Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Draft is done. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Friday, October 06, 2006

Charlie Chaplin Question...


When I started last year, I had "Question of the Day". It changed to question of the week and slowly went away. Today I like to do another Question and maybe you have an answer to a question I have.

A few years ago, I was watching a classic 1930's movie with music and dancing. I can't remember the name of the movie, but I remember a song in it. In the film, it seems like the characters were not Broadway stars themselves, but were helping the producer create the show. During the end of the film the cast was putting on a 'Broadway' show, if I remember rightly. One of the ladies sang a song that included a reference to Charlie Chaplin during his Karno days. I clearly remember her mentioning 'A Night in a English Music Hall', when singing about Chaplin. I remember writing the name of the movie down, but lost the note.

I don't know if any of you ever seen this film. I have tried to find it again, but no luck. I can picture the singer in my mind, but not the name. So do you happen to recall a film like this and know the name?

As for the "Question of the Day": 'Can you remember other movies that had references to Charlie Chaplin in them?'

Since I can't remember the name of this film, with the Karno reference, I will start with one answer most of you should know: "An American in Paris". Gene Kelly does a Chaplin 'walk' in a dance routine for the song which I remember called 'Who could ask for Anything More', with the children saying, Charlie Chaplin, CHARLOT in the background. Comment or email your response...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sunset Blvd. (Gloria S. routine of Chaplin)

Paul C. said...

I've heard that in the 2006 teenflick "Grandmas' Boy" (not to be confused with Harold Lloyd's classic), Shirley Jones' character claims to have slept with Chaplin in her youth.

This is a fascinating question, because Chaplin's very name was a controversial flashpoint in Hollywood from about 1942 (the first Barry trial) until the middle to late 1960's, when the political climate in the US became more forgiving. I would imagine if you plotted the film references to Chaplin on a timeline, there would be a big blank spot from about 1942-1965.

Anonymous said...

Cinema Paradiso was my favorite that has Chaplin. I believe that was 1989. The Italy version.

Edna's Place said...

I wouldn't know about Grandma's Boy, but interesting note.

It could be interesting to see a list. I can not think of a 1960s film right off that mentioned Chaplin. All I can remember is Lucille Ball doing a Chaplin bit on her TV show. I can still picture her dressed like Charlie, make up and all.

Paul C. said...

The very similar "Sunset Boulevard" and "Lucy Show" depictions of the tramp were both during that long period when he was a hot potato. It's interesting that the only people who had the courage to pay onscreen homage to Chaplin were powerful, unassailable figures in the industry (Gloria Swanson/Billy Wilder, and Lucille Ball).

Edna's Place said...

Speaking of that time period, I did some research about Chaplin's Walk of Fame star, and the battle that was to get.

I just place a bit about that today on Edna's WofF blog. Charlie's son Charlie Chaplin Jr. put in a long fight to get it, but never saw the star placed for his father.

Finally happened when Chaplin returned to America. It took about 12 years to get it.

It is a good thing Chaplin came back, no matter how he felt about it. It sparked a new generation for him (which I included myself in.)

Too bad Edna came down with cancer. I know she would have enjoyed seeing him back, as many people did.