Name Contest," The Film Index, July 2, 1910, 4.
Chaplin's biographer, David Robinson, has explained that Essanay
had extended Chaplin's film by adding extra footage.
Just two of the many releases coming out this year celebrating the life of one of cinema's greatest showmen, these lovingly restored films chronicle a time when Chaplin moved away from the Keystone cops and into a contract with Essanay
which allowed him unprecedented control over everything from writing to directing.
<IR> CHARLIE CHAPLIN </IR> first developed the character of the little tramp for Sennett, taking the character with him to Essanay
in 1915 and then to Mutual in 1916, where he made a number of remarkable shorts during the next two years, including The Rink and Easy Street.
ONE hundred years ago Charlie Chaplin's film "The Tramp" was released by Essanay
's The Soup and Fish Ball (1918) featured "Pat and Mike," while such shorts as Casey, the Bandmaster (1917) and Right-of-Way Casey (1917) placed their title character into various comedic situations.
Broncho Billy Anderson's Essanay
studio in the East Bay was Charlie Chaplin's base for a while in the 1910s.
Niles's brush with movie fame came when the Essanay
Film Manufacturing Company opened in 1913, just as Hollywood was getting started.
In addition to Griffith's Edgar Allen Poe (1909), this group includes The Raven (American Eclair Company, 1912), The Avenging Conscience (Mutual, 1914; also by Griffith), and another film entitled The Raven, this one produced by the Essanay
Company of Chicago in 1915.(3) These films are important not just as historical curiosities of a fledgling entertainment medium; for Poe scholars, they provide a unique and detailed visual record of cultural attitudes toward Poe's life and work in the first two decades of the new century.
Schickel's lucid narration, spoken by Sydney Pollack, follows Chaplin's career at Sennett, Essanay
, Mutual and First National, his increasing fame and earning power and his elevation into the world's first superstar.
When Chaplin left Keystone to work with more creative latitude for the Essanay
and Mutual companies from 1915 to 1917, he began to add layers of nuance to the Tramp.
Mutual created a subsidiary, the Lone Star Film Co., solely to produce the Chaplin films, and Chaplin was given his own exclusive studio, the Lone Star Studio, formerly the Climax Studio, where he set up his own regular unit, most of them drawn from people who had worked with him at Keystone and Essanay
. Technically he was still an employee, receiving a salary of $10,000 a week with a bonus of $150,000 on signing a one-year contract to make 12 two-reel films.