Showing posts with label The Kid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Kid. Show all posts

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chaplin visits a salt mine in Park City, Utah, August 1920

Chaplin's secretary Tom Harrington is second from left.

This was during the time when Chaplin famously edited his film The Kid in a hotel room in Salt Lake City in order to avoid Mildred Harris' attempt to attach the film in her divorce settlement.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

"How Charlie Chaplin Filmed THE KID"

Great post by John Bengston about the filming locations of Chaplin's 1921 masterpiece, a number of which still exist.

Read more about Chaplin's film settings in Bengston's Silent Traces. I've spent hours staring at the photos in this book.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

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)

Friday, February 6, 2015

"Chaplin's Sartorial Art"

We all know the story of how Chaplin's Little Tramp costume came to be. But what about the costume of one of his most famous co-stars? Jackie Coogan's tattered wardrobe in The Kid has a story all its own.

Excerpt from the Washington Post, December 25th, 1921:

There is an old saw which still retains most of its teeth to the effect that "Clothes Don't Make the Man." It would probably be equally the part of sagacity to remark that in a vast majority of instances "man don't make the clothes." There are, however, conspicuous exceptions to both of these bromidic rules: In fact, Charlie Chaplin may be looked upon as a living embodiment of an exception to each. To find proof of this odd circumstance it is only necessary to reflect that under the spell of a weird inspiration, Mr. Chaplin watched a battered old derby hat, a wilted collar that once was white, an indescribable morning coat, a pair of unmentionable trousers and shoes no shoemaker ever could peg, become the greatest comedy costume the world has known. 
That sounds like a feat that would defy repetition. But it was done. again, and it was Mr. Chaplin who did it the second time. For the clothes which Jackie Coogan wears, and which are wrapped around his fame dip as a little screen wonder were selected for him by the great Charles.

Jackie Coogan as The Kid. Photo by James Abbe

A disreputable sweater which had been worn by Charlie in the dim past hung forgotten in a closet of the Chaplin studios. It was mildewed with age; it bore the stains of custard—honorable battle-scars sustained in the strenuous old pie-slinging days. But its glories were gone; there wasn't a laugh left in it. Then Charlie led it gently into the sunshine; fumigators fell upon it; and it returned shriven of soul. When part of the sleeves were cut off and the waist shortened, it fitted Jackie Coogan--here and there. 
It was obvious that little Jackie could not go pantless through six reels of motion pictures; but the task of getting trousers which would keep disreputable company with the cap and sweater was a big one. At first Chaplin thought of overalls; but they never could appear shabby enough to meet his ideas. While he was pondering the subject Benny Zeidman, the diminutive producer, appeared at
the studio. Inspired, the comedian suddenly inquired:
 "Got any old pants, Benny?" 
"These old enough?" Denny demanded. He had just come off the lot and was not looking his usual immaculate self. "When do you want them?"
 "Now!" said Chaplin. 
Jackie himself contributed the shoes, but Chaplin put the finishing touches to them by cutting them open at the tips to allow the kid's toes to show through. And that is the origin of the wardrobe which will go down through screen history. ("Chaplin's Sartorial Art," Washington Post, December 25, 1921. Author unknown.)

The Kid premiered in New York City on this day in 1921.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jackie Coogan and Granville Redmond on the set of THE KID, 1920

Photo by James Abbe

Redmond was a deaf painter who kept a studio on Chaplin's lot and had bit parts in a few of his films. In The Kid he plays a friend of the father.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

With violinist Jascha Heifetz on the set of THE KID, 1920

At far right is Syd Chaplin. I believe the woman is Dagmar Godowsky (daughter of Leopold), who had been romantically involved with both Heifetz and Chaplin.

Around the time of this visit with Chaplin, Godowsky flew to San Diego with Heifetz on an airplane from Syd Chaplin's airfield. The pilot was Syd's business partner, Emery Rogers. It was Heifetz's first flight. See photo here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

THE KID on TCM tonight at 1:45AM (EST)

Also on the schedule tonight is Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr. which is directed by Chuck Riesner who also appears in The Kid.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Edna Purviance in deleted scenes from THE KID

Edna and Carl Miller
Chaplin deleted 6-7 minutes of the film for the 1971 reissue. The scenes mostly involve the kid's parents played by Edna and Carl Miller. The deleted sequences can be seen on the extras disc of the Warner/MK2 dvd set of The Kid or you can watch the original, uncut version of the film (with the deleted scenes added back in) on the Image Entertainment set of The Kid/A Dog's Life (both of these sets are out-of-print, but can be found on ebay or Amazon.)

Random Excerpt: Chaplin on "The Kid"

From "The Marvelous Boy Of The Movies," by Charlie Chaplin, Vanity Fair, January 1921
It was by pure accident that I met this remarkable child actor. He was with his parents in a Los Angeles hotel sleeping, as a child will, in a chair. He was roused in order to meet me. He rubbed his eyes, jumped up,  made his politest bow, and promptly went back to sleep. 
However, in that instant, I had seen the rare quality of Jackie Coogan, a quality so lovable that I followed him up, induced his parents to let him become a member of my company and shortly set about a picture which might express something of my feeling--which, I believe, will not prove a purely individual reaction--toward the child. 
What first attracted me to the boy was a whimsical, wistful quality, a genuineness of feeling. He is the lovable child carried to the nth power, yet endowed with not a little of the self-consciousness of an artist and with a hundred resources as an actor....
In this initial stages of his training, however, my chief difficulty was to overcome his inattention, or rather that inability to concentrate the attention, which is, of course, a common characteristic of all children. One quality he has, which is extraordinary in a child: his ability to repeat a scene without losing interest. I have seen him pick up an object after a dozen rehearsals, with a wonder and attention, which would make you believe he was looking at it for the first time in his life....
Now that The Kid is about to be released, I suppose another picture made by myself and Jack Coogan is scarcely probable. What the boy will do, I don't know, but then neither do I know what I shall do, I shall probably go on wearing a trick moustache and carrying a cane too small for me, until at last I meet the undertaker. 

THE KID, released February 6th, 1921

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy birthday, Jackie Coogan (October 26th, 1914 - March 1st, 1984)

Jackie at the Chaplin Studios.

On the set of The Kid.
Chaplin wrote the following about Jackie in 1921:
"What first attracted me to the boy was a whimsical, wistful quality, a genuineness of feeling.
 He is the lovable child carried to the nth power, yet endowed with not a little
of the self-consciousness of an artist and with a hundred resources as an actor."
(Chaplin, "The Marvelous Boy Of The Movies," Vanity Fair, January 1921)
"The Kid" visits the set of Modern Times, c. 1935
Jackie and Charlie Chaplin, Jr. with whom he appeared
 in the 1958 film High School Confidential.
Charlie and Jackie meet again during Charlie's return to America in 1972.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Set visit during the filming of The Kid

The original caption identifies the girl between Charlie and Jackie as a young Sue Carol. Virginia Cherrill, Chaplin's leading lady in City Lights, went to school with Carol in Illinois and was visiting her in Hollywood when she was discovered by Chaplin at a boxing match in 1928.