Film: The Champion
Director: Charles Chaplin
Performers: Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Ernest Van Pelt, Bud Jamison
Breed Featured: [English] Bulldog
Production Information: Essanay, 1915 (USA)
The Little Tramp scores big as an accidental boxing champ with his own personal mascot, an English Bulldog, a token of his indomitable fighting spirit. I’m not sure when the bulldog came to be adopted as a British national symbol, but it seems that 1915 would have been an appropriate time for Chaplin to offer this deliberate hat tip to his own foreign roots. All of Europe was blowing itself to hell, while Chaplin’s fame as a comedian and world-class performer was skyrocketing from his base in Hollywood. The choice of dog here was probably more than a matter of mere convenience.