Jackie Coogan on working with Chaplin

From the A&E documentary A Tramp’s Life (1998) which is impossible to find in any form in English but an Italian version is on youtube (almost all of the interviews are dubbed over unfortunately).

RIP Jackie (March 1, 1984)


  1. Here in America there are companies that will transfer VHS to DVD such as Costco and Walgreens, etc. But the cost is usually $20 (or even more) for one tape which seems rather expensive to me. Luckily I have some friends who can do it from home.

  2. Nice excerpt! I think this is the first time I've seen Jackie quoted as describing Chaplin talking him through that scene and actually weeping as he did it. Wow! Powerful stuff. It does make the whole story of Jack Coogan telling Jackie he'd take him to the workhouse if he didn't cry seem as if it might have been fictionalized, though. Chaplin told that story in his autobiography, but Jackie himself never described it that way–he only talked about Chaplin telling him about his own workhouse experiences and relating them to what the Kid was experiencing in the film. Now maybe Jackie just edited out Jack's threat to protect his father, which he did often. Maybe he blocked out the memory or was just too young at the time to remember it later. Or maybe Chaplin embellished a bit in his autobio. I'm inclined to believe he may have embellished. What do you think, Jessica and others?

  3. Oh, interesting! Where did you see that Rollie had said that? Was it in the long Timothy Lyons interview, or elsewhere? I suppose both things could be true–that they told Jackie he was going to the orphanage if he didn't cooperate, and then Charlie could have directed from the sidelines to tell him what he wanted him to say. Gah! These people and their conflicting stories!

  4. I'll take a closer look at that for sure! I find it more believable that Jack would have used that ploy than that Chaplin would have, actually.

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