Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Photo by Strauss-Peyton, 1921

A rarely seen pose from this sitting.

I can't read Charlie's inscription very well. To Benny?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lita Grey, along with Chaplin & his enterouge, at her contract signing to be leading lady in The Gold Rush, March 1924

From left: Chaplin’s publicist Eddie Manson, Lillian Spicer (Lita’s mother), Asst Dir. Chuck Reisner, CC, publicist Jim Tully, Lita, Henry Bergman, Asst. Dir. Eddie Sutherland, and studio manager Alf Reeves.

In his 1927 biography of Chaplin, Jim Tully recalled how Lita got the part:
Chaplin's selection of Lita Grey to play the role of the leading lady in "The Gold Rush" was quite romantic. Many young women of great beauty had applied for the position. Charlie, never quite certain as to which type he wanted, found his selection almost hopeless until the young schoolgirl appeared at the studio. She had played with Charlie in "The Kid," and hence was given a "screen-test" to see whether she photographed well or otherwise. 
A day after Miss Grey appeared at the studio her picture was flashed in the projection room. Chaplin was in a particularly happy mood that morning. 
After the rushes and screen-tests had been viewed Charlie walked with me to my office. Lita Grey followed us. She stood in the middle of the room saying, "What's it to be, Charlie--Mister Man?"
Charlie looked at her for a moment and said boyishly, "You're engaged."
The young girl, not yet sixteen, jumped up and down with joy. Had she been able to read the future she might have jumped over the moon, for within a short time Lita became not only leading woman for the most famous man in the world but also his wife. (Jim Tully, "Charlie Chaplin: His Real Life Story" Pictorial Review, February 1927)

Monday, November 28, 2016

United Artists stars & producers gather to protest the Fox West Coast Theater monopoly, November 1930

"We'll show our pictures in tents!" they said.

L-R: Al Jolson, Mary Pickford, Ronald Colman, Gloria Swanson, Douglas Fairbanks, Joseph Schenck, Charlie, Samuel Goldwyn & Eddie Cantor.

Modern Screen, Feb. 1931. Click to enlarge.

What did Chaplin have to say?

Santa Cruz Evening News, Nov. 29, 1930

(City Lights premiered January 30th, 1931 at the newly constructed Los Angeles Theater.) 

Fox West Coast and United Artists eventually reached a compromise in August 1931. Read more about it here.

L-R: Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, Chaplin

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chaplin delivers a Thanksgiving speech at Plymouth, England

On November 15th, 1931, Chaplin took part in an open-air Thanksgiving service held at the place where the pilgrims embarked on their voyage to America. He attended as the guest of Lady Nancy Astor, who represented Plymouth as a member of Parliament.
So dense was the crowd which listened to Mr. Charles Chaplin when he spoke at an open-air Thanksgiving service held for fisher-folk at Plymouth to-day, that women and children were forced to the edge of the fish quay, the scene of the service, and one ten-year-old boy was pushed over, falling 20 feet into the sea.
A young man at once dived in after him but got into difficulties. Another man, also fully dressed, then jumped in and brought the boy safely ashore.1
Charlie is mobbed in Plymouth

Ten thousand people crowded on the quay and surrounded a truck bed that was used as a platform. On the truck stood Chaplin, Lady Astor, and the Bishop of Plymouth.

Chaplin was asked by Astor to address her constituents. Holding a megaphone, he told the crowd that he sympathized with fisherman in their arduous work. "Still, we all have our tribulations," he said. "Even millionaires have their tribulations, and we must just put up with them."1 He went on to tell his fellow countrymen that "the more I see of England, the more I love her.  But the only thing I can do for her is to make her laugh."2

With Lady Astor

1Leeds Mercury, November 16, 1931
2Milwaukee Sentinel, November 16, 1931

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Geraldine at the Chaplin's World Museum

Below is an article about her recent visit which includes a video & an interview--both are in French (use Google Translate for the text). But even if you can't understand it there are some nice shots of the museum--and Geraldine.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

"I always knew I was a poet"

When Garson Kanin was a young production assistant at Samuel Goldwyn's studio in 1937 he would spend his off hours screening films from the Goldwyn library. After several months he felt he had become "an expert on the oeuvre of Samuel Goldwyn" and decided to move on to films from other studios, many of which he hadn't seen. "In time I felt I was ready to begin my study of Charles Chaplin." But when he tried to acquire the films for viewing, he quickly discovered that Chaplin's films were not loaned out, nor could he go to the studio to screen them.

Extremely frustrated and determined to have his way, "I picked up the phone and said to my secretary, 'Get me Charles Chaplin!'"
"Who?" she enquired. 
"Mr. Chaplin," I said. 
"Do we have his number?"
"Get it from somewhere. Goldwyn's office. Somebody must have it."
"Chaplin, did you say?"
"Chollychaplum!" I heard myself say [recalling the way he said Chaplin's name as a child.]
"Oh," she said. "Charlie Chaplin, of course."
In less than a minute, the buzzer sounded. I picked up the phone. 
"Hello, Mr. Chaplin?"
"Who is this?" asked a high, fractious voice. 
I identified myself as one of Mr. Goldwyn's assistants, which seemed to melt but not break the ice. I described my long efforts to get to see his films, explained why I wanted to do so, and did not forget to include about a minute and a half of shamelessly fulsome flattery.
When I finished there was a long pause, then he asked. "Do you play tennis?"
"No, sir, I'm afraid I don't."
Well, come over here anyway some day and we'll talk about it." 
Could I believe my ears? Was I being invited over by Charlie Chaplin?
"When?" I asked. 
"Any time," he said. "Any afternoon."
"How about right now," I asked. 
He laughed and said, "All right. I'll tell you where I am."
"No, no. Don't bother. I'll find you!"

L-R: Chaplin, Laura Harding, Garson Kanin, & Tim Durant at the Fairway Yacht Club in New York, 1940
Another view here.

Kanin then had to ask his boss if he could skip the afternoon staff meeting to go to Charlie Chaplin's house. Goldwyn was suspicious about why Chaplin would invite one of his young assistants to his house. "What's it about? What does he want you for?" he wanted to know. Kanin explained the situation and Goldwyn finally agreed. "Go on. Go to Chaplin," he said. "[But] come back after and tell me what he said about me."

On his way out, Kanin stopped in Goldwyn's outer office and got Chaplin's address & instructions on how to get there.
As I approached the high wall surrounding Chaplin's house on Summit Drive, I could scarcely believe what was happening to me. I drove through the gate, parked my car, and was about the ring the front doorbell when I heard a tennis game in progress. 
I made my way around to the tennis court. A tall, handsome man, who I would later know as Tim Durant, was playing against Bill Tilden. Actually, he was taking a lesson from Bill Tilden. Bill Tilden! The greatest tennis player in the world and Charlie Chaplin in the same day. It was too much. Chaplin rose and came to greet me at once. 
"Why, you're just a kid," he said. 
"Call me Jackie Coogan," I said. 
Chaplin smiled and led me to a table. He was even smaller than I had imagined but vital and bursting with energy. 
"Iced tea?" he asked. 
"Fine," I said. 
He picked up a pitcher full of iced tea with one hand, and a glass with the other, and did something extraordinary. He put the spout of the pitcher onto the rim of the glass, then spread his arms, one high and one low, creating a long stream of tea from pitcher to glass. He brought his hands together again, put the pitcher down, and handed me the glass. 
It is not possible, I reflected, for this great, great clown to do anything in the ordinary way. I wondered if he took his comic sense along when he went to bed with a girl. He told me later, much later, that he often did. In fact, he considered it larkish to fix his sights on the least likely, least attractive female he could find and play Don Juan to the end. Often, he told me, with astonishing results. 
It turned out to be the most pleasant of afternoons. Following a short discussion of my situation, he agreed to let me screen any of his films I wanted to see. He preferred that I run them at his studio and made it clear he would expect Goldwyn to assume the expense. Before I left, he invited me to dinner the following week. He became a warm and generous friend. 
I spent the next three months running Chaplin pictures. The scripts were hard to come by, but now and then I was able to find a treatment or a sketch. Discussing the work with some of the players, I learned that there was a great deal of improvisation during each shooting day. Whenever possible, I met with Chaplin himself to ask questions about his pictures. 
"What did you think--what went through your mind when people like George Jean Nathan and Gilbert Seldes and T.S. Eliot began to discuss your work in terms of great art? After all, you were a music-hall comic, the son of a music-hall comic, doing the job you'd done for years on end, and all of a sudden, sort of--just because you were now doing it in front of the camera, you were being hailed as a great figure in the arts."
"What's your question?" asked Chaplin. 
"Well, I mean--what did you think of all this? How did it affect you? You must have been pleased, but were you surprised?"
"Not at all," said Chaplin. "I always knew I was a poet." 
--Garson Kanin, Hollywood, 1967

Thursday, November 17, 2016

With May Reeves at the Hotel Miramar in Biarritz, August/September 1931

Charlie and May spent two months in Biarritz during his 1931-32 world tour. He'd met May that April in Nice when she was working as a dancer in a casino owned by Frank J. Gould. She ended up accompanying him on his travels for the next eleven months. Despite their smiles, May recalled that their stay in Biarritz that summer was "not pleasant."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

On a film set, 1916

I believe this was taken during the filming of The Count. The dining room set can be seen in the background through the arched doorway. However, the set that Chaplin is standing in does not appear in the film, perhaps it was an early version of the ballroom set. The sofa on the left was also used in Behind The Screen.

Illustrated, October 4th, 1952

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Listen to Chaplin, Nigel Bruce, and others in a political roundtable discussion on KFWB, December 1942

I've posted this before, but it seemed appropriate to post again since the election. Chaplin enjoyed a good political argument and was very passionate about his beliefs, which comes through in the following discussion. I have a feeling he would be just as worried about our country now as he was then.

"On Wednesday, December 16, 1942, Charlie Chaplin  made one of the most unusual radio broadcasts of his career. His friend Robert Arden asked him to appear on America Looks Abroad, a 45-minute political roundtable talk show not unlike the ones heard on countless cable news networks today. The program aired on KFWB in Los Angeles, owned and operated by Warner Brothers Pictures. Then, as now, KFWB was a major station with a wide broadcast range, but it was unlikely that the  program was heard beyond Southern California."1

Besides Chaplin, the other panelists included Nigel Bruce (who was later cast as Mr. Postant in Limelight), Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Dr. Emil Ludwig, the biographer of Napoleon whom Chaplin met in France in 1931, and Mutiny On The Bounty directer Frank Lloyd.

The somewhat shady & opportunistic Arden met Chaplin in 1941 and became part of his small inner circle of friends. He is mentioned often in Chaplin's FBI file since the two shared what it called "leftist proclivities." Arden was also involved in the Joan Barry scandal. In fact, he may have been the one who suggested introducing Barry to Chaplin in the first place. Two years later in 1943, he was indicted for his participation in Chaplin's alleged violation of the Mann Act (aka conspiring to deny Joan Barry of her civil rights).  Ironically, the infamous incident in which Joan Barry broke into Chaplin's home with a gun occurred one week after this broadcast on December 23rd, 1942.

Arden and Chaplin

More about this broadcast and Arden's relationship with Chaplin can be found in Rob Farr's essay "Chaplin On The Radio--Part II" in Limelight and The Music Hall Tradition.

Now a little about this recording. It is missing the opening introductions & begins with Arden announcing the topic of the day: "The Question of Unity: How much unity do we have to have to bring this war to a successful conclusion?" Chaplin does not talk about his personal life nor his films. He only discusses politics--something he loved to talk about. And at times he gets very passionate about it. He will discuss the "bugaboo about Communism" & during one particularly heated response declares: "I am going to be Communistic." His remarks are often met with applause from the audience. This is a Chaplin most of us have only read about but not heard.

For those who only want to hear the Chaplin parts, the longest ones can be found at :50 & 6:53 (responding to comments by Nigel Bruce), 17:50, 19:20, 27:35, & his final remarks are heard at 41:20. However sprinkled in between these segments are some back and forth exchanges between Chaplin & the other panelists that are certainly worth hearing, if you have time.

1Rob Farr, "Chaplin On The Radio--Part II"

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

"At this moment I believe my troubles began"

On the evening of May 17th, 1942, Chaplin received a phone call from the head of the American Committee for Russian War Relief in San Francisco asking if he would replace former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Joseph E. Davies, who was scheduled to speak at a rally the next evening but became ill with laryngitis. Although he was only given 24 hours' notice, he accepted. He caught the evening train to San Francisco which arrived at eight the next morning.

The Civic Auditorium was packed with 8,000 people. Chaplin had been given little time to come up with a speech. He made notes on the back of his placecard at dinner and downed two glasses of champagne to calm his nerves.

Chaplin delivering his speech at the Civic Auditorium in S.F., May 18th, 1942

Backstage he paced back and forth waiting to go on. Then he heard his introduction.
I was wearing a black tie and dinner jacket. There was applause, which gave me little time to collect myself. When it subsided I said one word: "Comrades!" and the house went up in a roar of laughter, then applause. When it subsided, I said emphatically, "And I mean comrades." There was renewed laughter and then applause. I continued: 'I assume there are many Russians here tonight, and the way your countrymen are fighting and dying at this very moment, it is an honor and a privilege to call you comrades.' Through the applause many stood up."1
He continued:
What Communism is, I know not. But if it makes such men as are on the Russian front then we should respect it. Now is the time to clarify the air, for they are giving their life's blood that we might live. We should not only give of our cash but of our spirit of comradeship to help them.
When people ask: "What about after the war; will Communism sweep the world?" My answer is "So what?" Our design for an industrial system makes it impossible for us to predict. We are not to say. Undoubtedly we are in an era of collectivism.
But we won't go back to the old days of a few men making a hundred million dollars in a business about which they know nothing while little men stand in line.2

He ended his forty-minute speech by saying: "The Russians are our allies, they are not only fighting for their way of life, but for our way of life and if I know Americans they like to do their own fighting. Stalin wants it, Roosevelt has called for it--so let's all call for it--let's open a second front now!"

Chaplin recalled that there was a wild uproar that lasted for seven minutes. "And as they stamped and yelled and threw their hats in the air, I began to wonder if I had said too much and had gone too far."

Chaplin & others at the home of S.F. businessman Louis Lurie, May 18th, 1942: L-R: Chaplin, Betty Gordon (secretary of the Society of Russian Aid), Jacob Lomakin (Soviet Consul-General), Joseph Thompson (chairman of SF Russian War Relief Committee), Mrs. Thompson, & John Garfield. (source)

Afterward Chaplin had dinner with fellow speakers John Garfield, who presented a dramatic reading of "A Letter From A Red Army Soldier To An American Soldier" and Dudley Field Malone who read the speech prepared for the occasion by Joseph Davies. 3 Garfield told Chaplin, "You have a lot of courage," referring to his speech. "His remark was disturbing," recalled Chaplin, "for I did not wish to be valorous or caught up in a political cause célèbre. I had only spoken what I sincerely felt and thought was right. Nevertheless after John's remark I began to feel a depressing pall over the rest of the evening. But whatever menacing clouds I expected as a result of that speech evaporated, and back in Beverly Hills life went on as usual."4

Betty Gordon, Louis Lurie, and Chaplin

However the experience seems to have whet Chaplin's appetite for public speaking, which is surprising since it was something that he never seemed to enjoy. A few weeks later, he was asked to speak by radio-telephone at a mass meeting in Madison Square. He made several more speeches on behalf of the Second Front over the next few months, beginning each speech with "Hello, Comrades!" He delivered his final Second Front address in New York on December 3rd, 1942.

Chaplin's advocacy of the Second Front began what would be a very turbulent time in his career. The Joan Barry scandal would come a year later, then the controversy over his 1947 film, Monsieur Verdoux, culminating in his exit from America in 1952. But as Chaplin recalled twenty years later in My Autobiography, it all started with the speech in San Francisco. "At this moment I believe my troubles began," he wrote.


1Charles Chaplin, My Autobiography, 1964
2Bakersfield Californian, May 19th, 1942.
3Also on the bill was violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Day By Day: 1936

Wednesday, November 4th: Chaplin's second wife, Lita Grey Chaplin, announces marriage to Henry Aguirre.

Lita was secretly married on September 21st in Santa Ana. She was introduced to Aquirre, a tap dancer, through an aunt while recovering from a nervous breakdown at the home of her grandmother. Their marriage lasted less than a year.

Omaha World-Herald, November 5th, 1936

Day By Day: 1936: An account of one year of Chaplin's life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Marilyn Nash, in Rollie Totheroh's hat and coat, with Chaplin in Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Marilyn tells the story of her hat and coat below...

"Chaplin had definite ideas about costumes...but it was a lighting situation that motivated the costume in my first scene. It was dark in the doorway, and Charlie didn't like the way the light was hitting me, and neither did Rollie (Totheroh). The shadows were wrong. And Charlie said, "We've got to do something," and Rollie said, "Well let's throw a hat on her.""Oh, good idea!" And Rollie said, "I've got one." It was his rain hat. So Rollie went and he grabbed his hat and his raincoat and he put them on me. And the make-up guy came and started fussing, and I said, "No, I really like the hat like that." And Charlie looked, and Rollie said immediately, "That's it, that's it," cause Rollie's looking through the camera and he said, "That's it." And Charlie wanted it perfect because that's the first shot of the waif on the street. He had to have it just right."
--Interview with Marilyn Nash, Limelight magazine, Spring 1997

Monday, October 31, 2016

Charlie recreates his own horror movie in the sauna of his home

From Remembering Charlie by Jerry Epstein

The following are the captions for the photos from left to right:

"He’s happy & relaxed. Something’s Inside! It’s pulling him down! Goodbye!"

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Rare photo of Hetty Kelly

Currently up for auction on ebay (at a ridiculous opening bid) is this lovely, never-before-seen photo of Chaplin's first love, Hetty Kelly, probably taken during her visit to New York in 1911, three years after her very brief romance with Chaplin.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Charlie & friends take a spin on his exercise wheel

Chaplin kept this metal contraption in his backyard for years.


Igor Stravinsky:

Life magazine, April 1937

Anyone know who this is? 

But sometimes there were accidents.

Georgia Hale recalled that one of Charlie's guests about knocked his head off on the thing:
A tall chap...tried the feat. But he forgot to hold his head inside...and so it extended outside the wheel. Down the lawn he went banging his head horrible blows. When the thing finally came to a stop with him sprawled out on the grass, he was shaken and in great pain. (Hale, Charlie Chaplin Intimate Close-Ups)
Another mishap involved Charlie's sons:
One day loud and urgent cries came from the Chaplin swimming pool. Coat tails flying, Papa Charlie raced to the edge, and there had to fish out his sons. Investigation showed that they had discovered papa's exercise wheel. You know, those bigs things you get in and turn around, and it rolls along while you go spinning upside-down-and-back. Well, they'd merely spun right into the pool. (Harry Lang, "Papa Chaplin," Modern Screen, Oct. 1935)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Recently discovered photo of Chaplin's mother

This newly found photo of Hannah in a stage costume was first published last year in Taschen's Charlie Chaplin Archives book. Date given is c.1885.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Chaplin's Funny Feet Walk Into War Comedy"

Ninety-eight years ago today, Chaplin's satire of WWI was released, Shoulder Arms. The following is an excerpt from a June 1918 article by Grace Kingsley in which she observes Chaplin (and brother Syd) grappling with a title for the film (Charlie considered calling it "Hearts of Fate") and filming a sequence with children (which was, of course, never used). I've included illustrations from the original article (by Harry Barndollar) as well as real photos.

"Chaplin's Funny Feet Walk Into War Comedy"
by Grace Kingsley
Los Angeles Times, June 30th, 1918

"Shoulder Arms," Mr. Chaplin christened his picture the other day after wrinkling a whole hour over the problem, out at the studio, the while the comedian, Brer Sid and the rest of us drank innumerable cups of tea. All the name had to suggest was patriotism and fun, and drama and punch and a few other things like that. Of course the christening wasn't effected without a lot of skirmishing. Sid Chaplin must have his joke, for one thing.
"Call it 'The Bums Of Berlin!'" he suggested.
But Brer Charlie wasn't going to have any low-comedy names, because his bright necklace of laughter is really strung on a stout little thread of seriousness.
The Fat Comedian, who is inclined to be sentimental, suggested it be called "Hearts Of Fate."
"Hearts Of Lettuce," parodied Sid Chaplin.
Why not call It 'Charlie Carries On," suggested the Thin Heavy, which sounded reasonable, too. But the comedian took a reflective munch of his third slice of cake, and a quick gulp of tea, got up and walked into the door of a set, emerged on the other side and triumphantly announced:
"Shoulder Arms!"
"Which you must admit has punch in its sound, suggests either comedy or pathos, and altogether, like the Mother Hubbard wrapper of the senator's speech, "covers everything and touches nothing."

Charlie & Syd in Shoulder Arms

"And now, Sid," said Charlie, "tell the lady the plot."
Sid looked perplexed. "Don't I just wish you could!" laughed Charlie.
As a matter of fact, the plot always thickens slowly as Chaplin proceeds with his pictures. But he's always certain about the theme. That's the vital thing which many comedy makers overlook, according to Charlie--the theme which makes for success in comedy just as much as it does in heavy drama, he declares.
"The story is a sketchy thing," explains Charlie seriously, "really it's just a ...."
But there, we nearly told. ...
Of course, you know Charlie uses a number of children in this production. In fact, these scenes are all finished, and it is here that Charlie has achieved a fairly Barrie-esque whimsicality. But not without much hard labor were the scenes made, with the comedian directing the youngsters every minute.

A school teacher--at $2700 a day! That was Chaplin during the making of these scenes.
"And although I love those kids dearly, and though they were just as clever as they could be--well, I take back all I ever said about school teachers," grinned the comedian.
It seems they all had a great day at Venice last week with the kids taking in all the joys of the Midway under Chaplin's sole supervision, the mommers being specially requested to stay behind. One youngster got stage fright or something during the mad progress of the merry-go-round, and Chaplin had to achieve an athletic rescue; another Chaplin found at the helm of the peanut roaster, where he was trying to persuade the owner to let him run the machine; another had to be forcibly peeled like a plaster off the roller coaster after his fourth round trip; but on the whole Charlie says he thoroughly enjoyed being nursemaid for a day.

One of the youngsters fell and hurt himself a bit. "Actors don't cry," Charlie remonstrated. "Whereupon," he related, all the kids got together and speculated on what might make an actor cry. Finally one of them said, "Well, I'll bet If Charlie fell out of a balloon he'd cry." Which seemed to settle the matter. "And a funny little thing happened when a strange little boy walked up to me and told me timidly that he 'liked me better than he did any of the other Charlies.'"
"I had an awful time getting any of the children to play the Kaiser. They wouldn't even be bribed--they said It would be disloyal to the United States. Finally, how do you think I got one of the youngsters to play tho part? Well, I just told him I'd hit him awfully hard. And he said, 'Well, all right, If you'll promise to hit the Kaiser awful hard, I'll play him.'"

Charlie puts Kaiser makeup on one of the children.
There was some debate a few years ago about whether or not this child is Doug, Jr.
 I don't believe that it is. To me, he looks like the child wearing the bowler in the above photos.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chaplin and Harry Crocker at the Los Angeles Tennis Club, 1933

They are probably watching the Pacific Southwest Tennis Tournament which Chaplin attended every year. This photo was perhaps taken at the same time as this one with Paulette.

If you have an extra $300 burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy the above photo on ebay right now (note: he is not at Wimbledon).

Monday, October 17, 2016

With Katsuji Fukuhara at the Chaplin Studios, c. 1925

Fukuhara was a Japanese immigrant and friend of Chaplin's secretary Toraichi Kono, who hailed from the same area of Hiroshima.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day By Day: 1936

Tuesday, October 13th: Paulette Goddard is interviewed in New York.

From her suite at the Ambassador Hotel, Paulette refused to answer any questions about Chaplin or even reveal her age (she's 26) in what she claimed was her very first interview. When asked what she plans to do in NY, she answered "breathe deeply" and read Wells' Anatomy Of Frustration. "Like Hollywood, the frustration part," she said. Given this impromptu trip to New York and rumors of a fight with Chaplin, one can't help but read between the lines of that response.

Oakland Tribune, October 13th, 1936.
 Click here to enlarge.

Day By Day: 1936: An account of one year of Chaplin's life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chaplin arrives in New York for the premiere of The Great Dictator, October 12th, 1940

This was Chaplin's first visit to New York in nearly ten years. He arrived at LaGuardia Field via an American Airlines transcontinental flight--his first. He disliked the experience so much that he returned to California by train. He refused to fly again until the early 1950s.

Paulette Goddard did not accompany him to New York but arrived via Mexico, where she had been visiting artist Diego Rivera. Nor did they stay in the same hotel. Charlie took up quarters at the River House with his pal, Tim Durant, while Paulette stayed at the St. Regis. The only appearance they made together was at the film's premiere on the 15th. Following that, Paulette returned to California, and Chaplin stayed on in New York for the next four months "to play." Telling one reporter: "I'm a very tired old man badly in need of rest."