Category Archives: Charlie Chaplin

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 , , , , , , , , , | 11 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 , , , , , , , , , , | 16 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 , , , , , , , , | 9 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How Chaplin Filmed The Champion – on Location in Niles

The upcoming San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s Day of Silents winter program this December 3 at the Castro Theater offers something for everyone, from Ernst Lubitsch’s 1926 Jazz Age gem So This is Paris, to the Oscar’s first ever Best … Continue reading

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The Chaplin – Keaton – Lloyd Hollywood Alley

Three of the greatest comedies of all time, Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921), Buster Keaton’s Cops (1922), and Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last! (1923), were filmed in the heart of Hollywood at the unnamed alley running just south of Hollywood Boulevard … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Chaplin - Keaton - Lloyd Alley, Charlie Chaplin, Cops, Harold Lloyd, Hollywood Tour, Safety Last!, The Kid | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Chaplin’s The Tramp – ‘New’ Views of One of Cinema’s Most Iconic Scenes

Forever known as “the Little Tramp,” Charlie Chaplin filmed his eponymous short film The Tramp for the Essanay company over 100 years ago in Niles, California. When Chaplin arrived at the Bay Area studio early in 1915, the small rural … Continue reading

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Silent Witness – the House that Watched Over Chaplin and Keaton

The sturdy two-story home once located at 1022 Cole Avenue had a front row seat to some of the most remarkable scenes in early Hollywood history. Its rear dormer window looked down on the humble open air stage where Charlie … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Convict 13, Daydreams, Sherlock Jr., The Blacksmith, The Boat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Modern Times – Citizen Kane – Humphrey Bogart Factory Gate

I recently watched Citizen Kane (1941) for the first time in years, broadcast on TCM, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Having seen it many times before, the scenes and the dialog were all familiar, but still powerful and engaging. But now … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Chinatown, Modern Times, Orson Welles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chaplin – Keaton Studio Connections – The Fireman and Convict 13

Because Charlie Chaplin filmed his Mutual comedy shorts (1916-17) at the same small studio where Buster Keaton later filmed his independent shorts and features (1920-28), many common locations and settings appear in their films (see above).  I explain this in … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Chaplin Studio, Charlie Chaplin, Convict 13, Keaton Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments