Friday, September 14, 2012

Two Shaves



Last night I watched three Syd Chaplin Keystone films on Turner Classic Movies. I noticed some very Tramp-like moves and expressions coming from Syd, but were his moves influenced by his brother, Charlie, or vice versa?  Clearly the brothers influenced each other a great deal. The following clip is a short feature from the Criterion edition of The Great Dictator which compares Charlie’s shaving scene in the 1940 film with Syd’s barbershop scene in 1921's King, Queen, Joker.

5 comments:

  1. I was thinking the same thing, Jess!

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  2. here. have some 'charlie's aunt'.
    http://youtu.be/J5WbDBAPaIQ
    syd is an absolute riot.

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    1. Thanks, Rita. I haven't seen "Charley's Aunt". I tried to watch "The Better 'Ole" once but couldn't get into it.

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  3. How interesting. What I find odd is that Syd has a small black mustache and jet black hair. Charlie's tramp "look" was well established by 1921. Was Syd openly copying his brother? Or just an unconscious coincidence. I agree they do look alike here.

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    1. No, I don't believe he was copying his brother at all. Syd's Gussle character from Keystone also had jet black hair and a (bigger) mustache (he also carried a cane). Gussle was based on Archibald Binks, a character Syd created when he was with Fred Karno, long before Charlie came up with the Little Tramp.

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