Silent Movie Rule #33: Cover those bare shoulders, lest you frighten Mr. Chaplin!

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.

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The Immigrant (1917) A Silent Film Review

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.
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International Chaplin: The Little Tramp in Seoul

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.

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Once again, the universal appeal of Chaplin’s Little Tramp is proven. From America to India to Korea, the character remains iconic.

 

Dear Movies Silently, Who is better? Chaplin or Keaton?

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.)

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A Night in the Show (1915) A Silent Film Review

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.
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