Category Archives: Charlie Chaplin

Soft Shoes – Crossing Paths with Chaplin, Laurel, and Lloyd

Now streaming on the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s website, Harry Carey’s 1925 action/drama Soft Shoes, in which Carey (right) seeks to rescue a young woman from a life of crime, was purportedly set in San Francisco. Yet the film’s … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Chinatown, Harold Lloyd, Stan Laurel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Charlie Chaplin’s One A.M. Mystery

Charlie Chaplin’s 1916 Mutual comedy short One A.M. was unique in many ways. Charlie plays a drunken bon-vivant, returning home after a night on the town. Except for a brief exterior scene with his taxi driver Albert Austin, Charlie plays … Continue reading

Posted in Chaplin Studio, Charlie Chaplin, Hollywood History, Lyons and Moran | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

SF Silent Film Festival Returns to Live Cinema with Chaplin’s City Lights

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival returns to presenting live cinema this February 19 at the Paramount Theater with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra accompanying Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece City Lights (1931), conducted by Timothy Brock. You may order tickets HERE. Along … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, City Lights | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chaplin’s Bay Area Footsteps

Hosted by the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Charlie Chaplin leads us on a YouTube visual tour around the Bay Area, from San Francisco to San Jose, from Oakland to Niles itself. Chaplin’s meteoric career began with Mack Sennett’s Keystone … Continue reading

Posted in Chaplin Tour, Charlie Chaplin | 9 Comments

The Lens of History – Hollywood before the Chaplin Studio

Above, only part of a vast panoramic view looking south at Hollywood, circa 1906. Can you spot the future site of the Charlie Chaplin Studio, nearly straight ahead? The hill in the foreground would become in 1914 the site to … Continue reading

Posted in Chaplin Studio, Charlie Chaplin, Hollywood History | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Lyons & Moran – the “good” old days on New High Street

One of my all-time favorite discoveries are the young girls caught on camera intently watching Charlie Chaplin filming scenes from The Kid (1921) (read more HERE). A closer study of Harold Lloyd’s early short From Hand to Mouth (1919) reveals … Continue reading

Posted in Chaplin - Keaton - Lloyd Alley, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Lyons and Moran, The Kid | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Charlie Chaplin’s Once Lost Film – A Thief Catcher

A once lost Chaplin film rediscovered?! It made international headlines a decade ago when producer-historian Paul Gierucki found and preserved A Thief Catcher (1914), a Ford Sterling comedy featuring Charlie Chaplin in a supporting role portraying a Keystone Cop. You … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Edendale, Keystone Studio, Mabel Normand | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Chaplin’s Earliest Scenes Beside the Selig Studio

When Charlie Chaplin began his film career at the Keystone Studio in 1914, the Selig Polyscope studio (above) stood just two blocks to the north, sandwiched between Clifford and Duane Streets along Allesandro (now Glendale Boulevard) in Edendale. Opening in … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Edendale, Keystone Studio, Tillie's Punctured Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Harry Houdini Solves a Charlie Chaplin Mystery!

Harry Houdini helped to discover where Charlie Chaplin filmed crucial scenes for his very first movie Making a Living (1914). The initial scene of Charlie’s entire career (below), discovered by Kevin Dale and reported HERE, was staged in front of … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini, Los Angeles Historic Core | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Green Acres, Pickfair, Chaplin’s Breakaway Home, and Keaton’s Italian Villa

Below, 1937, Harold Lloyd’s Green Acres (red), Doug and Mary’s Pickfair (blue), Charlie Chaplin’s home (yellow), and Buster Keaton’s Italian Villa (orange). Who knew they were all spaced so close together? I knew Charlie Chaplin’s home (yellow above and left) … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Doug Fairbanks, Harold Lloyd, Mary Pickford | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Chaplin falls for The Kid – every scene now identified

Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece The Kid (1921) tells the story of the Little Tramp discovering, trying to avoid, and eventually falling in love with an abandoned infant, played out scene by scene at the end of this post. As I write … Continue reading

Posted in Chaplin - Keaton - Lloyd Alley, Charlie Chaplin, For Heaven's Sake, Harold Lloyd, The Kid | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

New Buster Keaton Self-Guided Tours

The Buster Keaton June 15-17 Celebration Weekend was a huge success, and the site of Buster’s former studio (where Chaplin also filmed his Mutual shorts) is now graced with a beautiful commemorative plaque. As part of the long weekend, I … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Chaplin Studio, Charlie Chaplin, Keaton Studio | 4 Comments

Ghosts of the Past – the Regent Apartments – costar with Chaplin, Weber, Sennett and Roach

The classic Regent Apartment (1913-1983) facing Westlake (MacArthur) Park once co-starred with Charlie Chaplin, and appeared in other silent productions with Lois Weber, Mack Sennett, and Hal Roach. As shown here, the Regent’s front entrance portrayed the restaurant where Charlie … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Chaplin’s The Great Dictator – Author Presentation at the Alex

Charlie Chaplin’s brilliant and courageous challenge to tyranny, The Great Dictator (1940), remains sharply relevant today. I will be introducing this classic film at the beautiful Alex Theater in Glendale on Thursday, April 19, 2018, and signing copies of my … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Restoration Premiere of Soft Shoes – Crossing Paths with Chaplin, Laurel, and Lloyd

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2018 schedule has just been announced! One highlight is the Thursday, May 31 world premiere restoration of Universal’s 1925 Harry Carey action/drama Soft Shoes, in which Carey (right) seeks to rescue a young woman … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Stan Laurel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Surviving Chaplin “The Circus” Tree

Paul Ayers, attorney, SoCal historian, and Altadena hiking trail expert and restorer, has shared many remarkable location discoveries over the years, including the finale from Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus (1928). Stemming from Paul’s discoveries, we now know a tree that … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Sherlock Jr. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chaplin’s San Jose Day Making A Night Out

Do you know the way to San Jose? It turns out Charlie Chaplin did. Thanks to the Blu-ray clarity of Charlie’s restored Essanay comedies, and the tenacious research by Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum historian David Kiehn, we now know … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Chaplin – Pavlova – Lois Weber – at the Castle Sans Souci

One highlight of the recently concluded San Francisco Silent Film Festival was the Library of Congress restored presentation of pioneering director Lois Weber’s powerful historic epic The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916), starring world-acclaimed ballet dancer Anna Pavlova in her … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Lois Weber, Tillie's Punctured Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Hollywood’s Silent Echoes – 2017 FIAF/FLC Tour

[Tour download] Late in 1921 a mob of angry police chased Buster Keaton down a narrow Hollywood alley towards Cahuenga Boulevard. Entering the street Buster saw to his right a corner where “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford filmed a scene in … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Hollywood Tour | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chaplin – Inside “The Kid” Maternity Hospital

In a prior post, How Charlie Chaplin Filmed The Kid, I explain that the former Occidental College Hall of Letters building, once visited by Presidents Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, portrays the Dickensian maternity hospital where single mother Edna Purviance is … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, The Kid | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments