Broncho Billy meets Charlie

His Regeneration
R: Gilbert M. Anderson. B: Gilbert M. Anderson. D: Gilbert M. Anderson, Lee Willard, Marguerite Clayton, Hazel Applegate, Charles Chaplin. P: Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. USA 1915

Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson was the writer, director, and star of about 375 short films in the brief period of seven years from 1908-1915. With the necessity to produce a lot of films, time and inspiration for the development of complexity of plot, incident, and character was unavailable. His Regeneration is a good example of the resulting films, in which one-dimensional characters confront a simplistic problem that is quickly resolved. Simplistic, frequently used plot elements aided in the writing of the stories. Examples in His Regeneration include: a criminal being saved by an act of kindness and ‘slumming’ members of the upper class visiting a lower class cafe or dance hall. Techniques in camerawork, editing, and blocking of scenes were advancing at the time, particularly in the films of D.W. Griffith, but Anderson’s methods did not significantly progress. Anderson is best known in the character of Broncho Billy, the first western star. In western or contemporary garb, Anderson was an unlikely star, not handsome in face or figure and lacking subtlety in his acting. He had, however, a rough-edged charm and forcefulness that seem to have been sufficient in the earliest period of filmmaking. Anderson withdrew from films after 1920, when younger and handsomer men were the public favorites, and audiences expected more depth and complexity in story and performance than Anderson could achieve.”
Obscure Hollywood

>>> Broncho Billy – The American ShotBroncho Billy, the First Cowboy