Paleface, The; Frozen North, The

1764. THE PALEFACE and THE FROZEN NORTH (1921-1922-USA).
1. THE PALEFACE (1921-USA). With BUSTER KEATON. Directed and scripted by Keaton and EDDIE CLINE. This at once delightful and astounding comedy short pits the Indians against the greedy villains Of the Great Western Oil Company. When one Of the company thugs murders an Indian messenger in order to steal a land lease, the Redmen retaliate by vowing to kill the first white man to pass through their gate. Enter Buster! He is a butterfly hunter on an afternoon stalk for specimens, and he winds up tied to a stake surrounded by hostile Injuns performing a war dance. This man, though, is not for burning. He escapes and finds a deserted cabin in which a far-sighted prospector has stored asbestos cloth. Protected by a flameproOf under suit, Buster is recaptured and re-tied to the stake. As flames engulf him, eating his suit and charring his face, he remains stoic. As the final embers are smoking, the stunned Indians see that the white man is unharmed. They make him an honorary “Little Chief Paleface,” to pay tribute to his bravery. Buster rises to the honor and whips the oil company thieves and a whole tribe Of enemy Indians to save his adopted tribe’s land. Most spectacular in this film are the shots Of Keaton on a cliff and mountain top, and balancing on a precarious bridge Of wooden slats. More than once, the “Little Chief Paleface” plunges hundreds Of feet into rivers and ravines, marvelous displays Of the acrobatic heroics for which Keaton was known.
2. THE FROZEN NORTH (1922-USA). With BUSTER KEATON. Directed and scripted by Keaton and EDDIE CLINE. The “last stop on the subway” brings Buster to an isolated, snow-covered outpost. Having not been there for more than a few moments, this rascal tries to rob the folks in the local saloon and shoots an innocent man and woman in their home! One instant, he resembles William S. Hart, and the next, he is Erich von Stroheim. This two-reeler marks the only time Keaton tried his hand at parodying other silent film stars. He rolls his cigarette as Hart would and shoots the way Hart did, but the essence Of this comedy lies in Keaton’s ability to design and carry out gags. The ice-fishing sequence is pure Keaton, with a tug on the line resulting in the soaking Of the fisherman. When a dog-sled led by mutts and puppies proves insufficient, he transforms guitars into snowshoes! This is a briskly-paced chase film with an emphasis on clever gadgetry and a rascal’s temperament. The results are classic Keaton comedy. “Silent” films with original music score, correct projection speed. 50 minutes total. Keaton