Tag Archives: Paulette Goddard

Charlie Chaplin and Modern Times

 

This one is mentioned here because of the sheer physicality of the role of the tramp in this film. With the machine scene and the skating, what he performs here is utterly amazing. This type of stuff would not be done with a live person today as he did it then, but with CGI.

Modern Times StuntsCharlie Chaplin had taken to the roller skates before in 1916’s The Rink, but his crowning moment on the little wheels came in this classic. He and Paulette Goddard don the skates in the fourth floor toy room of a department store and he glides around ever-so-gracefully, blindfolded, right next to a precipice, while gorgeous gamin’ Goddard stumbles around trying to warn him. It’s classic. And still hair-raising! The effect, however, was created using a matte, so there was actually no huge drop and no risk to the actor. His blindfold, meanwhile, was a see-through mesh. But he did all the skating himself — devoting a whopping eight days to the short scene.modern

Modern Times was directed by Charlie Chaplin for Charles Chaplin Productions.

Things to look up (go to IMDB page):

History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia:  Charlie Chaplin Studios is a motion picture studio built in 1917 by silent and sound film star Charlie Chaplin just south of the southeast corner of La Brea and Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

After being sold by Chaplin in 1953, the property went through several changes in ownership and has served at various times as Kling Studios, the Red Skelton Studios, the shooting location for the Adventures of Superman and Perry Mason television series, and as the headquarters for A&M Records and Jim Henson Productions. In 1969, it was designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

Stunt Performers and the Crusades

 

Cecil B. DeMille was known for his grande spectacles. Along with the lavish sets and the grandeur of the cinematography comes these massive action scenes, with big armies fighting each other. On the movie poster, Cecil B. DeMille even says, “Cast of 10,000”. Just looking at all the stunt performers needed to make these scenes work as well as they do is mind boggling. That is why I honor these stunt performers here by acknowledging them here for the Best Movie Stunts for 1935.demille crusade

DeMille had a reputation for tyrannical behavior on the set, and he despised actors who were unwilling to take physical risks. Such was the case with Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah, when Mature refused to wrestle the lion, though the lion was tame and toothless. (DeMille remarked that Mature was “100% yellow”). Paulette Goddard’s refusal to risk personal injury in a scene involving fire in Unconquered cost her DeMille’s favor and probably a role in The Greatest Show on Earth. DeMille was, however, adept at directing “thousands of extras”, and many of his pictures included spectacular set pieces, such as the parting of the Red Sea in both versions of The Ten Commandments, the toppling of the pagan temple in Samson and Delilah, train wrecks in The Road to Yesterday, Union Pacific and The Greatest Show on Earth, and the destruction of a zeppelin in Madame Satan.Crusades Storyboard

Stuntman Jack Montgomery, who played a Christian cavalryman in the film, recalled in an interview the tension that existed between director Cecil B. DeMille and the dozens of stuntmen hired to do the battle scenes. The stuntmen resented what they saw as DeMille’s cavalier attitude about safety, especially as several stuntmen had been injured, because of what the stuntmen perceived as DeMille’s indifference. At one point DeMille was standing on the parapets of the castle, yelling through his megaphone at the “combatants” gathered below. One of them, who had been hired for his expertise at archery, finally tired of DeMille’s screaming at them, notched an arrow into his bow and fired it at DeMille’s megaphone, the arrow embedding itself into the megaphone just inches from DeMille’s head. DeMille quickly left the set and didn’t come back for the rest of the day. For the rest of the picture, he never yelled at the stuntmen again.The Crusades Stunts

The Crusades was directed by Cecil B. De Mille for Paramount Pictures.

Things to look up (click on item to go to IMDB page):

Cecil B. DeMille

Stunt Performers Listed on IMDB:

Harold Goodwin
Chuck Hamilton
Jack Montgomery
Spike Spackman
The Crusades

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!

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