El Paso, TX

July 18 - July 28, 2024 • El Paso, TX

Plaza Days II

Plaza Family
Friday, July 26
Plaza Theatre Kendle Kidd Performance Hall

Charlie Chaplin’s overlooked 1923 comedy The Pilgrim was his second shortest feature at 47 minutes long. His last film for the First National Film Company, Chaplin’s Little Tramp escapes from prison, disguises himself as the titular priest and takes the train to Texas (look at the destination board and you’ll see “El Paso” there; he divorced Paulette Godard in Juarez in 1942). The sleepy border town of Devil’s Gulch (actually, California) embraces him as its new priest and is wowed by his improvised sermon about David and Goliath, which film scholar Donna Kornhaber called one of Chaplin’s “greatest act(s) of storytelling.” The sheriff discovers the truth and gives him a choice — return to prison or cross into Mexico, where he’s confronted by a gun battle. Chaplin reissued it in 1959 with the newly written and recorded theme song, “I’m Bound for Texas.” — Doug Pullen

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Rated: NR