Showing posts with label Carlyle Robinson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carlyle Robinson. Show all posts

Monday, July 25, 2016

Charlie's blindfold cigarette test

This photo shoot was used to advertise Old Gold cigarettes in Judge magazine in 1928.

In the background of the above photos (L-R): Carlyle Robinson (Chaplin's press agent), Harry Crocker, and Henry Bergman.

According to the ad below: "Chaplin was asked to smoke each of the four leading brands, clearing his taste with coffee between smokes. Only one question was asked:  'Which one do you like best?' He chose Old Gold." Sez Charlie: "It was like shooting a scene successfully after a whole series of failures. It just 'clicked' and I named it as my choice. It was Old Gold...It seems Strongheart and Rin-tin-tin are the only motion picture actor stars who don’t smoke them.”

"Not a cough in a carload"

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chaplin at a children's party in Berlin, March 1931


Charlie Chaplin at a children's party in Berlin 1932 [sic]

Stefan Lorant (left) presents Chaplin before the children of famous actors. To the right of Chaplin: Michael Kerr, the son of Alfred Kerr, in front of him, Vera Viola Veidt, the daughter of Conrad Veidt (Veidt and his wife, center, rear), far right: the actor Alexander Granach with his son.

Also in the photo is Chaplin's publicity agent, Carlyle Robinson, on the right in glasses behind Granach. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rare photos of Chaplin in Nice, March 31st, 1931

Chaplin is seen here on the day of his arrival in Nice during his 1931 world tour. He had just been reunited with his brother, Syd, who had been living there for the last several months. These photos show the brothers, along with press agent, Carlyle Robinson, and European rep. for United Artists, Boris Evelinoff, being greeted at the Imperial Hotel by Frank J. Gould and his wife, Florence. Gould was Chaplin's host in Nice and owner of the hotel.

Chaplin met May Reeves not long after these photos were taken. Both Robinson and Evelinoff would eventually lose their jobs because of the Reeves affair.

Charlie is at left. Syd is second from right.
Frank J. Gould, far right.
Florence Gould shakes hands with Charlie. Carlyle Robinson is at left facing CC.
The woman on the right might be Elsa Maxwell, a friend of Chaplin's,
whom he saw during his visit in Nice.
Charlie and Syd.
Florence Gould pins a flower on Charlie's lapel.
Syd is at right. I believe that's Boris Evelinoff in the center.
Carlyle Robinson is in back behind CC. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chaplin & his crew on the set of CITY LIGHTS, c. 1930

Charlie is in costume except that he has replaced his bowler hat with a straw hat.

Other familiar faces include: cameraman Rollie Totheroh (far left), press agent
Carlyle Robinson (in the middle wearing glasses) and I believe that's
Allan Garcia (who plays the millionaire's butler) behind Charlie (4th from left).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chaplin & crew on the set of City Lights, 1929

From left: publicist Carlyle Robinson, studio manager, Alf Reeves, assistant director, Henry Bergman, CC, cameramen: Mark Marlatt, Rollie Totheroh & Eddie Gheller (?), Henry Clive, seated, originally played the millionaire but was later fired, and assistant director, Harry Crocker, far right, who was also eventually fired from the production.

Monday, September 16, 2013

World Tour Revisited: Leftovers

September 1931 marked the halfway point of Chaplin's 18-month world tour. I thought I would take this post to look back over the past 9 months with some photos that didn't make into my original World Tour Revisited posts.

U.S., Feb. 1931
On the train to New York en route to England.

London, Feb. 1931:

On the roof of the Ritz Carlton.

With Jack Fitchett, a friend from his vaudeville days.

Party following the London premiere of City Lights, Feb. 27th, 1931

Winston Churchill toasts Charlie.

With journalist Hannen Swaffer.

Dancing with Lady Doreen Stanley at a party following the premiere of City Lights.

Berlin, March 1931
At the Hotel Adlon.

Vienna, March 16th, 1931

Paris, March 1931

At the Folies Bergère. Chaplin's press agent Carlyle Robinson is in the background.

Boar Hunt, Normandy, March 25th, 1931

Nice, April 1931

French Riviera Summer 1931

L-R: Charlie, May, Syd & Minnie Chaplin. 

Aboard the HMS Shropshire in Cannes.

Charlie and May Reeves on the streets of Cannes. 
On the beach in Juan-les-Pins. Source: Lisa Stein Haven
Source: Lisa Stein Haven
Sunbathing with May.

Bullfight, San Sebastian, August 1931

Harry d'Arrast and May are seated next to Charlie on the right.

Biarritz, September 1931

Saturday, April 27, 2013

World Tour Revisited: Charlie arrives in Marseilles from Algiers, April 26th, 1931

Charlie was suffering from an attack of lumbago when he arrived in Marseilles. His immediate plan, according to contemporary news reports, was to return immediately to Nice and finish a scenario for a film.1

There is no mention of Marseilles in Charlie's travel memoir, "A Comedian Sees The World," perhaps because he wanted to forget the unpleasant events that followed his arrival.

Before Charlie and May Reeves, who had accompanied him, disembarked, the plan to break them up was already underway. Syd and his wife, Minnie, felt that Charlie's relationship with May would ruin him financially & would create a scandal worse than the Lita Grey debacle. They felt that immediate action was needed to rescue Charlie from the clutches of the dark-eyed, Austrian dancer. Syd placed the job of breaking up Charlie & May on the shoulders of Carlyle Robinson, his press agent.
[Syd] ordered me to separate the lovers. His instructions were many and explicit...It was a gigantic undertaking. I knew that Sidney wouldn't have attempted it for anything in the world. As for me, judging from past experience, I genuinely doubted my ability to tear Charlie from the arms of his mistress. And because I admitted as much, Sidney decided to tell me a secret which I am sure he would have preferred, in any other circumstance, to keep to himself. But for him, it was worth the risk. By telling me this secret, he hoped to arm me with an unanswerable argument which would force Charlie to break off with May. 2
Robinson met the ship that brought Charlie and May from Algiers. The moment the gangplank was lowered, he jumped onto the boat & told the two lovers they would have to disembark separately. Charlie walked out alone and May disembarked on the arm of Robinson, who told the reporters she was his secretary. Robinson's task was far from over.
The last act of the drama had yet to be played. It was staged in a room in a Marseilles hotel--a scene I should not care to reenact. It was certainly the most disagreeable half hour I have ever spent. 3
May & Carlyle Robinson before the Marseilles plot.
Robinson tried every recourse possible to break up Charlie & May, but in the end had to use his trump card (a decision that would end up costing him his job). The trump card was that Syd and May had been lovers in Nice before Charlie met her. Charlie became "pale with amazement" and immediately said it was "a filthy lie." May herself denied any involvement with Syd, but eventually agreed to leave Marseilles & go to Paris with Robinson.
Charlie asked me to go to Paris for several days and rejoin him later in Juan-les-Pins. Robinson exulted. He imagined our relationship was finished...
An hour later I was on the express train to Paris. When they came to take my bags, Charlie wept bitterly. He accompanied me to the elevator and embraced me in front of  all the hotel personnel, unable to restrain his sobs. 4
Sydney was initially thrilled that the separation plot had been successful until he found out that Robinson told his secret.5, 6 But Charlie and May did not separate at all & were reunited less than a week later in the Riviera. In the end, the person who suffered the most from this unpleasant situation was Carlyle Robinson, who was eventually fired, after sixteen years of employment, for his attempt to sabotage Charlie's love affair with the "mysterious" May.7


1May states in her memoir that Charlie was writing a gypsy film for her.

 "The Private Life Of Charlie Chaplin" by Carlyle Robinson (I am quoting from the unedited version of the memoir that was translated by Constance Kuriyama and included in the appendix of The Intimate Charlie Chaplin by May Reeves, pub. 2001)

4 The Intimate Charlie Chaplin by May Reeves (translated by Constance Kuriyama).

5 According to Robinson, Syd became enraged when he found out that Robinson told Charlie about his affair with May. "I let him vent his rage and then reminded him that I had only carried out his orders. He resumed howling."

6 It should be noted that Sydney "swore" to May Reeves that he had no involvement in the separation plot and that the whole thing was Robinson's idea. 

7 In the press, May was often referred to (incorrectly) as "the myterious Mary."

Monday, March 18, 2013

World Tour (1931-32) Revisited: Romantic adventures in "sad" Vienna

Charlie spent three short days in "sad, sensuous Vienna."*  His original plan was to stop over for a few hours in the city then move on to Budapest. But his plans quickly changed when he met a lovely pianist named Jenny Rothstein. "Within an hour of his meeting her he was enthusing about her future--on the concert platform in the United States. At the end of another hour he had lost all interest in Budapest. Didn't care if he never saw the place!"**

On his second evening, Chaplin attended a musical-comedy. He was struck by the performance of its star, Hungarian actress & dancer, Irene Palasty. During the intermission, he met her backstage. Later that evening, they tangoed at a cabaret, but the evening went downhill from there:

After the theater we went to a cabaret. I danced several tangos and was having a wonderful time until we struck one of those excitable wenches. This time there were fireworks.
She was a Hungarian. "Ach, here is a great artist," she announced, eulogizing me with all the superlatives she could think of.
I am not a man of false modesty, but I actually squirmed. She suddenly fell to her knees and with a panache gesture grabbed my hand and kissed it. In endeavoring to pull away she yanked me off my balance and I toppled over on her.
I might mention I was perfectly sober, not having had a drink that evening, but the manner in which the proprietor picked me up convinced me that he suspected that I had.
"Everything is all right, Mr. Chaplin. It is quite all right." Feeling an explanation necessary, I endeavored to tell him I was perfectly sober, but he insisted. "Don't mention it, Mr. Chaplin."
The affair was exasperating and I left with a resolve never to enter a cabaret again.
Backstage with Irene Palasty

Chaplin's press agent, Carlyle Robinson, offers a slightly different version of the evening in his article, "The Private Life Of Charlie Chaplin." According to him, Charlie was sitting at an inconspicuous table when Ms. Palasty arrived with her husband. He was hoping she wouldn't notice him, but...
Unhappily at the end of an anxious half hour she did. Shrieked the news to the entire room. Rushed across the dance floor and fairly flung herself upon the much embarrassed Chaplin. His struggles to extricate himself were futile. The crowd looked on and applauded.
Eventually he managed to get out of the place. As we hurried along to the hotel Charlie cursed Budapest up hill and down dale. It seemed that Irene hailed from that city. If all Budapest ladies were as demonstrative as Frau Palasty, he growled, it was no place for him.
Charlie left Vienna for Venice on March 18th. Only Jenny Rothstein saw him off at the railway station. Years later in in autobiography, Charlie's lasting memory of the city was a romance he had with a girl he met there.
It was like the last chapter of a Victorian novel: we made passionate vows of affection and kissed good-bye, knowing that we would never see each other again. 
He didn't mention the girl by name. Was it Jenny Rothstein?***

* My Autobiography
**"The Private Life of Charlie Chaplin," by Carlyle Robinson, Liberty, 1933. 
***For the life of me, I could not find a picture of Jenny Rothstein, or any information about her at all. David Robinson refers to her as "Jennie Rothenstein," so I tried a search under that name, but to no avail.  Perhaps her name was incorrectly remembered by Carlyle Robinson.