Friday, May 19, 2017

How many can you name?

This contest appeared in the De Kalb (Illinois) Chronicle on Feb. 7th, 1916.  The first twenty-five readers who could identify all (or almost all) of the faces (besides Charlie's) received two free tickets to the movie theaters advertised on the page. Sadly the winners, nor the identities of faces, were ever announced.

I wouldn't have come close to winning.

Click on the photo to enlarge or click on this link for a version you can zoom in on.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Red Letter Days

One of the reasons I haven't posted anything new recently is because I have been staying up until the wee hours the last few nights reading Dan Kamin's terrific new book. It's called Charlie Chaplin's Red Letter Days and it reproduces, for the very first time, Fred Goodwins' first-hand accounts of day-to-day life at the Chaplin studio during the Mutual period (& the end of the Essanays). These accounts originally appeared in Red Letter, a British magazine, in 1916, and have been unseen for nearly a century until film historian, and the book's editor, David James, discovered the magazines at the British Library in 2013. If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I live for obscure little tidbits about Chaplin, and this book is chock full of them. It is a wonderful first-hand account of this period of Chaplin's career that we haven't seen any where else. Goodwins' text is accompanied by helpful annotations and commentary by Chaplin expert Dan Kamin.

I haven't finished the book yet but wanted to give you a taste of what to expect. There are some wonderful behind-the-scenes stories about not only the movies but the people, including Edna Purviance learning Cockney rhyming slang, Eric Campbell's preference for things that are small, and Charlie's concern when his beloved pet goat, Billy, gets injured. This is just a taste.

The book is a bit on the pricey side, but well worth every penny.

https://www.amazon.com/Charlie-Chaplins-Red-Letter-Days/dp/1442278080



Charlie, with real mustache, on the cover of ILLUSTRATED magazine, 70 years ago today


I want to apologize for not updating the blog as often as I used to. Sadly blogging has had to take a backseat to real life these days. Trust me, if I could devote every single day to researching Chaplin & not worry about making a living, I would. But that's not the way life works, is it? (Cue sad trombone.) I do have some new posts in the offing: a new installment to my "Working with Charlie Chaplin" series, Charlie's trip to New York in 1916, Henry's cafe, studio pets, Charlie's off-screen pantomime bits, to name a few. I promise I'm still here. --Jess

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Food For Thought

During his acceptance speech for the Chaplin Award on Monday night, Robert De Niro said the award's namesake would not be admitted to Donald Trump's U.S.:

“All of us in film – directors, actors, writers, crews, audiences – owe a debt to Charlie Chaplin, an immigrant who probably wouldn’t pass today’s extreme vetting. I hope we’re not keeping out the next Chaplin,” he said.

Read more here:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/may/09/robert-de-niro-charlie-chaplin-donald-trump-us-immigration



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Chaplin -- "a singer of the first order"



British journalist Kathlyn Hayden describes watching Chaplin burst into song during a break on the set of City Lights:
In the flesh there is little of the pathos about Charlie. He is essentially the comedian. For instance, during one of the usual interminable waits while the electricians were charging the lights Charlie ordered the radio turned on. (It seems he always has a loud speaker on the set--to amuse him during the waits.) The stage was suddenly flooded with the glorious voice of Lawrence Tibbett--a gramophone recording of one of his numbers from 'The Rogue Song.'

Chaplin puts a record on the gramophone.
Behind him are (L-R): Ralph Barton, Virginia Cherrill, Allan Garcia, & Carlyle Robinson.
 At far left in the white coat (partially cut off) might be Granville Redmond.

Instantly Charlie sprang to his feet, struck a theatrical posture, and began to sing the song himself. As he imitated Tibbett he was pricelessly funny, capturing all of the grand opera star's mannerisms.1 But that wasn't all. The Chaplin singing voice is wonderful. The little fellow amazed me with his robustness of his middle register. And when Tibbett took the high notes Charlie was with him! Perhaps I am prejudiced, and I don't profess to be a music critic, but so far as I am concerned there is nothing to between Tibbett and Chaplin--as singers. 
But of course it would never do for the pathetic little tramp of the funny shoes and bowler to burst into song--in character.2 The Chaplin of the films couldn't do such a thing. Yet if only once he might consent to play a different role, I am sure he could win new laurels--as a singer of the first order.  
("A Day With Charlie," Picture Show, April 4th, 1931)


__________________________________________________________________

Note: I'm not sure if the above photos are from the same performance Ms. Hayden witnessed. 

One of Chaplin's favorite "turns" at private gatherings was to imitate opera singers. A couple of his favorites were Feodor Chaliapin and John McCormack. At one such party, Screenland's "Liza" noted that Chaplin sang Mother Machree & When Irish Eyes Are Smiling "in as good an Irish tenor as you can find in Hollywood." (Screenland, January 1941)

Little did they realize in 1931 that Chaplin would "burst into song" in his next film, Modern Times,--and it would be the first time audiences would hear the Tramp's voice.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Discovering Chaplin is on Patreon



You may have noticed the Patreon banner on the blog recently (the big orange one on the right that says "Become a Patron"). So what exactly is "Patreon" and how does it work?


Patreon is a site that allows fans to support creators through small monthly payments, you can sign up for as little as one dollar a month --or more! This will help me keep the blog up and running and provide quality content that you won't find anywhere else. You may not realize it but there are costs involved with running this site. Research is one of them. In order to keep my content fresh, but obscure, I need access to sources that are often not cheap.

What does this mean for readers who can't afford to donate money?

Not one thing. My blog will still be free and available to everyone. There will be not be "special" content for paying supporters. Believe me, I understand that times are tough and not everyone can afford to support a Chaplin blog.

Panhandling, Jess? Really?

Trust me. I don't like it either.




Ok, you've convinced me. How do I sign up?

Click here for my Patreon page. If you have questions check out their "FAQ" section. Everything on Patreon is private. I never see any of your personal or financial information. Whether or not you donate money, I am truly grateful for your continued support. And heartfelt thanks to the folks who have already signed up.

Much love,
Jess



Friday, May 5, 2017

Chaplin & steel magnate Charles Schwab, c.1919

This photo was new to me. It is currently up for sale on eBay if you have an extra $600 burning a hole in your pocket.

The back of the photo says: "The King Of The Screen & The King of Steel."


Here's one from my files with Mrs. Schwab posing between them.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"A genius if ever there was one."

With Baroness Ravensdale at the Chaplin Studios, Oct. 1926

One of my favorite things to read, and what I spend a great deal of time searching for, are impressions of Chaplin by people who met him or knew him. I recently came upon one such impression, an obscure one, written by Baroness Ravensdale (aka Mary Irene Curzon), who visited Hollywood in the Fall of 1926, and met Chaplin via their mutual friend, Elinor Glyn. The Baroness wrote about her Hollywood experience, including her visits with Chaplin, years later in her 1953 memoir, In Many Rhythms. Here is an excerpt:
The Hollywood rhythm, which I came to next, held a series of motions by which certain of the stars would be known a mile off. My dear friend, Elinor Glyn, opened every door for me in that fantastic, faked world, where everyone on or off the 'set' seemed to have to play a part from dawn to dusk. Charlie Chaplin, with his wife, Lita Grey, gave me a fabulous dinner party, where to my immense bewilderment all the great cinema stars, husbands and wives, sat side by side. Perhaps this was desirable, as some of the unions lasted such a short time that one forgot which was the last wife or husband seen in public. Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were so regal I felt I should curtsy to them. They spoke only of royalty, of their five days in Russia and of Mussolini, and how he, Douglas Fairbanks, enthused thousands of Italians for Mussolini in a speech he made in public. All this went on whilst he and Mary held hands at the dinner-table.
 Afterwards Charlie showed us his great film, A Woman of Paris, with Edna Purviance as the star. In that film he shot one scene a hundred and one times, and went back finally to the original. When I watched him rehearsing The Circus with Harry Crocker and Merna Kennedy, I saw him shoot one small scene forty-seven times in the afternoon. He interpreted both roles again and again for those two, portraying every emotion and reaction of their pathetic little love scene that only lasted a few moments. I said to him at the end of hours that I could not see that the two actors were much improved by the forty-seventh shot, and that anyhow the audience would be no wiser about this terrific amount of work he put into producing his films. He replied that until his conscience told him a scene was as near perfection as possible, he had to go on, even to seventy times seven. That no doubt accounts for the exquisite artistry in every picture he has ever produced. ...
Wondrous parties were given for me at which Charlie Chaplin did charades, or led a follow-my-leader round the room, pursued by the dance band and a motley of film stars doing every known antic and stunt. Bebe Daniels's beach house was full of gay, carefree stars, the flowerlike Virginia Vallee, Dick Barthelmess, William Powell, Beatrice Lillie, Harry Crocker, the Harold Lloyds, the Gish sisters and many more.

Chaplin, the Baroness, and Harry Crocker
❝At Charlie Chaplin's house one day he had just returned from the set with all his makeup on – a mass of us played baseball. Never have I seen such lovely bodies in such scanty bathing dresses, rushing round the lawn. Charlie Chaplin was always a mixture of utter enchantment, brilliancy, wit and humour, suddenly becoming very argumentative and serious over the control of mind over matter, or some such profundity — a genius if ever there was one. In discussing once with Fritz Kreisler, the great violinist, Charlie Chaplin's rudeness in keeping the Duke of Connaught waiting, he said to me, 'Yes, I know, but first in life is love, then after its tragedies, laughter, and we must bow to him whatever his faults, forgiving him that.' He then added a most significant remark on Russia, There you have a wild beast over the walls, and we only fight amongst ourselves, instead of producing a united front.' His words are as true today.
Marion Davies gave me a big dinner, when all the stars afterwards had to take a name out of a hat and act the part. Lita Grey had to play Mary Pickford, Sam Goldwyn Mr. Randolph Hearst, Marion Davies Mae Murray, and Lilian Gish with Jack Gilbert, Rudolph and Mimi out of La Bohéme. Jack Gilbert had also to act Ethel Barrymore.
I was intensely amused also at Elinor Glyn's party for me; a certain word crept in in the replies, 'So-and-so is going with So-and-so.' That meant on pain of death you asked So-and-so together, and sat them together; otherwise the evening was a shambles of jealousy.
Many of these people were simple and unostentatious, in spite of their vast fortunes. Tom Mix amongst his horses, showing me his ranch, was the simple cowboy again, though he had a super green car a mile long. He and I and Charlie Chaplin had a fierce argument on Patriotism, one night. Charlie had none, Mix had it strongly. Charlie contended England had done nothing for him. America had made him. Why should he have gone back and fought for England in the First World War? He added that he would certainly have been shot in the back, running away from a trench! It was better to make people laugh and forget their tears with his films. I murmured that Fritz Kreisler had fought in Austria and been wounded in the arm — it had no effect.
--Baroness Mary Irene Curzon Ravensdale, In Many Rhythms, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1953

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chaplin's Choice

Ever wonder what Chaplin thought of other actors or directors? Which films did he enjoy? Here is a non-comprehensive list of people and films he admired, with comments by Chaplin where I could find them. Please feel free to add to the list in the comments, preferably with sources.

Many thanks my friends Dominique Dugros, Lucy Jaffe, and Doreen Feeney for their help in putting this compilation together.

Actors/Actresses

Fred Astaire: "This Top Hat man exudes personality." (New York Times, Feb. 16, 1936)

Lucille Ball: "He enjoyed Lucille Ball...thought her very funny & extremely talented." (Jerry Epstein, Remembering Charlie)

Lucille Ball poses as Chaplin in 1962

Fanny Brice: "Fanny Brice is a wonder as a comedian." (New York Herald, Sept. 11, 1921)

Mae Busch: "The best actress on the screen." (Motion Picture, Nov. 1924)

Mae Busch
Marion Davies "One evening at the Fairbankses' they ran a Marion Davies film, When Knighthood Was In Flower. To my surprise she was quite a comedienne, with charm and appeal, and would have been a star in her own right without the cyclonic Hearst publicity." (Charles Chaplin, My Autobiography)

Benny Hill: After receiving the Charlie Chaplin International Award for Comedy in 1991, Hill was invited, along with his longtime producer/director Dennis Kirkland, to Chaplin's home in Vevey where he was given a tour of the Manoir by Charlie's son, Eugene. Kirkland recalls the story in his biography of Hill:
After lunch he took us into the house to his father's sitting room and
his father's study, where Benny, thrilled to bits, was invited to sit in
Charlie Chaplin's chair. He was in heaven.
Then Eugene took us to a little room with a TV set and a video recorder and
showed us a row of videotapes on a shelf. They were all of Benny Hill
shows.
'My father used to sit here and watch you all the time. He thought you were
the greatest,' Eugene told Benny.

I had never seen Benny quiet so overwhelmed. He could not believe what he
was seeing and hearing. There were tears in his eyes.

Benny Hill as his character Fred Scuttle

Bob Hope: Chaplin to Hope after they were introduced by Hope's Cat & The Canary co-star, Paulette Goddard, at Santa Anita Race Track: "Young man, I've been watching the rushes of The Cat & The Canary every night. I want you to know that you're one of the best timers of comedy I have ever seen." (Joe Morella, Paulette: The Adventurous Life Of Paulette Goddard)

Al Jolson: "[Chaplin] thought that seeing Jolson live was the highest theatrical experience of his life. 'It was electrifying how he moved the audience,' Charlie said. 'When he came down the ramp and bent on his knees and sang 'My Mammy' it sent shivers down your back." (Jerry Epstein, Remembering Charlie)

Peter Lorre: "There is much of the born poet in Peter Lorre. His is a fresh and original talent. He is endowed with such intuitive, emotional and imaginative powers that he impresses me as one of the greatest character actors. I look forward to seeing him make a genuine contribution to the art of acting on the screen." (Motion Picture, June 1936)

Mary Pickford: "I once asked Charlie who was his favorite screen actress. 'I think Mary Pickford," he answered unhesitatingly." (Sam Goldwyn, St. Louis Star, Feb. 14, 1924)

Films/Directors

Ingmar Bergman: "After meeting Ingmar Bergman in Sweden [in 1964], Charlie gave an interview to the Herald Tribune, and said he never missed an Ingmar Bergman film." (Epstein)

With Ingmar Bergman

Luis Bunuel: "Bunuel remembered other visits to Chaplin's home. Several times he screened Un Chien Andalou: the first time Kono, who was running the projector, fainted away when he saw the opening scene of a razor blade slicing an eye. Years later Bunuel delighted to learn from Carlos Saura* that according to Geraldine Chaplin her father used to frighten the children by describing scenes from Bunuel's films." (David Robinson, Chaplin: His Life & Art) *Saura is the father of Geraldine's son, Shane Saura Chaplin.

A PLACE IN THE SUN (Dir. George Stevens, 1951): The story goes that Chaplin attended an advanced screening of the film and afterward told director George Stevens that it was "the greatest movie ever made about America." I couldn't find an actual source for this quote. However in Remembering Charlie, Jerry Epstein recalled seeing the film with Chaplin and that he enjoyed it.

Elizabeth Taylor & Montgomery Clift in A Place In The Sun

BARRY LYNDON (Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1976): One of the last two films Chaplin ever saw (the other was Rocky). As he watched the film, he commented, "Beautiful...beautiful." (Epstein)

BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925): Eisenstein recalled that Chaplin's first words of greeting when they met by Chaplin's tennis court in 1930: "Just saw Potemkin again. You know, in five years it hasn't aged a bit; still the same." (Chaplin & American Culture, Charles Maland)

THE BELLBOY (Dir. Jerry Lewis, 1960): During a visit to Chaplin's home, Lewis requested a copy of Modern Times to show his children on Sundays, Chaplin complied but with one provision: That Lewis send him a copy of The Bellboy, which was his favorite of Lewis' films. (Peter Bogdanovich, Who The Hell's In It)

DR. STRANGELOVE (Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1964): In an interview with Francis Wyndham in 1964, Chaplin said he hated most American films but was enthusiastic about Dr. Strangelove and did "an hilarious impression of George C. Scott squirming in the war room." The film's other star, Peter Sellers, was also briefly considered for the role of Hudson in Chaplin's last film, A Countess From Hong Kong.

George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove

D.W. Griffith: "The teacher of us all." (Francis Bordat, Chaplin Cineaste)

IVAN THE TERRIBLE (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1944) "The Acme of all historical pictures. Eisenstein dealt with history poetically--an excellent way of dealing with it." (My Autobiography)

M (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1931): Chaplin confessed to star Peter Lorre at the Brown Derby that he had seen the film three times. (Stephen Youngkin, The Lost One: The Life Of Peter Lorre)

Peter Lorre in M

MORTAL CLAY (Dir. Victor Sjöström, 1922) "A most beautifully prepared and executed work of art, an inspiration to all lovers of beauty and a vehicle that should elevate the whole standard of motion pictures." (Moving Picture World, Nov. 17, 1923)

ROCKY (Dir. Sylvester Stallone, 1976): "As he watched, he kept murmuring, 'Excellent...excellent.'" (Epstein)

Carl Weathers & Sylvester Stallone in Rocky

SALVATION HUNTERS: (Dir. Josef Von Sternberg, 1925): Chaplin considered the film to be one of the greatest ever made. (Photoplay, August 1925)

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (Dir. William Wyler, 1946): "The most significant picture to come out of Hollywood in years--significant not only for what the film itself accomplishes but also for the encouragement the film's success will give to other producers [to make daring and out-of-the-ordinary films]." (New York Times, April 13, 1947)

MORNING GLORY (Dir. Lowell Sherman, 1933): "Splendid." (New York Times, Feb. 16, 1936)

L-R: Adolphe Menjou, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, & Katharine Hepburn in Morning Glory

REMEMBRANCE (Dir. Rupert Hughes, 1922): "The most human picture ever put on the screen." (Motion Picture News, Sept. 20th, 1922)

Carlos Saura: "You are a poet." Chaplin to Saura in a telegram after having seen Ana Y Los Lobos with daughter, Geraldine (who was the star of the film). (Claudine Monteil, Les Amants Des Temps Modernes, based on an interview by the author with Geraldine).

STELLA DALLAS (Dir. Henry King, 1925): "I must congratulate [Samuel Goldwyn] on STELLA DALLAS. A friend of mine, seeing it the third time, enjoyed it as much as I did, seeing it the first time. It's a great triumph for you and the members of the cast. The direction is splendid, and undoubtedly the finest thing Henry King has ever done. May it bring you the success you deserve." (Moving Picture World, Jan. 23, 1926)).

Belle Bennett as Stella Dallas

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Yes, I Can See Now

I've always wondered when Charlie started wearing glasses. I figured it was at least the early 1920s since Lita Grey recalled Chaplin wearing glasses the first time she was alone with him in Truckee during the filming of The Gold Rush. However the following clipping puts the date much earlier, during his vacation in Honolulu in 1917. I don't know if Charlie was getting his first-ever pair of glasses or just a new pair. I also didn't know that Edna wore glasses.

Hawaiian Gazette, October 19, 1917

Journalist Egon Erwin Kisch noted during a visit to the Chaplin Studios in 1929 that Chaplin was so farsighted that he couldn't see to sign his own name. But Chaplin must have struggled with seeing at a distance as well judging from photos of him wearing glasses at spectator events such as a wrestling match and a kabuki performance (below).

Charlie with Sydney & Kono at the Kabuki-za Theater in Tokyo, 1932.
(Photo: Charlie Chaplin In Japan by Ono Hiroyuki)

One of my favorite "glasses" stories regarding Chaplin is when he testified during the Leo Loeb trial in 1927 & struggled to read a document that one of the lawyers handed him. (Loeb sued Chaplin claiming that he stole the idea for Shoulder Arms from his book, "The Rookie."):
Hays handed Chaplin a synopsis of "The Rookie" and asked him to look at the first scene. "Chaplin scrutinized the paper with expressions of exaggerated concentration which brought general laughter. He shrugged with a pathetic gesture of frustration and the spectators rocked in their seats."
"I'm afraid I can't read it," he apologized to Hays, "I forgot to bring my glasses."
Nathan Burkan offered up his glasses and Chaplin "tried them on his nose and then stared blankly at the paper. His expression and pantomime of his inability to see brought more laughter in which Judge Bondy joined."
Judge Bondy leaned over the bench and proffered Chaplin the judicial spectacles. The actor took them with a bow, tried them frontwards, backwards, as a monocle with the extra glass riding over one ear, and then as a magnifying glass.
"I can read!" he cried with a happy smile and the crowd cheered. (New York Times, May 11, 1927)
See more pics of bespectacled Charlie here.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Birthday, Charlie!


On his 70th birthday, Chaplin had a message that I think is still timely today:


Manchester Guardian, April 16, 1959

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Chaplin & the Battle of Petroushka

"Long years of practice at dodging custard pies and various other missiles stood Charlie Chaplin in good stead Sunday night at the Petroushka Cafe, in Hollywood, when two men attempted to 'beat up' the famous film comedian." 1
Late Sunday night, January 20th, 1924, Chaplin, actress Mary Miles Minter, screenwriter Carey Wilson and his wife, Nancy Everett, entered the exclusive Café Petroushka on Hollywood Blvd for a quiet dinner.

Mary Miles Minter

A little after midnight,  C.C. Julian, president of the Julian Petroleum Corporation, arrived with a large party consisting of his brother, his secretary, and two women: actress Peggy Browne and her friend, none other than Chaplin's ex-wife, Mildred Harris. Browne and Harris had joined the party earlier in the evening at the Montmartre, which was just down the street, and followed the group to Petroushka. Browne said later that she and Mildred were "unescorted." 2

Chaplin saw the group walk in but did not see his ex-wife. "I didn't know Miss Harris was in the cafe...I noticed the party when it entered, however. One of the men was acting very rudely; he kicked over a floor lamp and cursed loudly."3

Mildred Harris

Russian actor Nicholas Dunaew, who was seated at an adjoining table, recalled what happened next: "Mr. Julian brushed roughly against Mr. Chaplin. Mr. Chaplin said: 'Please be careful there are ladies present.' Mr. Julian replied: 'Who are you telling to be careful?' and then struck Mr. Chaplin across the face. Mr. Chaplin got up and struck back knocking Julian down. When Mr. Julian stood up and squared off I hit him on the jaw and knocked him down again as other members of his party were getting into the fight." 4

"Mr. Chaplin  behaved in a thoroughly gentlemanly manner, "said Nat Arlock, manager of Café Petroushka. "His party was quiet and inoffensive. I could ask for no guests more cultured. I saw the entire proceedings and I am embarrassed that it should have occurred in my place which is a genteel establishment. I do not allow liquor in the rooms or rowdies.

"Mr. Chaplin was listening to the music," Arlock explained. "He is very fond of Russian music. Zamulenko, the Moscow violinist was playing...Mr. Julian was the instigator of the trouble.  Prior to striking Mr. Chaplin he had knocked over a projecting light. During the fight, a cello was broken." Arlock said that Mr Julian had given him a check to pay for dinner and all the damages, even though Julian would later claim that he wasn't present at the cafe at the time of the fight. However employees and other witnesses, including members of Julian's own party, identified him as the man who attacked Chaplin.5

Several newspapers reported that Chaplin received a black eye or a bloodied face in the brawl, but witnesses say he "escaped without a scratch." 

Pittsburgh Press, Mar. 2, 1924
Mildred Harris, who fled with her friend, Peggy Browne, during the uproar, later expressed regret over the incident. "Poor Charlie, I do hope that my presence there will not be misunderstood. I did not know Charlie was there and I am sure he didn't see me.

"Charlie and I are perfectly good friends. Reports that the trouble started through a quarrel over me are preposterous. As a matter of fact I personally was not with Julian. I merely happened to be with my girlfriend who was a member of the party. Charlie is very sensitive. I sympathize with him deeply in this affair because I know how dreadful it all must be to him." 7

According to Browne, Julian had been stewing about Chaplin from the moment he arrived at Petroushka. "All during the party, Julian made scathing remarks about Mr. Chaplin. Miss Harris urged him to discontinue his uncomplimentary utterances and when he refused a moment before the trouble started, she left the table. As soon as I saw something was going to happen I became so frightened I ran down the stairs to get away. I didn't see any blows struck." 8

Chaplin had initially wanted to press charges against Julian but later changed his mind. "I have nothing  more to say about the unpleasant affair. I shall forget it." 9

"I'm not a fighter," Chaplin said, "not a braggart of fistic prowess as has been reported. I have always endeavored to conduct myself  as a gentleman, and appeal to the press and public that my part in the affair was forced on me, and I did only what any red-blooded man would have done had he been in my place." 10


Photoplay, April 1924

I thought some of the headlines about this incident were a hoot. Here are a few:

Trenton Times, Jan. 27, 1924

Kansas City Star, Jan. 23, 1924
The last part is hard to read. Its says:
 "C.C. Julian Denies He Struck Blow That Messed Up Charlie's Countenance--
Actor Fears For Films' Future."
Tennessean, Feb. 8th, 1924
Trenton Times, Jan. 23, 1924
San Bernardino Sun, Jan. 22, 1924
Pittsburgh Press, March 2, 1924
_________________________________________________________________________________

1San Bernardino Sun, Jan. 22, 1924
2Pittsburgh Press, March 2, 1924
3Los Angeles Times, Jan. 22, 1924
4Los Angeles Times, Jan. 24, 1924. Note: There were several reports that Jascha Heifetz was also seated at the adjoining table with Dunaew but Heifetz later claimed that he was not at the restaurant that night, and was shocked to hear that Chaplin had been in a fight. "He is not that sort of fellow, unless he was attacked. Of course a man will defend himself when attacked and Chaplin no doubt did that. I have no doubt that he gave a good account of himself, for I know him very well. But I did not see the fracas and I never heard of a scrap in that club before." (Portland Oregonian, Jan. 28, 1924)
5Los Angeles Times, Jan. 23, 1924
6San Bernardino Sun, Jan. 22, 1924
7Pittsburgh Press, March 2, 1924
8ibid
9Los Angeles Times, Jan. 24, 1924
10Los Angeles Times, Jan. 23, 1924

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

W.R. Hearst, Marion Davies, and Chaplin at the Motion Picture Electrical Parade and Sports Pageant, Sept. 1932

The woman on Chaplin's left is Blanche Hearst, the former wife of Hearst's son, George.

The parade, held at the Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles, and arranged by Jack Warner, was a charity event for the Motion Picture Relief Fund and the Marion Davies Foundation (for childhood diseases). It was also a non-official campaign event for then-Democratic presidential candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was the guest of honor.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

With Sid Grauman

I've never seen this one before. Given how young both of them look, it may have been taken around the time of the opening of Grauman's Million Dollar Theater in 1918.

The caption on the back reads:

"Chaplin in one of his moods of play. He's probably singing one of his topical songs of the music-hall days, which Sid Grauman, the Los Angeles exhibitor, finds intriguing."


Monday, March 20, 2017

I need your help

I would love some ideas from you about what you'd like to see on Discovering Chaplin going forward. Is there an event, person, film, time period, or any other aspect of Chaplin's life you are interested in knowing more about? Please let me know. Either leave your suggestions in the comments below or email me here. I hope to hear from you!


Jess


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Checking In

Hi everyone,

I wanted to pop in and let you know that I am still planning to return to the blog at some point in very near future. Right now, I am recovering from surgery. Nothing too serious, just something I have put off for a while. But once I am up and running normally again, I'd like to get back to Charlie & the blog. I have missed it, perhaps more than I thought I would. Watch this page or my Twitter page for updates.

In the meantime, enjoy this rarely-seen shot of Charlie and Bebe Daniels playing ping pong at her beach house in 1928 (screenwriter Charles Furthman is refereeing). Their unseen opponents were Adela Rogers St. Johns and her husband Dick Hyland.

Hope to see you soon!

💗 Jess


Monday, January 2, 2017

Dear Friends,

After 7 years of blogging about Chaplin (first on Tumblr and now here), I've decided to take an extended break. I'm not abandoning the blog completely but I will be on hiatus at least until the Spring.

Feel free to read older posts, comment, ask questions, email me, etc. I'll still be around. You can also keep in touch with me via Twitter.

Thanks, as always, for your support. I am forever grateful. I hope to see you again real soon.

Love,
Jess

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Watching tennis with Josef von Sternberg, 1932


Sternberg is notable for having directed the only Chaplin-produced film that was ever lost: The Sea Gull. 

Chaplin discovered Georgia Hale, his leading lady in The Gold Rush, in Sternberg's 1925 film The Salvation Hunters, which was considered by Chaplin to be one of the best films ever made.