Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Charlie talks into a sound camera, Italy, 1932

Footage of Charlie and his brother, Sydney, in Italy, March 1932.  At the end of the video, Charlie faces the camera and says, "Mucho grazie" ("grazio"?) reminiscent of a year earlier in Austria when he said "Guten tag" into a camera. If you listen closely around the :44 mark, Charlie asks for the time and someone replies, "Here you are." Is it Sydney? I believe it might be. However it's hard to tell who's doing the talking at this point, plus it seems to me that the audio and video don't match up during this portion of the footage.  Charlie asks for the time, but he doesn't appear to mouth the words until a couple of seconds later. The same goes for Sydney. This is my theory anyway.


  1. yupp. that's sidney.

    1. Wow! So there may be an audio record of Sydney's voice after all? :)
      BTW, Jess, how do you find these amazing, obscure bits?

    2. This was on youtube & I'm surprised we haven't seen it before now. I sent it to Syd's biographer, Lisa Stein Haven, as well. She had never seen it either. I was wondering if she recognized Syd's voice since she has heard a recording of it before but she couldn't be certain if that was him who said "here you are". There are a lot of people talking at once during that section, plus the audio and video are not in synch. Rita (who commented above) and I wondered if it was the other fellow. I guess it's possible, but part of me still thinks it might be Syd, since Charlie appears to be the only one miked & Syd was standing closest to him.

      Something else I noticed is that Charlie is holding a clock at the end of the clip. When he asks for the time, he appears to be hiding something in his jacket (the clock?). After Syd shows him his watch, the video immediately cuts to a closeup of Charlie speaking to the camera. Was Charlie's asking for the time part of a joke? If so, the punchline was edited out.

    3. Interesting...I wouldn't be surprised if it were intentional.

      BTW, I'm surprised that Lisa hadn't seen it before! You are one intrepid researcher! :)