The Gold Rush (United Artists) (1925)

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Publicity Stories For Use Any Time Children of All Nations First to Bow to Chaplin Celebrated Screen Comedian First Found Himself and Then Children of All Nations Soon Crowned Him “King of Laughter”—“The Gold Rush” Called His Greatest So much has been said of the genius of Charlie Chaplin, celebrated screen comedian, and his early discovery, that it may not come amiss to relate, as from one who has been close to him, something concerning his discovery. As a matter of absolute fact, Charlie Chaplin was discovered by the children of all the world. He was not broke when he entered motion pictures—a young man just over twenty years old. Instead, he had several thousand dollars, a con¬ siderable sum for a young actor. Be¬ sides, he had been well known in Eng¬ land and America as a juvenile comedian for several years. It is well to bear in mind that he was recognized by shrewd theatrical men at that early age. Another fact, not generally known— Chaplin was the biggest man on the comedy lot from the time he made his first comedy. Mack Swain, the giant comedian, called the “funniest villain” for his portrayal of Big Jim McKay in “The Gold Rush,” the new Chaplin super¬ comedy, was one of the first men to appear with Chaplin in that seemingly long-ago period. From no less authority than Swain comes the statement that Charlie Chaplin, from the very first day, divined and went beyond what was expected of him. With- in a short time from his entry into pic¬ tures, directors complained to the powers- that-be that Chaplin wanted his own way and would not “take direction.” It was great talent trying to assert itself, to climb out of the embryo into the uniform of the greatest actor in the world. He was conscious of ability in his soul, as great talent ever is. Charlie’s greatest problem in his early picture days was his struggle with the comedy makers to allow him to portray his parts and ideas as he felt them. He fought to wear the baggy trousers and the battered hat. He wanted from the first to instill ideas, humor characteriza¬ tion into his work. When, after much effort, he was allowed to do this he found himself—and then the children found him. They soon greeted him as the crowned King of Laughter. And within eighteen months he was world-famous—and earn¬ ing a million a year. That Charlie Chaplin was born to be a great actor is obvious—and no one man “discovered” him at all. He first discovered himself, and the children re¬ sponded. The highbrows came later as they always do. “The Gold Rush,” a United Artists Corporation production, is announced as the feature attraction for next . by the management of the . theatre. - MOVIE BROWN BEAR FROLICS IN SNOWS Big Beast in Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” Enjoyed Blizzard Scenes John Brown who plays the role of himself—the big brown bear which fol¬ lows Charlie Chaplin around in “The Gold Rush,” his new United Artists Corporation release, now playing at the . theatre, was one member of the company on location that really enjoyed his sojourn up in the snow country. It was springtime and John Brown had been spending his days and nights in Southern California, but when taken out to the mountains he thought he had returned to his one-time freedom of the snows. For the first few days he was uncontrollable, and it was necessary to give him as much freedom as possible. He tried to break from his cage—and was showing signs of a bad temper until a stockade was built for him in the snows. Then he was happy, and for days, hour in and hour out, he frolicked to his heart’s content. On the day of his scenes, the ulti¬ mate in happiness came for John Brown, as then he was turned loose and following each “take”—he scampered off among the trees, to be captured after much difficulty and sent through his scene again. BOILED SHOE FOR FILM COMEDY MEAL Famous Chaplin Footwear Serves Odd Purpose in “The Gold Rush” The Chaplinesque scene of “Chilkoot Pass,” shown as an introduction to Charlie Chaplin’s great comedy “The Gold Rush” coming to the . Theatre, under a United Artists Cor¬ poration release, was staged in the High Sierras of the California Rock¬ ies, almost on the exact locale where the first pioneers crossed—the Donner Party, famous in history of the early West. This valiant band of pioneers crossed this range of mountains and in crossing suffered great privations. Many died of starvation, and it is a matter of rec¬ ord that they were compelled to eat their shoes, making a meal of roasted shoe leather. It is from this authentic data revealed in research that Charlie Chaplin conceived the idea for one of his great scenes in “The Gold Rush.” Charlie, as the Lone Prospector, and Mack Swain, as Big Jim McKay, are isolated in the barren wastes of Alaska. Storm bound in a deserted cabin they are without food. Converting the grim tragedy of the Donner party into laughter, Charlie removes one of his famous shoes, and boiling it, the two make a meal of this for their Thanks¬ giving Dinner. TELS OF CHAPLIN’S FIRST MOVIE IDEA 500 SKiEED MEN WORKED ON MOVIE Vast Quantities of Material in Charlie Chaplin’s Comedy “The Gold Rush” Few persons realize the vast quan¬ tities of raw material that go into the making of a picture of the magnitude of Charlie Chaplin’s new film feature, “The Gold Rush,” or the great army of artisans required to work these huge amounts into the ingenuous sets that feature a ten-part production, such as Chaplin’s great comedy-drama now showing at the .theatre under a United Artists Corporation re¬ lease. More than 500 skilled workmen specially trained in scenic art labored to produce the settings used in the Chaplin studio in the two years of the filming of the picture. Lumber to the extent of 239,577 feet comprised the framework; chicken wire of 22,750 lineal feet, with 22,000 feet of burlap spread upon it, formed the covering for the artificial ice moun¬ tains used in studio panoramas of “The Gold Rush.” It required 200 tons of plaster, 285 tons of salt and 100 bar¬ rels of flour artificially to produce the ice and snow. In addition four car¬ loads of confetti were employed in pro¬ ducing blizzard and snow scenes. The tools used, including 300 picks and shovels, would constitute a year’s stock for a large hardware store. Other miscellaneous items of hardware that entered into the picture include 2,000 feet of garden hose, 7,000 feet of rope, four tons of steel, five tons of coke, four tons of asbestos, thirty-five tons of cement, 400 kegs of nails, 3,000 bolts, and several tons of other smaller articles. These items include only the mater¬ ial used in the studio sets and do not account for the great quantities of ma¬ terial transported to the summit of the high Sierras, where a very large pro¬ portion of the scenes in the picture were taken, with a great army of ex¬ tras and the necessary artisans in at¬ tendance. On the studio lot in Hollywood were constructed huge mountains that were visible for a long distance; so realistic that many strangers in the cinema cap¬ ital were deceived by the artistry of the technical heads of Chaplin’s or¬ ganization. Glistening in the sun¬ light, the artificial snow-capped peaks gave the appearance of a huge section of the snow-crowned summit of some Sierra peak transferred to Hollywood, and hundreds of visitors made pilgrim¬ ages to the neighborhood for a closer view. These snow mountains were em¬ ployed for close-up views, and as back¬ grounds for scenes not practicable to shoot in the real snowbanks them¬ selves. Even with the large force of workmen employed, weeks were re¬ quired to fabricate these settings. Only one production at a time occupies Chaplin’s attention, and the entire stu¬ dio was given over to the settings used in “The Gold Rush” until the last foot of film had met with the master com¬ edian’s approval. Present General Manager’s Story Explains Growth to “The Gold Rush” The following interesting little story about Charlie Chaplin is told by Al¬ fred Reeves, his present general man¬ ager who was also manager of the com¬ pany in which Chaplin appeared before he entered pictures. Mr. Reeves has known Charlie from his fifteenth birth¬ day. He has seen Charlie Chaplin’s father on the stage and pronounced him one of the most talented actors of the day. It is the period of 1910 of which Mr. Reeves speaks: “While we played in New York, Charlie conceived the idea of utilizing his spare time away from the theatre in the making of picture comedies. He outlined his idea to all the members of the company—thinking then that all he needed was a camera. “Charlie and myself, always the best of friends, agreed at the time to put up $1,000 each for the purchase of a cam¬ era. We thought then that all we had to do was to play as in our vaudeville act, in the open air, and it would reg¬ ister on the screen. The idea of scenes made in short lengths, long shots and close-ups, and inserts being taken sep¬ arately and later assembled was never dreamed of by us. The cutting of the film, in which Charlie has no equal, was never thought of by him then. “We entered into this agreement in all seriousness, but because our work took us away from New York, it was abandoned. But, Charlie always carried the idea in his mind. Since then we have often wondered what the outcome would have been had we carried out the original agreement. Perhaps such a gi¬ gantic comedy as “The Gold Rush,” the new Chaplin United Artists Cor¬ poration production, would have come sooner. “On returning to England in the sum¬ mer of 1912, we combined business with pleasure by playing the theatres of the Channel Islands. While playing the theatre on the Island of Jersey, there was a street parade and carnival in pro¬ gress and a news weekly cameraman re¬ corded the event. He was here, there and everywhere, but wherever he went a very pompous gentleman, who was ap¬ parently in charge of affairs, would al¬ ways be found in front of the camera lens. He would shake hands with the local dignitaries and always turn away from them and face the camera as he did so. He might be termed the first ‘camera hog.’ Always would he bow and register his greeting to the camera while his guests stood in the background, or off to one side. “Charlie was completely fascinated by this bit of business, and told me then that some day he would put it in a pic¬ ture. In an early picture of his—‘Kids Auto Races’—^you will find the fulfill¬ ment of his resolve. “We returned to America shortly afterward for a second tour—and while playing in Philadelphia, upon response to a wire from Kessel and Bauman— Charlie went to New York—and there signed his first picture contract. “And so, contrary to the general idea that Charlie was ‘discovered’ for pic¬ tures while playing in Los Angeles, he went to California with a one-year pic¬ ture contract in his pocket. The rest of Charlie’s history is written by the children of the nation and himself.”