legs are stuck together? And Charlie lived in a house on a hill, and there was a long sweeping lawn and then there was the pool. But between the lawn and the pool was sand, and we went down into the sand and had a photo shoot, though for what I don't know. But I was delighted to get those new overalls! (Limelight, Winter 1997)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Charlie with "Dinky" Dean Reisner, c. 1922

These photos were taken at Charlie's Summit Drive home in Beverly Hills.

Reisner played the mischievous child in Chaplin’s 1923 film, The Pilgrim. Almost fifty years later he would write the screenplays for the Clint Eastwood films Play Misty For Me & Dirty Harry.

Dean's father was Chuck Reisner who worked for Charlie for several years (including a role in The Pilgrim). When Chaplin was looking for a child for the film, Chuck suggested his son. Years later Dean remembered being able to do everything Charlie asked except slap him. "I was well-brought-up kid and a gentle child, and I was not a great slapper of people. And so when it came time to start slapping people I didn't want to do it. I don't want to hit Uncle Charlie....Finally he and Sydney were playing slapping games. And they'd say, 'Oh, I love to be slapped. I just adore being slapped' and he'd say, "Sydney, hit me again' and Sydney would give him a shot and Charlie would say 'Ho, ho, this is so much fun. I just love it!' He finally convinced me that slapping was a great charge to him."
Reisner also recalled that the flypaper was real ("I still haven't gotten it all off") and that the scene where Charlie gets his revenge and kicks the child in the butt was actually played by "a midget" named Billy. "I remember my father bringing him home the night before, and they were both drunk, smoking cigars."

As for his nickname: "I was called Dink ever since I was a little kid. I don't know what that came from. My father had some kind of fake story, he said 'such a dinky little baby' or something, but it never sounded right to me. I think my Uncle Dave gave me that nickname."

Reisner died in 2002 at the age of 83.

Unknown Chaplin
Limelight, Winter 1997