Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chaplin appears outside of the Lyric Theater in New York to promote A WOMAN OF PARIS, 1923

Chaplin is posing next to an announcement outside of the theater that reads: "To the public: In an effort to avoid any misunderstanding , I wish to announce that I do not appear in this picture. It is the first serious drama written and directed by myself. Charles Chaplin" This caveat also appears as the first title card in the film.

The New York premiere of A Woman Of Paris was held 70 years ago today.

After the show, Waldo Frank took Chaplin to the Greenwich Village apartment of poet Hart Crane, who was still in his pajamas. Crane described the scene in a letter to his mother the next day:
"I had just got my pajamas on last night when there was a rap on the door. I opened and in walked Waldo Frank--behind him came a most pleasant-looking, twinkling, little man in a black derby--"Let me introduce you to Mr. Charles Chaplin," said Waldo, and I was smiling into one of the most beautiful faces I ever expect to see." Well! I was quickly urged out of my nightclothes and the three of us walked arm in arm over to where Waldo is staying at 77 Irving Place. All the way we were trailed by enthusiastic youngsters. People seem to spot Charlie in the darkness. He is so very gracious that he never discourages anything but rude advances.
At five o'clock this morning Charlie was letting me out of his taxi before my humble abode. "It's been so nice," he said in that soft, crisp voice of his, modulated with an accent that is something like Padraic Colum's in its correctness. Then he, blinking and sleepy, was swung around and was probably soon in his bed up at the Ritz."*
A few years later, Crane sent Chaplin a book of his poems called White Buildings. One poem was called "Chaplinesque," which he was inspired to write after he saw The Kid. Chaplin reprinted the poem in My Autobiography.

*The Letters Of Hart Crane 1916-1932, Berkeley, U of C Press, 1965

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