Showing posts with label 1940s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1940s. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Charlie’s Motion Picture Employee I.D. Card

Christie's South Kensington Auction Catalog, 1987

According to the lot description, the back of the card states the following information:
Issued by: Central Identification Station, Age: 53, Height: 5-6, Weight: 140, Hair: gray, Eyes: blue, Date issued: 6-11-42, with fingerprints taken from his left & right index finger.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

1966 World Cup

One hot summer's night, England played West Germany in the World Cup Final. Oona, Charlie, and I decided to take a ride around London. We listened to the match on my car radio. After playing overtime, England put in the winning goal. There was pandemonium in the streets. That evening, all London ran wild. 
There, in my car, the three of us were weeping with joy. England victorious over Germany. It seemed like the end of the Second World War! For Charlie, football was the working man's sport; he was always thrilled by the enormous crowds that went to soccer games. "There's no audience like them in the world," he said. He loved the way they sang, cheered, and waved their banners. We never forgot the thrill of that evening--July 30th, 1966--when England won the coveted Cup! --Jerry Epstein, Remembering Charlie, 1989

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Artist couple Ernst & Karin Van Leyden create a portrait of Oona, 1947

The painting depicts Oona as wife and mother with Chaplin as the The Little Tramp framed in the background. The children are Geraldine and Michael.

The first, second, and fifth photos are from Cinemonde magazine (Nov. 11, 1947) and courtesy of Dominique Dugros (thanks for your help!) All other photos are from Charlie Chaplin by Maurice Bessy (3rd & 4th) & Remembering Charlie by Jerry Epstein (last).

Here the painting can be seen hanging in Chaplin's foyer at his Hollywood home, at left above the organ. (Chaplin, at far right with Oona, was hosting a party for the Circle Theater players, c. Oct. 1947)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Charlie, Paulette, and Charlie, Jr. relaxing at Catalina Island, 1940

The caption (taped to the back of the photo) says that son Sydney had to stay home "to make up his studies." Poor Sydney.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Monsieur Verdoux press conference, Gotham Hotel, NYC, April 12th, 1947

Brief audio clip from the press conference 

Held the day the after the disastrous premiere of Monsieur Verdoux in NYC (where members of the audience booed and hissed at the screen), this press conference was described by George Wallach, who recorded the event for WNEW, as "more like an inquisition than a press conference." However, Charlie was ready for them, and at the start of the interview he invited the journalists to "proceed with the butchery."

Here are some snippets:

Question: Mr. Chaplin, according to a report from Hollywood you are a personal friend of Hanns Eisler, the composer?

Chaplin: I am. I am very proud of the fact.

Question: Are you aware of the fact that his brother is the Soviet agent, so attested by...

Chaplin: I know nothing about his brother!

Question: Do you think Mr. Eisler is a Communist?

Chaplin: I don't know anything about that. I don't know whether he is a Communist or not. I know he is a fine artist and a great musician and a very sympathetic friend.

Question: Would it make a difference to you if he were a Communist?

Chaplin: No, it wouldn't.

Charlie arrives at the Gotham Hotel for the press conference.

Question: Now, Mr. Chaplin, the Daily Worker, October 25, 1942, reported you stated, in an address before the Artists Front to win the war, a Communist front group: "I'm not a citizen, I don't need citizenship papers, and I've never had patriotism in that sense for any country, but I'm a patriot to humanity as a whole. I'm a citizen of the world. [with heavy sarcasm] If the Four Freedoms mean anything after this war, we won't bother about whether we are citizens of one country or another. "Mr. Chaplin, the men who secured the beachheads, the men who advanced in the face of enemy fire, and the poor fellows who were drafted like myself, and their families and buddies, resent that remark. And we want to know now if you were properly quoted.

Chaplin: I don't know why you resent that. That is a personal opinion. I am--four fifths of my family are Americans. I have four children, two of them were on those beachheads. They were with Patton's Third Army. I am the one-fifth that isn't a citizen. Nevertheless, I-I-I've done my share, and whatever I said, it is not by any means to be meant derogatory to your Catholic uh-uh-uh-GIs.

Question: It's not the Catholic GIs, Mr. Chaplin, it's the GIs throughout the United States!

Chaplin: Well, whatever they are, if they take exception to the fact that I am not a citizen and that I pay my taxes and that seventy percent of my revenue comes from uh-uh-uh abroad, then I apologize for paying that 100 percent on that 70 percent.

Question: I think that is a very evasive answer, Mr. Chaplin, because so do those veterans pay their taxes too!

Chaplin: Yes?

Question: Whether their revenue comes from elsewhere or not!

Chaplin: The problem is--what is it that your are objecting to?

Question: I am objecting to your particular stand that you have no patriotic feeling about this country or any other country.

Chaplin: I think you're...

Question: You've worked here, you've made your money here, you went around in the last war [World War I], when you should have been serving Great Britain, you were here selling bonds, so it stated in the paper that I read, and I think that you as a citizen here--or rather a resident here--taking our money should have done more!

Chaplin: [pause] Well, that's another question of opinion and as I say I think it is rather dictatorial on your part to say as how I should apply my patriotism. I have patriotism and I had patriotism in this war and I showed it and I did a great deal for the war effort but it was never advertised. Now, whether you say that you object to me for not having patriotism is a qualified thing. I've been that way ever since I have been a young child. I can't help it. I've traveled all over the world, and my patriotism doesn't rest with one class. It rests with the whole world--the pity of the whole world and the common people, and that includes even those that object to my--that sort of patriotism.


Question: Mr Chaplin, do you share M. Verdoux's conviction that our comtemporary civilization is making mass murderers of us?

Chaplin: Yes.

Question: Would you enlarge on that a little bit? I felt in the picture that that was the most striking line and I would like to have you enlarge on that.

Chaplin: Well, all my life I have always loathed and abhorred violence. Now I think these weapons of mass destruction -- I don't think I'm alone in saying this, it's a cliché by now -- that the atomic bomb is the most horrible invention of mankind, and I think it is being proven so every moment. I think it is creating so much horror and fear that we are going to grow up a bunch of neurotics.

Question: And your line at the end of the picture -- had the atomic bomb in it.

Chaplin: Well, it didn't have the atomic bomb in it -- it had weapons of destruction, and if the atomic bomb is in it, then it goes for the atomic bomb. I don't go all the way with science.


Question: Mr. Chaplin, what was your reaction to the reviews for Monsieur Verdoux?

Chaplin: I beg your pardon?

Question: What was your reaction of the reviews--the press reviews--in New York on the picture?

Chaplin: Well, the one optimistic note is that they were mixed. [laughter]

Source: Film Comment (Winter 1969)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chaplin's Mann Act trial begins, March 21st, 1944

Chaplin with his attorney Jerry Giesler, at the Los Angeles Federal Building,
 March 21, 1944

Chaplin arrived at the courthouse at 9:15am wearing a "navy blue double-breasted suit, gleaming black shoes, a plain blue polka-dot tie with knot askew, and a gray Homburg hat." The first day of the trial* was devoted to jury selection. Chaplin sat in a red leather swivel chair at the defense table and "drummed nervously on a table top with his well-manicured fingers and occasionally blew his nose." Chaplin recalled in My Autobiography that when they entered the court room, his attorney, Jerry Giesler, parked him in a chair and then circled the room. "It seemed everyone's party but mine," he remembered. Two prospective jurors were excused when they admitted they might be prejudiced because Chaplin is a British subject.
"At one point, Chaplin, whose only prior lapse from stolidity had been the execution of a tap dance under the table with his tiny, black-shoed feet, began sketching, pursing his mouth into a whistle while doing so. Deft detective work by the gentlemen of the press, who were convinced he was sketching prospective juror No. 2, the girl with the droopy mouth and long black hair, revealed the sketch to be an arched bridge over a river, across which a steam locomotive was chugging its way." Chaplin later remembered that his attorney told him not to doodle because the press would get hold of it, analyze it, and draw all sorts of conclusions from it. Charlie said that the sketch of the bridge and train was something he used to draw as a child.

Charlie doodling in court (with his natural left hand)
The end result

Then something odd happened: "After calling the roll of fifty-six prospective jurors, twenty-eight of them women, Judge J.F.T. O'Connor read the indictment, pronouncing Miss Berry's first name as 'Jo-ahn.' Later, Federal prosecutor Charles H. Carr told the judge, without further explanation, 'I respectfully suggest that Miss Barry may not be in the category of a complaining witness." Judge O'Connor said, 'All right, I'll just refer to her as Joan Berry.'

By the end of the first day, seven men and five women were seated tentatively as jurors.

Charlie signs autographs (with his right hand) outside the Federal Building, March 21, 1944

*Chaplin was charged with violation of the Mann Act which is basically transporting a woman across state lines for immoral purposes. In Oct. 1942, Chaplin had paid for a train ticket to New York for Joan Barry. The indictment contained two counts: one for the ticket to New York and one for the return ticket.

New York Times, March 22, 1944
Chicago Daily Tribune, March 22, 1944
Charles Chaplin, My Autobiography, 1964

Read the complete story of Chaplin's Mann Act trial "as it happened" here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Charlie at home, c. 1947

Charlie is writing with natural left-hand, although he normally wrote with his right. In his day, left-handed children were forced to write with their right hands and because of this Charlie was ambidextrous, although he didn't write well with either hand (case in point).

Monday, January 27, 2014

Charlie is presented with a new pet, a Siberian bear cub, May 1943

Chaplin was presented with the bear cub, marked with a white "V", by Captain Mihail Katzel (right), skipper of a Russian tanker, when he visited Charlie to enlist his endorsement of the national "Write to Russia" campaign.