Charlie arrived in Paris from Venice to a near-riot situation. When he stepped onto the platform the crowd went wild, chanting, “Charlot! Charlot! He’s a splendid fellow!” Many enthusiastic fans broke through the police barrier to kiss Charlie on the cheek.
|Charlie is mobbed by fans in Paris.|
He was met at the train station by Cami, the French humorist, whom Charlie met during his visit in 1921. However his appearance irritated him rather than pleased him, especially when Charlie suspected he was involved in a plot to get him to speak into a microphone that was thrust before him. In reality, he had only whispered to Charlie that it might please the crowd if he said, “Bonjour Paris.” Cami accompanied the Chaplin party to the Crillon but Charlie, still angry, insisted that he be barred from attending a reception that was awaiting him in his hotel suite.
Charlie’s main reason for visiting Paris was a meeting with foreign minister, Aristide Briand, and to receive the Légion d’honneur. Of course, he will also visit Napoleon’s tomb.
Above: Arriving at the Hotel Crillon.
(Above and below) Charlie greets fans on the balcony of the Hotel Crillon, March 22nd, 1931.
At the hotel, Charlie met with a roomful of reporters, where he informed them that he would not remain in Paris for the premiere of City Lights: “I came to Europe for a vacation and a rest, but the wonderful receptions I have had everywhere have not given me much time for repose. So I intend to proceed to someplace on the Riviera where I can loaf a bit. Then I plan to visit Madrid before returning to the United States.”
As we will see next week, Charlie’s immediate plans to visit Spain and then return home will change once he gets to the Riviera.
|Meeting the press.|
Chaplin: His Life & Art by David Robinson
Chicago Tribune & New York Times, March 23rd, 1931