Sunday, May 29, 2016

DAY BY DAY: 1936

Friday, May 29th: The Coolidge, en route to San Francisco, makes a brief stop in Honolulu

Sailing from Yokohama, the President Coolidge, carrying Charlie, Paulette, her mother, Alta, and valet Frank Yonemoridocked for only a few hours in Hawaii before sailing again at ten that evening. Fellow passenger, Jean Cocteau, recalled that the ship was met with a native band and singers upon its arrival. When Charlie and Paulette disembarked they were "waylaid by the American colony, led off on a leash of flowers."1 The couple were here once before back in February, at the beginning of their tour.

Below are photos aboard the Coolidge, between Yokohama and San Francisco.

Alta and Paulette
L-R: Geoffrey Rootes, William Rootes (British car manufacturers), Lady Furness, Paulette, Charlie.
Back row: Jean Cocteau, Alta, Victor Sassoon (with mustache), and Water Lang, the director.
Chaplin with Frank Murphy, U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippines.
Alta, Mr. Murphy, and Paulette
In a photo album, Paulette describes her sleeping mother in this photo
as "the perfect chaperone."
More photos here.

Coming up on June 3rd: Arrival in San Francisco.

1 Cocteau, Round The World Again In 80 Days


Day By Day: 1936: A document of one year of Chaplin's life.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Chaplin in SHOW PEOPLE (1928)

Here's Chaplin's cameo in King Vidor's Show People, starring Marion Davies and William Haines.

I think that's Harry Crocker walking with Chaplin at the beginning.

Notice Marion doesn't exactly say "Who is that little guy?" when Charlie walks away at the end.

Friday, May 27, 2016

POLICE, released May 27, 1916

This was Chaplin's final film for Essanay (or the last one he personally supervised) and was released after Chaplin had already joined the Mutual Film Corporation.

There's also some mystery behind the film. Some scenes for Police had originally been intended for a never-made feature-length film called Life and discarded footage from one or both were used to make Triple Trouble. Then there are those who believe that Life (the film) never existed and was an Essanay publicity stunt. Nevertheless, Police, to me, was one of Chaplin's best films to date.

(These screenshots are from the old Image "Short Comedy Classics" set. I haven't yet purchased the new Flicker Alley Essanays.)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Chaplin entertains tennis players, Sept. 1929

Chaplin & his guests on his Summit Drive tennis court, which had just been built earlier that year.
L-R: Edith Cross, Phoebe Watson, Betty Nuthall, CC, ?, ? Dorothy Shepherd-Barron, Ambassador Moore.

Read about it here:
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 1, 1929

The doubles team mentioned at the end of the article:
 L-R: "Mr. Brennon," Dorothy Shepherd-Barron, Betty Nuthall, & Chaplin
With Nuthall and Ambassador Moore

More photos here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Day By Day: 1936

Friday, May 22nd: Charlie & Co. leave Japan for California

After a four-month tour of Asia, Chaplin, Paulette, her mother, Alta, and valet Frank, began their journey back home.

In his memoir, Round the World Again in 80 Days, fellow passenger Jean Cocteau described their departure at Yokohama:
The President Coolidge was due out of Yokohama at 6 a.m. At ten minutes to the hour I went on board, preceded by photographers backing up the gangway with their cameras pointed at us. At five to six I was still dispensing autographs. The ship's band, which consisted of a saxophone, a trombone, a cornet and a big drum, broke into an agonized recessional. A flurry of paper streamers, flapping, bellying, breaking in the breeze, linked our bulwarks with the wharf. Our new friends on shore began to wave their handkerchiefs. Clocks were striking the hour. Suddenly a little car pushed its way through a little crowd. From it stepped a little Charlie Chaplin, a little Paulette Goddard. The sirens boomed a final warning. Chaplin broke away from the pressmen. With his hat astride his forehead in the Napoleonic manner one hand tucked into his waistcoat, the other held behind his back, the lonely wanderer who is so much at home in every land that he is homeless everywhere, mounted the gangway and turned the issue with a caper. Propellers churned; at last we were off. The wharf drew back, the island stood aloof. Our friends on shore dwindled and faded out, still waving invisible farewells. 
This clip is from 1933 (Hollywood On Parade), but just to give you an idea of Charlie's antics boarding the ship:


The Coolidge will make one brief stop in Honolulu on the 29th before arriving in San Francisco on June 3rd.


Day By Day: 1936: A document of one year of Chaplin's life.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

On the set of A WOMAN OF PARIS (1923)

This is the chair that Marie (Edna Purviance) is sitting in in the film when she reads about Pierre's engagement.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Day By Day: 1936

May 18th - May 22nd: Yokohama/Tokyo

The Chaplin party arrived in Yokohama from Kyoto on (circa) May 18th. They will spend a week traveling between there and Tokyo before departing for the States on the 22nd.

The photos below were taken on May 20th in Tokyo. They show Charlie and Paulette with geisha singer Ichimaru (holding instrument in top photo) and French violinist Jacques Thibaud.

Day By Day: 1936

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

February 1925

Given the date it's possible this photo was taken outside of the courthouse during the Amador trial.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Day By Day: 1936

May 16th-17th: Kyoto

Valet Frank Yonemori at left.

Shortly after their arrival in Kobe on the 16th, Charlie and Paulette (and Alta and Frank) drove to Kyoto. They spent one night at the famous Hiiragiya Inn, where they are pictured below having tea.

Another rare sighting of Frank at right. Where's Alta?
Charlie and Paulette pose with hostess Taguchi Yae

The next morning (the 17th), Charlie & Co. set off for Yokohama.


Day By Day: 1936: A document of one year of Chaplin's life

Monday, May 16, 2016

Day By Day: 1936

Saturday, May 16th: The "distinguished passengers" arrive in Kobe

South China Morning Post, May 26, 1936

The Chaplin party arrived aboard the SS President Coolidge, not the Kashima Maru, as stated in the article. They will proceed to Yokohama following a short, one-day side trip to Kyoto. I'll have more on that tomorrow. This visit was their second to Japan during this tour. They made a very brief stop in Yokohama and Tokyo back in March.

Chaplin paid his first visit to Kobe almost exactly four years before on May 14th, 1932.


Day By Day: 1936: A document of one full year of Chaplin's life.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Another mystery solved

In the latest issue of the French Chaplin-related publication "La Naissance de Charlot," Thierry Matthieu has identified the woman in these famous photos with Chaplin. She is definitely NOT Mary Thurman, as we have been lead to believe these last few years.

Matthieu himself reveals her identity here:

The photo he posts is from the Chicago Herald-Examiner, July 24th, 1921. What a find!

Thanks to Dominique for giving me a heads up on this new bit of info--and for letting me know about this Chaplin publication, which I knew nothing about. Too bad I don't read French!

THE FLOORWALKER, released 100 years ago today

The idea for The Floorwalker, Chaplin's first film for the Mutual Film Corporation, came to him during a visit to New York in February 1916:
One day when time was desperately short he was walking up Sixth avenue at Thirty-third street when an unfortunate pedestrian slipped and skidded down the escalator serving the adjacent elevated station. Everybody but Chaplin laughed. But Mr. Chaplin's eyes lit up. Also he lit out — for the studio in Los Angeles.
Thus was "The Floorwalker" born. Mr. Chaplin did not care a whoop about the floorwalker person as a type — what he sought were the wonderful possibilities of the escalator as a vehicle upon which to have a lot of most amusing troubles. "The Floorwalker" was built about the escalator not the floorwalker. (Terry Ramsaye, "Chaplin and How He Does It," Photoplay, Sept. 1917)
The film also marked the screen debut of our favorite Chaplin film villain, Eric Campbell.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Oona O'Neill's screen test for THE GIRL FROM LENINGRAD

This is probably from early 1943. Oona had already met Chaplin. The man talking in the background is the film's producer, Eugene Frenke. Oona was offered the role of "Tamara" in the film but backed out shortly after her marriage to Chaplin in June. Her role was then given to Mimi Forsythe.* The film was eventually released under the title Three Russian Girls.

Happy birthday, Oona (May 14, 1925)

*Los Angeles Times, July 14, 1943