Showing posts with label The Pilgrim. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Pilgrim. Show all posts

Monday, December 7, 2015

Chaplin as THE PILGRIM by James Abbe

This photo, an original from 1922, is currently up for auction on eBay. Good luck if you intend to bid. I've seen these Abbe photos sell for $200-$300.

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."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Footage comparison between The Chaplin Revue and Russian version of THE PILGRIM

This is worth a look if you have time. It's interesting to see the different takes and angles used in the Russian version.
Click the youtube icon for a detailed explanation of the footage.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chaplin with photographer James Abbe, in and out of costume, 1922

"When I have photographed Charlie Chaplin in character his mustache has fitted his role. When I have asked Charlie to remove his mustache and be himself he has readily acquiesced, revealing Charlie the shy, introspective, elusive person who has never been quite understood, and never quite understood himself." James Abbe, Boston Globe, 1932

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

Friday, January 4, 2013

THE PILGRIM on TCM next Sunday

Charlie's 1923 film The Pilgrim will be shown on TCM (USA) at 1:00 AM EST on January 13th. Coincidentally, this is also the day Edna Purviance passed away in 1958, so watching this film (her last as Charlie's co-star) would be a nice way to remember Edna.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Publicity stills for THE PILGRIM

These famous photos of Charlie in his clerical costume from The Pilgrim were taken by James Abbe in the Fall of 1922.  Abbe later recalled the photo session:
A creature of moods, Charlie had probably been in a new mood the night he got into his off-beat clerical Pilgrim garb and make-up, he left every pose up to me. He responded so rapidly I used up the 24 film holders within 45 minutes. A record time for me on an important job and a record, Charlie told me later, in his posing for stills.