In early 1914, movie audiences saw the Little Tramp for the first time and the world of comedy was never the same. This little short is refreshingly modern and is just as enjoyable today as it was a century ago.
Mabel Normand directs and stars in this peppy bit of race car comedy fun. A very green Charlie Chaplin is on hand as her jilted suitor and when he tries to sabotage her current boyfriend’s auto race, Mabel, well, takes the wheel.
Welcome back! I’m cooking my way through vintage recipes ostensibly written by or inspired by silent movie stars. Today, we’re going to be testing out a recipe inspired by one of the biggest names in film history: Charlie Chaplin.
Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance are just as cute as bugs in this energetic send-up of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1915 version of Carmen. Purviance is particularly charming as the infamous (and goofy) seductress.
Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance and company have a grand time in this behind-the-scenes spoof of slapstick comedy. There’s a mad bit of business with a trap door, a gang of arsonists try to blow up the studio and we get a rarity of rarities: a real pie fight!
One of the icons of silent comedy in one of his most iconic films. Yes, I am referring to Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush, aka The One with the Edible Shoe and the Roll Dance.
Mabel Normand stars as a lively young lady who is dating a race car driver. Charlie Chaplin plays a caddish motorcyclist who decides to rain on the young couple’s parade by kidnapping the driver just before his big race. Well, you can probably guess what happens next based on the title of this film…
Most newcomers to silent film start out with comedies and there are four comedians who are usually trotted out as the best of the best. The so-called Big Four are indeed wonderful but there are risks.
Charlie Chaplin is the star but Edna Purviance is the real show-stopper in Burlesque on Carmen, a darling little spoof they made together at the Essanay studio. After Chaplin departed for greener pastures, the Essanay folks padded out the short with all sorts of nonsense (Chaplin sued) and it was only available in this bloated format for years.
Last time, we took a look at makeup, perfume and primping to achieve that silent movie star glamour. This time, we will be observing silent stars and their glorious fashions. How many of these tips can you use in your daily life?
Did you have have the feeling you were being… watched? Charlie Chaplin certainly does and he means to do something about it.
So you’re fresh off the boat. What’s the first thing you do in America? Well, since this is a Charlie Chaplin film, the first order of business is to romance Edna Purviance but what to do after that?
Step 1: Take off your shoes (or shoe)
Step 2: Put shoes (or shoe) on hands
Step 3: Put blanket over head
Step 4: Ha! Fooled you!
Charlie Chaplin’s iconic comedy of the Alaskan Gold Rush has charmed audiences for decades but most people have seen the 1942 recut. How does it measure up to the 1925 original? We’re going to examine the film’s continuing appeal and the differences between the two releases.
Charlie Chaplin makes an eloquent (and silent) defense of the art of pantomime in this sensitive dramedy with a deceptively simple story. He is a tramp who loves a blind flower girl and he will do anything to help her get her sight back. A ballet of slapstick blends with gentle melancholy.
Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance play a pair of immigrants fresh off the boat who are trying to make a go of it in the United States. Their obstacles: Snotty waiters, thieving fellow passengers and a very large plate of beans. A delicate balance of humor, emotion and social commentary. One of Chaplin’s finest short films and one of his personal favorites.
Continue reading “The Immigrant (1917) A Silent Film Review”
I am officially back. These last few weeks, I have been living out of a carry-on in Seoul, South Korea. The site was controlled remotely in a (more or less) successful manner using apps.
First, a few answers:
Why Seoul? Because I like it. I like Korea, I like Korean culture, I like Korean food, I like Korean history. The end. Seoul is one of the safest major cities in the world and has tons of stuff to do no matter what you are interested in. For me, history and shopping were my top priority and Seoul delivered richly.
No, I was not afraid of North Korea. No, I did not go to North Korea. Yes, I did stop by Gangnam briefly. No, I did not do the dance. On the off chance that you have no idea what I am talking about when I mention Gangnam, here is the video. Please do not pronounce it “gaaaaeng-naaaam” (looking at you, Americans). In Romanized Korean, all A’s are pronounced as “ah” unless otherwise stated. Yes, I speak some. No, I am not fluent.
One added bonus (at least for me) was the Charlie Chaplin spotting. Here are a few pictures. Please enjoy.
Once again, the universal appeal of Chaplin’s Little Tramp is proven. From America to India to Korea, the character remains iconic.
I’ve had this video cooking for a while now and the recent flare-up of Chaplin vs. Keaton emotion makes this a good time to post it. I realize that many of the culprits are eager young fans but the sooner we get them socially housebroken, the better off we all will be. (Though I think there is a 73% chance that someone is not going to watch the video and will skip to the comments to declare their preference while bashing the other party.)
What was meant to be a light-hearted spoof turned into a protracted legal battle between Charlie Chaplin and the Essanay motion picture studio. However, the behind-the-scenes drama of Burlesque on Carmen does not take away from the fact that it is still extremely funny.
Continue reading “Burlesque on Carmen (1915) A Silent Film Review”
By 1931, the silent film had gone the way of the dodo. And yet one of the most popular comedians in the world managed to avoid the talkies and produce an acclaimed and beautiful silent movie. City Lights is the story of a blind girl and a little tramp. Comedy, pathos… In short, a Charlie Chaplin film.
Charlie Chaplin was already wildly popular when he made this short for Essanay. Adapted from one of his pre-Hollywood comedy acts, this short has Chaplin play two disruptive and rowdy theater-goers: Mr. Pest, a drunken crumb from the upper crust, and Mr. Rowdy, an equally sloshed rough on the balcony. Between the two of them, they manage to disrupt and outshine the performers on the stage.
Continue reading “A Night in the Show (1915) A Silent Film Review”
Carmen may be best known as an opera but it made a successful silent debut for opera diva Geraldine Farrar. An early hit for Cecil B. DeMille, Carmen is a lively, sensual and surprisingly earthy adaptation of a familiar story. Farrar and Wallace Reid ignite the screen and have a grand time in the process.