Scen.: Buster Keaton, Eddie Cline. F.: Elgin Lessley. Int.: Buster Keaton (il protagonista del sogno), Joe Roberts (l’amico), Sybil Seely (la moglie), Bonnie Hill (la vicina), Freeman Wood (suo marito), Eddie Cline (il custode del cinema), Robert Parker. Prod.: Joseph M. Schenck DCP. D.: 17’. Bn.
There was an Arbuckle connection with The Frozen North, with its parody of William S. Hart, the famous western star. Hart had attacked Arbuckle in the press, and David Yallop suggests that it was Arbuckle who suggested this skit. Hart was an emotional actor, and in one scene, Keaton enters his house, sees a couple kissing, weeps as he assumes his wife has a lover, and shoots them both. (Then he realises it is neither his home nor his wife). “I tried to be Bill Hart in that picture” said Keaton. “So much so that Bill Hart didn’t speak to me for a couple of years after I made it. He thought I was kidding him. I said ‘I didn’t kid you, Bill. I was trying to be an actor like you, and I didn’t quite make it”. The opening of the film is missing. Keaton told George Pratt that it started with a title from The Shooting of Dan McGrew, by Robert W. Service: ‘A bunch of the boys were whooping it up at the Malamute Saloon’.‘I showed an Alaska saloon, the characters. […] Hart is not the only parody. In one splendid moment, Buster dissolves into Erich von Stroheim playing the louche Count in Foolish Wives. Exteriors for The Frozen North were shot on the same location as The Gold Rush (released in 1925), and there were a couple of tiny moments which occurred to both Keaton and Chaplin – leaning on a stick in the snow and falling over, and slamming a door and being submerged in a fall of snow from the roof.
Kevin Brownlow, A Hard Act to Follow, from the author’s manuscript
For the restoration of The Frozen North, four elements were inspected and analyzed; three of those from the Cohen Film Collection, one from the Cinémathèque française – were digitized and compared. The latter, a second generation safety duplicate negative was selected for restoration, despite being severely damaged, and scanned at 4K resolution. All the intertitles were reconstructed. In particular, the reconstruction of the main title was based on the same card from The Paleface, whereas for the directing and ending title cards Neighbors and The Goat were used respectively.