Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chaplin arrives in Cherbourg en route to England, September 1921

A mob of reporters and cameramen came aboard to interview Chaplin and bombarded him with questions in both French (which he didn't understand) and English.

Charlie recalled the deluge of questions in My Trip Abroad (1922):
"Are you visiting in London?"
"Why did you come over?"
"Did you bring your make-up?"
"Are you going to make pictures over here?"
Then from Frenchmen :
"Will I visit France?"
"Am I going to Russia?"
I try to answer them all.
"Will you visit Ireland?"
"I don't expect to do so."
"What do you think of the Irish question?"
"It requires too much thought."
"Are you a Bolshevik?"
"I am an artist, not a politician."
"Why do you want to visit Russia?"
"Because I am interested in any new idea."
"What do you think of Lenin?"
"I think him a very remarkable man."
"Because he is expressing a new idea."
"Do you believe in Bolshevism?"
"I am not a politician."
Others ask me to give them a message to France. A message to London. What have I to say to the people of Manchester? Will I meet Bernard Shaw? Will I meet H. G. Wells? Is it true that I am going to be knighted? How would I solve the unemployment problem? ...
I am rescued by my secretaries, who insist that I go to my cabin and lie down. Anything the newspaper men have to ask they will answer for me. I am dragged away bewildered.


  1. Hi...few days ago my friend post a pic of Charlie which look similar like that on tumblr, and we tried to figure out when and where that was taken. Do you think this was taken at the same time? He wore the same tie, but not the coat, here's

    Thanks :))

    1. He appears to be indoors & wearing a non-pinstripe suit so it might not be at the same time. Although I have seen other photos from Cherbourg where you can't make out the pinstripes on his suit at all. It's possible this photo was taken at another time during the '21 trip. I believe he is wearing this tie, or a very similar one, in the photo of his meeting with HG Wells. I'll do a little more investigating in the morning when I'm more wide awake!

  2. He was thinking about Bolshevism and Russia at least by 1919 or so--isn't that when he went to hear Max Eastman speak about Russia? I am feeling too lazy to look up dates right now.

    1. Yes, I believe it was in 1919. He also talks a good deal about Russia in MY TRIP ABROAD. He quite interested in these topics long before the '30s.