Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer Under the Stars: Charlie Chaplin

Movie Dearest continues our daily previews of Turner Classic Movies' month long "Summer Under the Stars" celebration:

Now Playing Star Profile for Charlie Chaplin - Stardates: Born April 16, 1889, Walworth, England; died 1977. Star Sign: Aries. Star Qualities: Limitless talent as comic, mime, actor, director, composer, musician. The baggy pants and toothbrush mustache, the comedy and pathos, the ability to steal an audience's heart. Star definition: "For me (his) are the most beautiful films in the world ... Chaplin means more to me then the idea of God." -- Fran├žois Truffaut. Galaxy of Characters: A Tramp in The Kid, The Lone Prospector in The Gold Rush, Adenoid Hynkel/Jewish Barber in The Great Dictator, Calvero in Limelight.

In The Gold Rush, Chaplin's resourceful tramp character, trapped in a cabin out in the middle of the Yukon, resorts to dining on his own leather boot for a desperate Thanksgiving dinner. He may have had trouble finding gold in them thar hills, but in this scene he finds it ... of the comedic sort.

Legend has it that Chaplin took three days and 63 takes to shoot this memorable movie moment to get the timing down perfectly. The boot was fashioned from licorice; Chaplin was later rushed to the hospital suffering insulin shock.

The Gold Rush airs tomorrow on TCM at 1:45 PM EST.

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