Edna Purviance's bio

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bits and Pieces for January 2009

First off, we like to thank everyone who have bought The Sea Gull recently, especially after the increase price. We didn't want to increase the price, but with the new cost in printing (mainly) and more in shipping and packaging, we had too, or just remove from the market. Also, don't know if it will happen, but the Post Master General wants to cancel one day a week for mail delivery which will slow everything down in service. Just have to see what happens, but cost is the reason.

Monday, February, 2, 2009 - There is a reason I chose Groundhog Day to announce the Charlie Chaplin Birthday Event. Check Monday...

Purviance book update: Work is continuing on Edna's second book. If you read my 'Happening Right Now...' notes, you will know I have decided to not name Edna's second book 'Purviance' because too many people still have trouble pronouncing her name correctly, or trying to pronounce it in French (it is a French name, but not pronounced that way, by the family). Chaplin did pronounce her name correctly, by the way, but early on, had thoughts of changing it, until Edna said, no... So the title will be figured out, as I go along.

As for the book, I am currently using my options in doing more research on areas needed for the book. I don't wish to place a release date up, because things can change, but the book and DVD interviewer, with Lita, will be available about the same time. AND, it is highly likely, I will have two versions of the DVD interview because of the new footage with Jack and Edna. Just a lot of issues to sort out.

The DVD will take time to create, and with the BlueRay options, makes things more difficult, but just letting you know, work is 'happening' and updates will appear at times. So stay tune...

Chaplin Database: Noticed the Chaplin Database has been getting very good traffic, so thank you for visiting. I have updated recently with the latest editions for Dominique's Chaplin collection. Still have more updates planned for the regular library.

Grandview Watch: For our readers interested in Grandview, do be aware of the new dates for the openings this year. You can check this link to City of Glendale for more.

On the Surprise front: Recently, I went to pick up the mail, and found a lovely surprise from Japan! It was the book 'Chaplin Symposium in Nara 2006 . 2007' about the Chaplin Conference. In English and Japanese, it is a full report on the conference. So like being there, if you couldn't go. More on this later, but for now a special thanks to Shunichi Ohkubo for this wonderful surprise!

And for other surprises, I have been watching Garen Ewing's Rainbow Orchid blog for updates on his upcoming publication of The Rainbow Orchid. He has been giving his readers updates on the project at his blog. The book will be in three volumes, with Volume One being release this year. Currently the release day is August 2009 (but dates can change, so we will keep an eye on it). The book will be published by Egmont UK, one of the largest children's book publishers in the UK, and known for their re-publication of the classic Tintin series. So I certainly will be watching for this one! (Should be known that one of the lead characters in this book is 'Lily Lawrence', silent film star and friend of 'Edna Purviance'. While the story, set in the 1920s, isn't about a silent film, it features fictional characters who are part of the silent film era. It would make a great addition for our silent film fans, or anyone who love beautifully drawn stories. Can't wait!)

UPDATE APRIL 1, 2009 - Release date for The Rainbow Orchid Volume One by Garen Ewing is August 4th, 2009.


Sunday, February 1, 2009 - On my 'other interest' column, regular readers will know I have been listening to Meridian FM. They will be doing live evening broadcast online. Currently, they have been online with continued music, but will start a series of live online shows starting February 1st. One of my stops will be 'Looking for Yesterday'. An enjoyable show, featuring music from Edna's era. Check this link for details. If you live in the area, do support the station.

That is it for now, but will post an update, if needed. Thanks very much for visiting, and we look forward to your return...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Edna Purviance Film List

How well did you do on our Edna film test? Take the test and afterwards head over to our new Edna Purviance Film List. It has all of Edna's films from her first in Niles, California in 1915 to her last film in France in 1927. This list will be updated overtime, but check it out for an early look. LINK

Monday, January 26, 2009

NPR 'Musicians for Silent Film' and the Wurlitzer

On Saturday, January 24th, 2009, NPR had this short segment with organist Jim Riggs about the Art Deco movie palaces and the Wurlitzer Organs. LINK

Photo is from my personal collection of the Elsinore Theater in Salem, Oregon. Here is a link to a mini-tour of the theater taken several years ago.

UPDATE: To continue the Wurlitzer Organ theme, here are some delightful videos from YouTube:

Wurlitzer Organ Documentary Part One
Wurlitzer Organ Documentary Part Two
The Fox Theatre - San Francisco (Very sad last look & sound)
UK Wurlitzer

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kansas Silent Film Festival February 2009

February 27 & 28, 2009
Kansas Silent Film Festival
Topeka, Kansas - Washburn University


Special Guests: David Shepard and Nicholas Eliopoulos. Special feature this year is the US premiere of the 'lost film' Bardeleys the Magnificent starring John Gilbert.

"Special guest David Shepard – film restoration expert will be speaking about his recent film projects including our main feature for the evening – the previously ‘lost’ BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT. Attendees will receive a special gift before departing for White Concert Hall and the Cinema Event of the Season—the first U.S.A. screening of the newly restored Bardelys the Magnificent and the conclusion of KSFF 13." - Kansas Silent Film Festival

The festival is a free event. Donations are welcome. The event will hold their first fundraising dinner this year. See this link for more information on the 2009 festival.

More about the programs:
Friday, February 27, 2009 - starting 7PM

Short:
Rowdy Ann (1919)
Fay Tincher (20 min.)
This brash short film is one of the few silent movies to depict a heroic, rough-hewn leading character who is also a woman. She lassos steers and men with equal ease and is just as handy with a six-gun as the guys. Her name is Rowdy Ann and she’s sent off to a boarding school where she rescues just about everyone she meets. - Organ music by Greg Foreman


Short:
Go West
(1925)
Buster Keaton
(70 min.)
Kansas-born Buster Keaton is the unlikely hero of this impressive feature film in which he takes Horatio Alger’s famous saying (‘Go West, Young Man’) to heart. He heads out west to work at a dude ranch and (as often happens) everything there is given the Keaton-esque twist. There are procedures for milking cows, riding mules and playing cards. Keaton must even save the day when a shipment of cattle heads into downtown Los Angeles. He dons a red devil suit to attract them and succeeds… way more than he expected. - Organ music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra


Feature:
The Great K & A Train Robbery
(1926)
Tom Mix
(54 min.)
A surprisingly short, but astounding silent western feature—one of the best (if not THE best) silent film Tom Mix ever made. Tom and his wonder horse (Tony) do some awesome stunts and many scenes in the film were actually filmed on location in Glenwood Springs, Colorado back in the 1920’s.

If you have never seen a Tom Mix western, this is the one you should see! The plot is rather old hat. The hero wears a mask to hide his identity, but this was before the Lone Ranger and several other masked heroes. It was all new in 1926.
- Organ music by Marvin Faulwell & percussion by Kathy Combs

Saturday, February 28, 2009 - staring time 9AM

Feature:
The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)
Mary Pickford
(65 min.)
This is the feature film that put little Mary Pickford on the map as a star. She was known before, but this one put her name above the title and fans came to see her pictures after this no matter what the title was. It was also a role that typecast her forever as a child afterwards. Even when she was 33-years old, she was still playing little girls and was known as ‘America’s Sweetheart’.

This delightful yet important story is about family and the importance of family. The little girl here (Mary Pickford) has everything that money can buy except time with her parents. It was just what a war weary nation needed at the time. -
Organ music by Marvin Faulwell


Special Kansas Premiere:
Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies
(2008 documentary by Nicholas Eliopoulos 101 min.)
Film-maker will be here in person for introduction and Q & A

This new documentary traces the life and work of the legendary silent film star, movie pioneer, and keen business woman who co-created United Artists Studios. Pickford’s life (1892-1979) also parallels an even larger story, the telling of the “birth of the cinema” itself. Mary, known as “America’s Sweetheart” was the first actress to earn one million dollars during a single year, and the only star to ever receive a 50% profit share of her movies.

Through restored vintage audio recordings, Pickford narrates her own story along with actor Michael York. Cameo interviews with Adolph Zukor, famed aviator Amelia Earhart, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Buddy Rogers, Lillian Gish, and rare home movies give the viewer an in depth look into the early world of American cinema.


BREAK

Short:
Fatty & Mabel Adrift (1916)
Roscoe Arbuckle
& Mabel Normand (30 min.)
One of the best in a series of very funny three-reel comedies featuring Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle (who was born in Smith Center, Kansas), Mabel Normand and Al St. John. Fatty and Mabel are trying to enjoy their wedded bliss while Al (her former suitor) is trying to mess things up. Of course, their cabin slides out to sea in a thunderstorm and their world is set topsy-turvy for a night! - Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra


Feature: Cobra (1925)
Rudolph Valentino & Nita Naldi (75 min.)
Who was the icon of seductive charm, Hollywood glamour and irresistible sexuality? Rudolph Valentino, of course and here’s proof. COBRA is Valentino’s first independent production released less than a year before his untimely death. Here, he plays the suave Rodrigo Torriani whose affairs with various women have caused his retreat from his native Italy to New York where he becomes an antique dealer.

Things start to heat up again when the boss’s new wife takes an interest in Rudy. She’s played by one of the great femme fatales of the silent era – Nita Naldi and her snake-like gaze may lead to Rudy’s downfall. Handsomely produced with sets by William Cameron Menzies, gowns by Adrian and shimmering cinematography by J.D. Jennings and Harry Fischbeck, this is a grand silent movie with lots to say about the ‘Battle of the Sexes”. Ms. Naldi has inspired an internet group of media savvy business women, whom we will salute at the beginning of this film.
- Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra


Intermission Slides:
Dave Stevenson Collection featuring Jeff Rapsis (of New Hampshire’s Wilton Town Hall Silent Film series) on piano


Short:
Kidding Katie (1923)
Dorothy Devore
(20 min.)
Another light weight, but delightful comedy short featuring a woman in the lead. Co-stars include Babe London and Billy Bletcher. Devore was one of the great silent screen comediennes of her day. - Organ music by Marvin Faulwell


DINNER BREAK


5:15 to 6:45pm:
The first ever KANSAS SILENT FILM FESTIVAL CINEMA-DINNER
Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center (17th & Jewell) – Washburn University campus

This special Dinner Event will begin with a reception followed by a buffet. Guests will be seated and have dinner in the Thompson Center’s banquet room on the main floor.

Special guest David Shepard
Film restoration expert will be speaking about his recent film projects including our main feature for the evening – the previously ‘lost’ BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT. Attendees will receive a special gift before departing for White Concert Hall and the Cinema Event of the Season—the first U.S.A. screening of the newly restored Bardelys the Magnificent and the conclusion of KSFF 13. (See site for special dinner details and deadlines)

Evening - start 7PM
Short: A Flash of Light (1910)
Directed by D.W. Griffith (15 min.)
We continue a multi-year tradition of always running a short film or feature by the Father of Film, D.W. Griffith. Uniquely talented in many ways, Griffith discovered and created the ‘language of cinema’ in many of his short films (often less than 10 minutes long) which usually had a moral and a lesson built in. This wild melodrama deals with the issue of the ideal wife in an era of successive divorces. Mary Pickford has a small part in the supporting cast. - Organ music by Marvin Faulwell


Short: That's My Wife
(1929) Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy (20 min.)
It is amazing to note that the primary output of what was arguably the greatest comedy team ever assembled in the history of the movies or popular media – Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy – lasted only a decade (from 1927 to 1937). They did make several feature films after 1937, but their core development as comedians came out of this prime ten-year period.

Here is one of their best short films in which Ollie’s wife leaves him at the beginning (because he spends too much time with Stan). In comes rich Uncle Burnel, who wants to make sure that Ollie is happily married before he writes him into his will. Who can play Mrs. Hardy for a night? Well, Stan of course. The whole incredible story is a wild mixture of gags and routines that Stan and Ollie may have polished in the future, but rarely outdid. - Organ music by Greg Foreman


Feature: Bardelys the Magnificent (1926)
John Gilbert (90 min.)
This classic was recently discovered in the cellar of a building in France. It was restored by Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange of Lobster Films in Paris. David Shepard and Jeffrey Masino of Flicker Alley Films assisted and are handling both the movie's U. S. theatrical and DVD release. Shepard and Masino used various sources including the English title list and continuity log to reconstruct an English version of the movie (when it was recovered, all of the inter-titles were in French).

This reconstruction also utilizes a U.S. promotional trailer which luckily contained the original English main title artwork. The print is missing approximately ten minutes (equating one reel) which has been recreated using continuity and production stills. A new score is being assembled by KSFF's own Rodney Sauer and the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra; Mont Alto has been a long time favorite at the Kansas festival, playing every year since 1997. It was with the support of Sauer and the blessing of Shepard, both friends of the Kansas festival, that got the U.S. premiere event slated for Topeka. And both will be on hand at the festival—Shepard to introduce the film and Mont Alto to perform their score live.

A New York Times review from November 1, 1926, described the main character as “a composite of d’Artagnan, Don Juan and that millionaire cowboy, Tom Mix. Nothing is too daring for the Marquis Bardelys, a French noble of the seventeenth century and one is almost impelled to pity the churls foolish enough to level their steel against him.”

The film is based on the novel of Rafael Sabatini. MGM, formed only two years prior to the film's release, was already known for its elaborate (and expensively produced) period films and placed its top star and director on the project to insure its success.

King Vidor was one of the most famous movie directors of the silent and sound film eras. His silent films include innovative masterpieces like The Crowd, The Big Parade and Show People. Leading man John Gilbert was a versatile dramatic actor who had been around Hollywood for many years, but had just gotten his big break in 1925's hugely popular Big Parade. Gilbert's leading lady is Eleanor Boardman, an actress who benefited greatly from her relationship with her new husband, director Vidor.

Her greatest silent screen credits came in Vidor's films. Bardelys also holds the distinction of marking the first credited screen appearance of a lanky kid from Iowa who would change his name from Marion Morrison to John Wayne. - Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (DVD Presentation of a "Lost" Film)

Friday, January 23, 2009

How well do you know Edna's films?

How well do you know Edna's films?
Here is a test for you.

Pictured are eleven scenes from eleven different films.
See how you do. More coming in a few days...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

King of the Movies: Francis X. Bushman

The latest book from Lon and Debra Davis is
"King of the Movies: Francis X. Bushman"


"Francis X. Bushman had a life like no other"

"He was the screen’s first great romantic idol, a bodybuilder, an artist’s model, a Broadway and stock company actor, a husband (four times), a father (six times), a dog breeder, a songwriter, a vaudeville headliner, a radio performer, a television personality, a senior citizens’ advocate. He lived an exaggerated life, both as a free-spending multi-millionaire star and a bankrupt has-been.

After all the accolades and criticisms, he was that rare kind of man who had no regrets.
Working closely with Mr. Bushman’s widow, the authors were granted unprecedented access to the star’s heretofore-unpublished autobiographical notes, tape recordings and photographs.

Those treasures, along with hundreds of other reliable sources, laid the groundwork for this definitive look at the man known in his heyday as “King of the Movies.”" - from the author, BearManor Media


The release is scheduled for spring 2009 from BearManor Media. Watch for our updates. In 2008, Davis released "Silent Lives" and "Stooges Among Us".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Charlie Chaplin's on Make Em Laugh

Tonight, Charlie Chaplin will be part of the 'Make Em Laugh' series on PBS. Check your listings for times and dates. The program has been replaying on the weekends.

Update: The last two hours of this series is next week.

Program notes: One of the people on the program to talk about Chaplin was Jeffery Vance. To talk about Buster Keaton, was Patricia Eliot Tobias.
________________

Follow up note: All the series has been shown now. In general, I do wish they didn't just make fun of Ken Burns in the beginning and learned from him about organizing a program. I know they said they wanted to be different, but the program came across as not knowing what direction they wanted to go.

With all the information they had, I felt it wasn't well organized. There are many examples, but for one to keep jumping back to someone they talked about before, broke the flow of the program, when you like to hear more about someone else. And last night, for the host to be talking about himself, didn't have the right feel. There is much more, but I will leave that there...

While some people may have enjoyed this series, I can't say I will be wanting to watch this program in the future. Maybe a case where the comics are great at what they do, but leave the documentary work to who is great at doing documentary work.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Historical Day

One of my last conversations Lita Hill and I had was about the election as it was heating up in January 2008. We talked about Obama and were hopeful for his chances. She would have really enjoyed seeing this day. The best to our new President on this historical day!

I was going to post our HOPE poster, but decided instead this pencil sketch I tried.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Charlie Chaplin looking at the SS Catalina

In August of 1933, the very young Alistair Cooke was invited to cruise on Charlie Chaplin's yacht the Panacea to Catalina Island. Paulette Goddard was also on the trip.

Cooke filmed this voyage, which recently has been shown on the Unseen Alistair Cooke about his adventure in America. This same film clip has been packaged onto the new Chaplin DVD 15th Anniversary Edition.

In the film, Catalina Island can be seen in the background. In one short selection, the Catalina Ferry can be seen in front of the island, as Chaplin looks toward both.

The SS Catalina made its run to Catalina from 1924 until 1975. Today, the ferry is being cut up for scrap, as people had failed to save it, after it sat for years, falling into disrepair. (Partly from owners who didn't have the money to upkeep it, or cared too.)

For a brief moment in this film by Alistair Cooke, we see Charlie Chaplin, looking at this same ferry, during its hey-day. Over the years, Edna Purviance took the ferry, as did her grand nieces and other family members. (Lita Hill ran a T-shirt/gift shop on the island.)

The film was taken about August 11-12, 1933. We know this from records from Cooke, but also from the headlines on the newspaper Chaplin and Goddard were reading.

Jean Malin (known as one of the first openly gay performers) had finished a show the evening before on August 10th and was leaving with his friend, actress Patsy Kelly. Somehow, the gears appeared to have gotten stuck in his car. He asked for a 'friendly' push, but rolled through the guard rails and into the ocean. Malin drowned in the accident, being pinned inside. Kelly was able to escape.

Articles about the accident appeared on August 11 and 12th in 1933. It was part of the headlines Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard were reading, as Cooke filmed the couple.

And it was the same day Cooke captured the SS Catalina just off Catatina Island, for a brief moment.

Several pieces of history, caught on one piece of film...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ricardo Montalban has died

While many people may remember him on 'Fantasy Island', I will remember his performances as Khan in 'Star Trek'. But Ricardo Montalban was a contract player at MGM before any of these.

I was just watching him in the MGM documentary TCM was showing this week 'When the Lion Roars', so sad to read of this passing today, at the age of 88. Link for more information.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Motion Picture and Television Hospital Closing

This is a very sad story. The Motion Picture and Television Hospital and Nursing home is closing this year. This care center in Woodland Hills, California was the last home Edna Purviance stayed during her last months with cancer in the late 1950s.

Lita said the family would visit Edna there often, taking her favorite family dog to visit with them. In the interview with Lita Hill, we show a photo of Edna with Tippy, taken at the home. It is the last known photo of Edna.

The home has fell onto hard times due to the ever increasing cost of health care in America. Funding has been tough. It is reported the home has been loosing about 10 million dollars a year.

The home was founded by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith. Lita told me, Edna Purviance also helped with funding for the home. Edna didn't know it would be her last home, as she died there on January 13, 1958.

From Reuters UK:
"The Motion Picture & Television Fund said Wednesday it is phasing out an acute-care hospital and long-term care facility at its Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills to cut operating losses. In 2006, the MPTF closed a critical-care unit at the hospital, also over money issues.

"Although we are in good shape today, the acute-care hospital and long-term care facility are generating operating deficits that could bankrupt MPTF in a very few years," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, board chairman at the MPTF Foundation, which oversees fundraising.

In announcing its hospital phase-out, the Hollywood-supported organization said it would expand community-based services by establishing a network of "community care teams" to coordinate and expand home-based and other medical and social services to entertainment industry retirees.

The nonprofit MPTF traces its history to 1921, when Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and others created the Motion Picture Relief Fund to support economically challenged industryites. Its 44-acre retirement village was created two decades later, and health services including off-site care at six outpatient centers continued to expand over subsequent years.

The organization's funding includes regular industry philanthropy and contributions by Hollywood labor organizations.

The hospital and long-term care facility have been losing an estimated $10 million annually over the past few years, part of an even great operating deficit the MPTF has had to carry. Officials said the moves would reduce MPTF red ink to a manageable level."

Some 209 job cuts will accompany the hospital and long-term care phase-outs. The roughly 100 patients residing in the long-term facility will be relocated over the next several months to area nursing homes, but the moves will not affect some 185 residents of MPTF's independent and assisted-living facilities on the retirement campus." - Reuters, UK


This link has a short article and video about the home. Apparently, the people living there were just informed today, they will have only 90 days to leave. As one man puts it, where? I don't have anywhere to go and paid my money to be here...

January 23, 2009 - I don't know for sure how long this story will be on the web, but it is the latest about the protest against the closing of the Motion Picture Hospital. LINK

UPDATE FEBRUARY 5, 2009 - Thank you for your comment. I am placing this comment here again, so our other readers on the regular post list can read this:

"I have been an employee at the MPTV Fund for the last 10 years. This is not only a sad story it is criminal. The "Board" NEVER in the last four years reached out to ANYONE regarding the supposed losses/deficit. They have turned away ALL donations for the home to remain open.
They did this on purpose and with malice. For the board this killing two birds with one stone. They are able to take the charity into a different direction without regard to HUMAN LIFE. AND to dismantle the Union by eliminating over 200 Union employees.

Where is their responsibility to human life? Do they simply do Charity for SPORT? It seems that way. Research what I'm saying.

Please Join us in standing up for the vulnerable. We are holding a candlelight vigil in front of the home on 2/12 at 5pm to help stop the criminal EVICTION of over 100 residence.

Address:
23388 Mulholland Dr. Woodland Hills
CA 91364
of the 101 fwy north and Mulholland towards Calabasas."

February 11, 2009 - Latest from the LA TIMES

MARCH 13, 2009 - No plans for eviction, but, residents still have to leave.

July 26, 2009 - Latest from Variety (note link may disappear from web)

January 14, 2010 - One Year Later Report from LA Noir (The Wrap).

Update February 4, 2010 - CEO of the fund for the Motion Picture home, Dr. David Tillman, resigned.

Make Em Laugh starts tonight, Plus...

January 14, 2009 - "Make Em Laugh" series begins on PBS tonight. (Check your local listings for times and dates. Usually, these series are repeated on the weekends, so check the full week schedules.)

Just watched the first two hours of the series this evening, with more to come over the next two weeks. It appears Chaplin will be in the second part of the six hour series.

Plus, don't forget to listen to author Stephen Weissman's one hour NPR interview on Diane Rehm's show. Available by podcast at the moment.

AND BBC 4 Radio Broadcast of "A Celestrial Star in Piccadilly" Anna May Wong. You can listen to the broadcast through next Monday (Jan. 19th) before it is removed off the web. Kevin Brownlow was one of the several contributors to the program.

Monday, January 12, 2009

French Filmmaker Claude Berri has died

Claude Berri has died at the age of 74. He has been in the French film industry for over 50 years. He directed two of my favorite films: "Jean de Florette" and the sequel "Manon of the Spring" in the 1980s. He was born July 1, 1934 in Paris.

Glen Gold's Chaplin Novel Called 'Sunnyside'

Author Glen David Gold will have a novel released in May 2009 called 'Sunnyside'. It features Charlie Chaplin as the lead character with a cast of 'historical and fictional' characters, including Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and even Rin Tin Tin.

“A breathless stupendous novel that recreates both a young brash America on the verge of becoming itself, and Chaplin, one of its most bewitching quixotic citizens. From lighthouse to Hollywood to starlets to war to stardom to madness to genius Gold’s startling narrative carries us across the world and back. Gold proves himself yet again to be the hungriest craftiest funniest and most humane novelist we have.” –Junot Díaz - from Random House

Check out this link for Glen's book tour this summer.

Update May 2009: Online Reviews
Los Angeles Times
SF Examiner
SF GATE REVIEW
Newsweek Review of "Sunnyside"
Three Guys One Book - Interview
Mark Oppenheimer

I had a few request for reviews on 'Sunnyside', but in the end, readers need to find out for themselves. Sunnyside is now available for purchase. Also, check out Glen's tour dates above for an event near you.

UPDATE May 13: My copy of 'Sunnyside' arrived today! I ordered with free shipping last week, but they mailed it overnight yesterday. Except for the dust cover being bent up and folded wrong on the seam on the front cover, it came okay... Also remember, this is a NOVEL. A fictional story featuring Edna and Chaplin (and a host of others).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Events this coming week

This week January 2009

January 12, 2009 - Stephen Weissman (Chaplin: A Life) interview on the Diane Rehm Show (11AM Eastern Time). Program link.

The program is now available to listen to by Real Audio and Windows Media at Diane Rehm Show website.

NOTE: While listening to this program, an university teacher called in about doing a 'talk' about Chaplin for his students and mentioned Edna Purviance in the call and how she gained weight, became an alcoholic and the author said she carried the torch for Charlie the rest of his life.

Yes, Edna remained a loyal friend of Chaplin, and yes, she gained weight (she always had problems keeping her weight down since childhood), but the on going talk about Edna being a broken down alcoholic, crying over Charlie the rest of her life is just plain untrue!

Edna had a very good life after leaving the studio, and went onto the most happiest years of her life with her husband Jack.

I am tired of academics who continue to perpetuate this nonsense about Edna, but it is what has been written over the years. Whether these people will ever believe me or not (once I get the record written), I am glad to find out it is not true. Edna didn't live a sad life after Chaplin, but a very full filled one.


January 13, 2009 - "A Celestial Star in Piccadilly" Anna May Wong, BBC 4 Radio (11:30AM London Time)



January 13, 2009 - Sale over! Thanks everyone! Planning a Charlie Chaplin Birthday event. Details soon.

January 14, 2009 - "Make Em Laugh" series begins on PBS. Check your local PBS station schedule or TV provider for times in your area. (Charlie Chaplin is mentioned to be in the first program.) More information about the series (says it begins with Chaplin).

Update: I have read Chaplin will be in Part One of the series, starting tonight, but also have seen reports he will appear in next week's. All I know for sure, he will be in the series. When he will be on, depends on the report you read and your local PBS station. If you have Direct TV, that is from the national PBS station, so check Direct TV for times.

Except for the PBS program, the other events are available online.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Charlie and Wall-E

With all the related Chaplin stories to Wall-E the last year, a link to a fun photoshop image created for fun of Charlie and Wall-E. LINK

Steve Weissman interview on Diane Rehm Show

I have a note that author Steve Weissman (Chaplin A Life) is scheduled to be interviewed on The Diane Rehm Show on Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 11AM *Eastern Time.

The Diane Rehm Show is listed on the public radio station WAMU 88.5FM (American University Radio). This is the NPR station in *Washington DC.

UPDATE: January 12, 2009 - Stephen Weissman (Chaplin: A Life) interview on the Diane Rehm Show (11AM Eastern Time). Program link.

I don't know for how long, but the program is now available to listen to by Real Audio and Windows Media.

Update: Chaplin A Life, is planned to be published in Germany and the UK.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Wings with full orchestra at Beloit Film Festival

February 21, 2009 - The silent film classic and Academy Award winning film WINGS will be shown with full orchestra at the Beloit International Film Festival, in Beloit, Wisconsin. Link for more information and tickets.

Music by the Beloit Janesville Symphony
Music Director Robert Tomaro
Score by Carl Davis

Films during Edna's day

After showing some film links from Charlie's day in London, time to show some from Edna's day. Living next to the main east/west rail line in Lovelock, trains were a daily feature of Edna's life. From The Travel Film Archive, a look at the trains that were filmed during those early days.

Southern Pacific Sunset Limited dated 1898. LINK

Short clip of the Santa Fe California from 1898. LINK

While not in Lovelock, a typical scene around the train station from 1900. This one is for the Northern Pacific Overland Express 1900. LINK

Another short clip of a train that did past through Lovelock. Dated 1897, the film information says it could have been taken earlier. Southern Pacific Overland Mail. LINK

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Claire Bloom in Lloyd George Knew My Father

February 2009
King's Theatre - Edinburgh, Scotland
Claire Bloom and Edward Fox in
"Lloyd George Knew My Father"
Tickets available on line.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Films during Chaplin's day in London

Like to experience London and England from Charlie Chaplin's childhood days? From the BFI film collection on youtube, are some great films showing daily life from Charlie Chaplin's days as a child.

Old London Street Scenes from 1903: LINK

Petticoat Lane, London, 1903: LINK

Blackfriars Bridge, London, 1896: LINK

A 1902 ride on an Electric Tram in Bradford, England: Link

1901 Panoramic View of Morecambe Sea Front: LINK

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Saturday, January 03, 2009

More Chaplin on TCM and PBS this January

If you missed the showing tonight of Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times on TCM, there is more this coming week. And don't forget the PBS special called 'Make 'Em Laugh' featuring Chaplin in the first part of the series 'Knockabouts'. Check PBS listings for your area.

And if you are in England, don't forget to see Chaplin at the BFI Southbank, with special showings in January. For silent film fun, checkout Slapstick in Bristol, England this month. In Salem, Oregon area? Chaplin can be seen at the Elsinore Theatre, January 28th in 'Tillie's Punctured Romance'. Also check out this link for more silent film showings.

And just a note about Modern Times this evening. I have seen the film many times, so like to pick up on little details on each watching. Can you remember seeing these common name products in the film?

• Hills Bros. Coffee
• Champion Sparkle Plugs
• Morton Salt
• Camel Cigarettes
• Mickey Mouse (stuffed)
Anymore you have seen?

Also, if you are interested in learning more about the theme, Smile, check out these links:
Smile music collections
Information about Smile

Friday, January 02, 2009

Anna May Wong, BBC 4, "A Celestial Star in Piccadilly"

January 13, 2009
BBC 4 Radio
Tuesday - 11:30 AM London Time
(3:30 AM Pacific Coast Time)

A Celestial Star in Piccadilly
Anna Chen presents a tribute to Hollywood's first Chinese-American movie star, Anna May Wong, star of the classic 1929 silent movie Piccadilly.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!!