Chaplin, The Tramp, 1915 (National Film Archive)

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NEUER JOB 4/11


The TrampCharlie rettet Edna aus den Händen

einiger Räuber, verliebt sich auf der Farm, wo er einen

Job bekommen hat, in sie, und zieht weiter,

als er entdeckt. dass sie bereits einen Geliebten hat –

Charlie, der Held, der Räuber vertreibt.



               Fritz Hirzel, Chaplins Schatten.

               Bericht einer Spurensicherung. Zürich 1982


Dazu, wie es zu dieser Legende, zur Figur aus The Tramp

gekommen war, erschien 1915, kein halbes Jahr nach

der Uraufführung, in The Theatre ein erster, unter Chaplins Namen

veröffentlichter Artikel, in welchem die staunende Mitwelt

erfuhr, Chaplin sei in den Strassen San Franciscos zufällig einem

Landstreicher begegnet, habe ihn in eine Bar eingeladen

und sich, während er für Drinks und Essen aufgekommen sei, aus

dem Leben dieses Landstreichers, von seinen Tramptouren

und Fahrten auf Güterwagen, berichten lassen.

      Für jeden, der sich vorzustellen versucht, wie der schüchterne,

elegant gekleidete Chaplin einen womöglich stinkenden

Landstreicher auf der Strasse aufliest und mit ihm

den Abend verbringt, eine gänzlich unglaubwürdige Geschichte,

ein Muster branchengerechter Publicity, weiter nichts.

      Dabei mochte es durchaus sein, dass dieser Tramp,

der wenig gemeinsam hatte mit jenen Clochardtypen, die Chaplin

in seiner Kindheit in South London gesehen hatte, nach

dem wirklichen Leben entstanden war. Leute, die abgerissen im

Land herumzogen, gab es in Amerika viele.

      Sogar im Kino auf der Leinwand gab es sie bereits.

zum Beispiel in The Lady and the Mouse, einem Griffithfilm

von 1913, in welchem die Figur des Tramps festgehalten

war, die Gestalt des Landstreichers, der krank und abgerissen

stranden muss, der aufgenommen wird von Krämersleuten,

denen er später die Gläubiger aus dem Laden zu schaffen weiss.


Und vielleicht, um noch einen Schritt weiterzugehen, war

es tatsächlich so, dass The Tramp, dieser erste Film, in welchem

Chaplin seine Figur mit einem Hauch von Mitgefühl, ja

Traurigkeit umgab, nirgendwo sonst so zwingend hätte entstehen

können als gerade dort draussen, in dieser ländlichen

Umgebung von Niles, in der Abgeschiedenheit der Filmkolonisten,

aus der Chaplin selbst inzwischen mit der ihm eigenen

Sehn- und Fernsucht sich wegzustehlen suchte.

              


               Charles J. McGuirk, Chaplinitis,

               Motion Picture, New York, August 1915


Meanwhile, out in the Essanay Western studio, in Niles,

Cal., there was produces a comedy called The Tramp.

It was written and produced by Chaplin, as a vehicle for his

own work. The story was old as the hills; the situations

would have been pronounced crude if they had been worked

by any other than Charlie Chaplin. But there was

something new in the picture. The tramp, after many adventures

characteristic of a city man‘s ignorance of farm life,

fell in love with the farmer‘s daughter, who was nursing

him thru an illness resulting from a wound he got in

defending her home from an attack of thieves.

      Down in the projection-room of the Essanay studio,

the men who passed on the picture felt a chill across their backs

as the tramp discarded his humor and became pathetic.

The chill was of fear. Chaplin was stepping out of his province.

The girl‘s real sweetheart appeared on the scene and

was taken into her arms. The tramp saw his air-castles crumbling

into dust. He wrote a note – the crude note of an uneducated

man. He left it on the table, tied up his red bandanna

handkerchief and put it on his cane. He shyly took his leave

of the girl o‘ dreams and started on his journey to world‘s

end. The men in the projecting-room felt the the chill give way

to a lump in the throat. The tramp had built too high and

his foolish dream was being shattered. A rather funny situation,

you think? Well, there were tears in the men‘s eyes.

Chaplin had crossed the border into pathos, and had expressed

it solidly and surely. While he was walking down the road,

there was dejection in every movement. But the light-heartedness

of the nomad again gained the ascendancy. Chaplin shook

himself, gave a characteristic flirt of his coat, and wandered jauntily

out of the picture. And the audience smiled, with tears

in its eyes.

      What will he do next? Surely not, like Eddie Foy,

will he yearn for the unattainable and attempt to do Hamlet. 

His is a genius that bends everything in his touch,

however, and, like David Warfield, who came into public favor

as second fiddle to Weber and Fields, his versatility

may carry him into the field of straight comedy, or comedy-drama,

in such grand characterizations as Warfield‘s Music

Master, which was one of the milestones of theatrical success.

Give Chaplin a great photoplay, a strong, virile, lovable

part, and the brainy little man with the far-away look in his eyes

will astonish and hold us yet with his breadth of a genius

that has just begun to try its first fight of fancy. Out in Niles, Charlie

was informed that another story was being written about

him. Then some showed him his likeness on the cover of a famous

magazine devoted to Moving Pictures, and a third informed

him that a chorus of show-girls, each one costumed à la Chaplin,

was the latest hit on Broadway. Charlie shrugged his

shoulders and looked into space.

      „Say,“ he said. „Did you see The Tramp?“



               Charles Chaplin, How I Made My Success,

               Developement of the Comic Story and the Tramp Character,

               The Theatre, 22. September 1915


Ich versuche stets das Burleske zu meiden oder wenigstens

nicht drauf angewiesen zu sein. Ich bemühe mich in allem, was ich

mache, um Natürlichkeit. Ein Beispiel dafür, wie ich ein Stück

ausarbeite und weiterentwickle, findet man in The Tramp.

Die Inspiration kam von einer zufälligen Begegnung mit einem Landstreicher in einer Strasse von San Francisco. Er hatte

die üblichen Symptome seiner Klasse.



               Harry C. Carr, Charlie Chaplin´s Story,

               Photoplay, October 1915


He made the greatest advance in this direction

in The Tramp. In this, there was not only a real story, but a touch

of real pathos which gave Chaplin a chance for the

greatest ,finish‘ that has ever been shown in any movie

comedy. I think every one who saw it will agree

with me on that point.“

      „Chaplin‘s idea is that one of the old style rough comedies

gives absolutely no chance for real effects. When the

paperhanger has spilled paste down the back of the dude

and somebody has been pushed off into the lake,

the comedy has been exhausted. Plays like The Tramp open

up all kinds of chances for contrasts, – lights and shade.

He does many things now because he believes ,the public

wants them so‘ – and for no other reason.“



               Maurice Florey/Robert Bessy,

               Monsieur Chaplin ou Le Rire dans la Nuit, Paris 1952


Totheroh erzählte mir, dass Chaplin, der von Tag zu Tag

berühmter wurde, sich in diesem verlorenen Loch von

Niles zutode gelangweilt habe und dass er, seit dem Monat Mai,

seine Ungeduld nicht verhehlte nach Los Angeles

zurückzukehren, wo er seine Abende gern im Sunset Inn,

im Hotel Alexandria, im Ship Café oder in der Boxarena

von Vernon verbrachte.



Aufführung, Filmkritik, Anzeige

The Tramp in Zeitungen und Zeitschriften

The Tramp in Kinos

Clippings


Exhibition, Review, Advertisement

The Tramp in newspapers and magazines

The Tramp in theatres

Clippings


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