|L-R: Mutual president, John Freuler, Syd Chaplin (then serving as his brother's business manager), |
and CC at the contract signing.
On Saturday, February 26th, 1916 at the Hotel Astor in New York City, Chaplin signed a contract with the Mutual Film Corporation for the unheard of amount of $10,000 a week plus a $150,000 bonus. The deal made him the highest paid filmmaker in history up to that time.
Shortly after the signing, Chaplin made a statement about his salary and what it meant to him:
"A great many people are inclined to make wide eyes at what is called my salary. Honestly, it is a matter I do not spend much time thinking about. Money and business are very serious matters and I have to keep my mind off of them. In fact I do not worry about money at all. It would get in the way of my work. I do not want people to think that life is all a joke to me, but I do enjoy working on the sunny side of it. What this contract means is simply that I am in business with the worry left out and with the dividends guaranteed. It means that I am left free to be just as funny as I dare, to do the best work that is in me and to spend my energies on the thing that the people want. I have felt for a long-time that this would be my big year and this contract gives me my opportunity. There is inspiration in it. I am like an author with a big publisher to give him circulation." (Motography, March 11, 1916)
|Chaplin looking serious on the day be became the richest man in Hollywood.|
"It's got to be earned, you know," he said of the money.