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

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