Showing posts with label First National. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First National. 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."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

PAY DAY, released April 2nd, 1922

Charlie used reverse photography for the bricklaying sequence.
The great Phyllis Allen plays Charlie's battle-ax wife.
A drunken night out. Syd Chaplin is on the left. 
Charlie's use of artificial lighting for the nighttime street car scene
 was sophisticated for the time.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On the set of SHOULDER ARMS, 1918

Sydney Chaplin is dressed as the Kaiser at far left. He also played the Kaiser in The Bond, a film Chaplin made the same year for the Liberty Bond effort.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lobby card for A Day's Pleasure, released Dec. 15th, 1919

The card shows seasick Charlie being attacked by Tom Wilson who becomes too nauseated himself to continue. Edna Purviance, who plays Charlie's wife, is on the left. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012


It's Veterans Day here in the U.S. Take a moment to remember someone who has served our country.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Directing A Day's Pleasure, 1919

Charlie directs a group of black jazz musicians in a scene from A Day’s Pleasure which was filmed aboard a rented boat in San Pedro, California. Cameraman Rollie Totheroh was able to achieve the effect of a rocking boat by attaching a pendulum to the camera, which is visible in both photos. It should also be noted that Chaplin paid the musicians top daily salaries for their work.

I always find the photos of Charlie where he is in makeup but without a mustache to be a bit odd. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lobby cards for A DOG'S LIFE

L-R: Edna Purviance, Henry Bergman (dressed as a woman), Loyal Underwood, Charlie, Granville Redmond (a deaf-mute painter who had a studio on Chaplin's lot), & (I think) Dave "Andy" Anderson (former Keystone Kop who later became the skipper for Chaplin's yacht, Panacea, in the 1930s)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Directing SUNNYSIDE, 1919

Charlie is directing Tom Wilson, who plays his boss in the film. Rollie Totheroh is behind the camera.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Charlie authenticates the main title card for "Sunnyside", 1919

In 1918, Chaplin began featuring his signature on movie posters as well as the main title cards of the films themselves in an effort to avoid confusion with the many Chaplin reissues that were being released under new titles and then advertised as the latest Chaplin comedy. If you didn't see Charlie's signature, it was not a genuine new release.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ad for Triple Trouble, Moving Picture World, August 1918

This "new" comedy was comprised of unused footage from Police, Work & an abandoned film, Life.  Chaplin left Essanay in 1916 so this was nothing more than an attempt by his former employers to cash in on the Chaplin name .

Charlie himself retaliated with his own ads stating that the only "new" Chaplin releases are the ones distributed by First National with his signature on them.