Sometime at the end of July 1931, Charlie’s friend and assistant director, Harry d’Arrast, arrived in Juan-les-Pins. He suggested that Charlie must see Biarritz, “the fashionable seaside resort situated near the border of Spain.”* Charlie and his companion, May Reeves, would motor there in Harry’s car, making side trips to Paris and the Chateau Brissac. They would finally arrive in Biarritz during the first week of August and would spend the next two months there.
May recalled the journey from Juan to Biarritz as “a true road of tears.” Charlie and May were already at odds before they left the Riviera. According to May, Charlie would constantly pick fights with her and accuse her of infidelity. In Paris, May suggested a trial separation. “Very well,” Charlie said. “You stay at the Carlton; I’ll go to Versailles and stay at the Trianon.”** May felt this separation “improved our rapport.” However, in the car from Paris to Biarritz, they had another disagreement. This time Charlie suggested that they stay in separate hotels, but this separation lasted less than a day. May recalled that the two months spent in Biarritz “were not pleasant. On some days Charlie became almost neurasthenic. I hardly dared to tiptoe across the apartment.”** It seems clear that Charlie was already becoming bored with May and didn’t know how to end their relationship. I think his jealousy revealed nothing more than a case of the age-old: “I don’t want her, but I don’t want anyone else to have her” syndrome.
Coming up next week: Charlie & Harry are involved in a car accident. Charlie attends a bullfight. Stay tuned…
|Charlie & May in Biarritz. Harry d’Arrast is at far left.|
*”A Comedian Sees The World“ 1933
**May Reeves, The Intimate Charlie Chaplin
World Tour Revisited: I follow Chaplin on his 1931-32 world tour.