Friday, May 22nd: Charlie & Co. leave Japan for California
After a four-month tour of Asia, Chaplin, Paulette, her mother, Alta, and valet Frank, began their journey back home.
In his memoir, Round the World Again in 80 Days, fellow passenger Jean Cocteau described their departure at Yokohama:
The President Coolidge was due out of Yokohama at 6 a.m. At ten minutes to the hour I went on board, preceded by photographers backing up the gangway with their cameras pointed at us. At five to six I was still dispensing autographs. The ship’s band, which consisted of a saxophone, a trombone, a cornet and a big drum, broke into an agonized recessional. A flurry of paper streamers, flapping, bellying, breaking in the breeze, linked our bulwarks with the wharf. Our new friends on shore began to wave their handkerchiefs. Clocks were striking the hour. Suddenly a little car pushed its way through a little crowd. From it stepped a little Charlie Chaplin, a little Paulette Goddard. The sirens boomed a final warning. Chaplin broke away from the pressmen. With his hat astride his forehead in the Napoleonic manner one hand tucked into his waistcoat, the other held behind his back, the lonely wanderer who is so much at home in every land that he is homeless everywhere, mounted the gangway and turned the issue with a caper. Propellers churned; at last we were off. The wharf drew back, the island stood aloof. Our friends on shore dwindled and faded out, still waving invisible farewells.
This clip is from 1933 (Hollywood On Parade), but just to give you an idea of Charlie’s antics boarding the ship:
The Coolidge will make one brief stop in Honolulu on the 29th before arriving in San Francisco on June 3rd.
Day By Day: 1936: A document of one year of Chaplin’s life.