Edna Purviance's bio

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Rainbow Orchid online story changes to preview

July 26, 2009 - A few sellers are offering The Rainbow Orchid off of Amazon USA.

May 5, 2009 Update - The Rainbow Orchid online comic is now officially a preview version of the comic. Garen's book will be released August 4th, 2009. If you live in the US you can pre-order through Amazon UK now or order directly from Garen after August 4th. If you have not ordered through Amazon UK before, from the USA, read below.


The Rainbow Orchid online web comic has become a preview story.
Garen Ewing has shared his current story of The Rainbow Orchid (part one and most of part two) online since March 2005. But with the book publication with Egmont UK coming in August, the web comic has become a preview version of the comic book starting May 5th.

We have been a longtime fan and supporter of Garen's comic, and truly looking forward to its publication. And for Edna's fans, it holds a special place for us, being it features silent film star, Lily Lawrence, as one of the lead characters, who happens to be a 'friend' of Edna Purviance. Edna is not a character in the story, but mentioned in this wonderful story. So please check out The Rainbow Orchid. LINK


Ordering The Rainbow Orchid from the USA on Amazon UK
The Rainbow Orchid is not available for purchase from the USA, but can be ordered from the UK. While some people may regularly order from Amazon UK from the USA, I have not, so I decided to try it today.

A month ago, I tried to order, but it didn't work for me (wouldn't except my visa), so I called Amazon and they said they were having problems. But, after reading the FB Rainbow Orchid readers group today, I read another USA fan just pre-ordered a book, so thought I try again.

This time my credit card did work. I pre-ordered two Rainbow Orchid books at the current price £4.19 plus shipping. The total for two books was £8.38. (The shipping on one book was £6.98, so decided to order two books and that came to £9.97 for shipping.)

The total bill was £18.35 (at the current May 7 exchange rate $27.56).

But, that will change, because the exchange rate charged on your credit card will be the rates on the date the item is shipped, not ordered. In this case the shipping will be about August 4th.

I will do a follow-up on my order, once it comes later this summer. So if you like to pre-order, you can pre-order from Amazon UK Rainbow Orchid shop. Or, you can order directly from Garen starting August 4th.

Claire Bloom plays mother of 'Doctor Who'

Claire Bloom, the ballet dancer in Charlie Chaplin's 1952 film 'Limelight', will play the mother to 'Doctor Who' in the coming season, on the BBC science fiction series. Doctor Who is currently played by David Tennant on the BBC series. They are filming now, as friends of Bloom say her 'script is a very closely guarded secret' as the producers are working on keeping her appearance a surprise.

Chaplin fans will be remember Bloom as the ballet dancer 'Terry' who 'Calvero' (played by Chaplin) saves and nurses back to health. Sydney Chaplin (who recently died) played the young composer in the film who was Terry's love interest.

Limelight didn't play in America when it was first released, due to Chaplin not being allowed to return to America in 1952. Chaplin premiered the film in London, and elsewhere, around the world. The film launched Bloom's career in movies, making her the longest surviving leading lady who was first directed in films by Charlie Chaplin and continued in film making.

Fans in the UK will see Clarie's appearance in the coming season. American fans of the show will see it later, as 'Doctor Who' does play on BBC America.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Saving the Marx Brothers New York home

We like to thank Kathy for letting us know about the petition drive in New York City to help save the childhood home of the Marx Brothers. In a letter Woody Allen wrote to the '93rd Street Beautification Association':

"As a filmmaker who is particularly interested in preserving the enormous charm and appeal of Manhattan I have found myself supporting any number of preservation causes.

The move to destroy the house the Marx Brothers grew up in on East 93rd street is of course particularly repugnant to me not just because the look of older New York is what makes it so appealing in movies all over the world (and draws many tourists) but because the Marx Brothers are among the great comic artists in history, their accomplishments are revered internationally and in countries that place a high value on cultural contributions as opposed to simply bulldozing things in the name of progress, the Marx Brothers home would remain standing and affixed with a plaque.

This would be a nice touch for the city and evidence that we have deeper priorities than just profits. Therefore, I urge the Marx Brothers house to be allowed to remain as a proud landmark." Sincerely, Woody Allen - Save Marx Brothers Place

You can read and sign the petition to help with this project and also visit the Save Marx Brothers Place at this link.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Edna, The Great Dictator & the Hungarian Dance

What do Edna Purviance, The Great Dictator and the Hungarian Dance have in common? The music was used by both Edna Purviance and Charlie Chaplin at different times in their lives. Chaplin for the film The Great Dictator in 1940 and Edna Purviance for a piano recital in October 1911.

If you don't know the music by name, you know it if you heard it. Charlie Chaplin used it for his barbershop scene in The Great Dictator. Remember Charlie keeping time with the music as shaving his customer?

If you remember that, you know you are listening to a popular piece played for many decades. It was written by Johannes Brahms. There was more than one version. Below I have listed two versions of the Hungarian Dance that were published in 1869. One used in The Great Dictator in 1940 and one from 1910, about the time Edna played her piece in Nevada.

First The Great Dictator.
I have one played by full orchestra and one by piano.
Hungarian-Dance-5-F-sharp-Minor
FULL ORCHESTRA
PIANO

In October of 1911, Edna Purviance and others, gave a recital at the Young's Hall in Lovelock, Nevada. Edna learned to play the piano from her mother, Louise, who was an excellent piano player, as was her sister, Bessie Purviance. (Myrtle also played piano very well, but Bessie and Edna were considered the best.)

Edna's chose of music was the Hungarian Dance. Now exactly which version Edna played is not clear from the notes left about this event, but it could have been a popular version on recording at the time or probably the even more popular one as played in The Great Dictator. Either way, Edna did play the music, and you can now hear a full orchestra version from 1907 and 1910.

The Hungarian Dance as recorded in 1907 and 1910.
Both full orchestra. The 1910 recording does sound better.
FULL ORCHESTRA 1907
Hungarian Dance number 2 (rougher sounding recording)

FULL ORCHESTRA 1910
Victor Herbert and his orchestra
FULL ORCHESTRA - More Recent Recording

And for a 'load' of versions of the Hungarian Dance for piano, check out this link.

Fun thought... Did Chaplin remember Edna playing this to him, when he was thinking up the music for his film. We'll never know for sure, but Edna played music often and at many private and public events.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Marie Dressler & Harry Lauder early day recordings

Have you ever wondered how performers like Harry Lauder or Marie Dressler sounded like during their stage days? You can, thanks to the University of California Cylinder Preservation Project. Last December, I stumbled upon this site, while looking up music Edna played. It has a wealth of cylinder recordings to listen too, including Lauder and Dressler from their early stage days.

Marie Dressler starred with Charlie Chaplin in
Tillie's Punctured Romance - Keystone Films (1914)
First full length comedy
Here is Marie from her early stage career singing:
Working Girl' (1910)

Harry Lauder - star during Chaplin's youth and friend of Chaplin
Visited Chaplin at this studio, which a short film was created.
Here is Harry Lauder from his early stage career singing:
'That's the Reason noo I Wear a Kilt' (1908)

Note: I hope some of you who are interested in Chaplin do take a listen to this music from Charlie's day on stage. They have a large collection and a great way to get a feel for that time period. If you have any interest at all in the music Chaplin created, you can get a feel of where he was coming from, by listening to the music of his day. It is a great education in itself.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Did you know?

If you happen to see City Lights last night, here are a few Edna related facts for you.

• Edna's brother-in-law, Sydney Hill, was invited by Charlie Chaplin to watch the filming of the fight scene in the film. He was actually in the crowd behind Chaplin's corner stool. The Hill family collection has a picture of Sydney from that scene.

• Edna's nephew, Morgan Hill (Sydney's son), was on the camera crew for the film.

• Edna's (nephew) Morgan, (brother-in-law) Sydney, and her sister Bessie Purviance Hill (Morgan's mother) were all at the premiere of City Lights.

• Lita Hill's mother, Helen, (Morgan's wife) was also at the premiere.

• Edna Purviance was invited, but didn't go to the premiere. According to Lita, Edna decided not to go, not wanting to cause any attention from the press.

Edna knew they would focus not only on her looks, but also bring up things from the past, she didn't want to read about in the papers (like the Dines event). She was enjoying her new found freedom as a private citizen, again, and avoided the press, whenever possible.

Stephen Weissman lectures SF and NY

MAY 8, 2009 UPDATE: San Francisco Examiner - Thomas Gladysz - Up-date on Stephen Weissman's lecture in San Francisco May 16th. LINK

Stephen Weissman (author of Chaplin A Life) will have a free lecture and presentation of THE KID in New York City, April 27th, 2009 at The A. A. Brill Library of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, 247 East 82nd Street. This event is open to the general public. See this link for more details.

Also, he will have a lecture and presentation of THE KID in San Francisco, May 16, 2009. See this link for more details.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One Espresso, please, Book, that is...

The Blackwell bookshop in London have unveiled their first 'on demand' book printing machine at their flagship store. Called the Espresso, customers will be able to buy books from the machine after April 27th. The machine is being shown at the London Book Fair.

Using digital files from over 400,000 titles available, customers will be able to order a book and have it printed in about 5 minutes. Blackwell is planning to have the machines in many of their stores.

One of the reasons for this move is to save on inventory cost and it does make available books that normally wouldn't make it to the stores, because of the high cost of normal printing and shipping.

I do know on demand books can look very good, when care is taken, but I can easily see the quality can vary, especially being created this way.

Our SG book is printed on demand, but I have control over the production quality. Any books that don't measure up, I take care of all the issues. I know how SG should look and be printed. Yes, it adds to our overall cost, but insures that you get a well produced book that you will be happy with, and not fighting with the sellers about production problems.

Buying from a store, an on demand book, the customers will be at the mercy of the stores staff in creating the book and their judgement on how it should look.

If you decided to buy a book from one of these Espresso machines at Blackwell, don't settle for anything they produce, but make sure they give you a well bound and well printed book. If you order a book loaded with colour photos that have very noticeable green cast images and the pages loose, you know you are getting a poorly produced product. Customers must be firm and demand a well produced product from the stores.

As an author, who cares about the books sold, I would find this sort of delivery unnerving, but that's because I care what the customers gets. Just make sure and check your book fully before leaving the store.

It should be noted too, that many (millions) of books today are printed on demand. While I still love a regular press run book and the tradition behind it, on demand printing is the future in books. Just where it is heading.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Walk of Fame Drive

While I have links to the Walk of Fame Drive for Edna, I have not mentioned in a post for awhile.

The Facebook Group, Edna Purviance is a Star, was started by Mahendra Prasad. I was asked to help with letting fans know about the drive to gather signatures for Edna.

The Group is looking to gather over 1000 signatures. As of date, they are nearing that number, with just over 100 to go. If you like to join the drive, you can sign the petition at this link. On behalf of the group, thanks for your help.

(No, Edna does not have a star. The photo is my picture of Charlie Chaplin's star in Hollywood. I just placed Edna's name in it's place.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Charlie!


Born April 16th, 1889 - London
We hoped you enjoyed the TCM Charlie Chaplin Birthday Event!
Check this link for more Chaplin this April and May!

Charlie Chaplin Birthday Crossword Challenge
AND WE HAVE A WINNER FOR THE CONTEST!
Betty Brooks from Canada!
Thanks to everyone for your interest in Edna!


Watching TCM Chaplin Birthday Event and like to learn more?
Books about Charlie Chaplin - Chaplin Library
Charlie Chaplin Music
Charlie Chaplin Film Collections
Charlie Chaplin list of films
Edna Purviance list of films
Charlie Chaplin's lost film production
(Josef von Sternberg film - The Sea Gull)

More about Chaplin and Edna at ednapurviance.org

In the UK?
Check out Paul Merton's Silent Clowns Tour this spring

Also, keep an eye out, as Chaplin's Keystone film works are planned for release on DVD starting in the UK in the near future. These have been all restored and will be the very best collection of these films to date. You can learn more at BFI (British Film Institute) in London.

Lots of traffic today, as well, as the same old questions
Questions about Edna Purviance:
Edna Purviance in LIMELIGHT? Monsieur Verdoux?
NO... Edna Purviance was NEVER in Limelight or Monsieur Verdoux. Someone years ago started this rumor, because they didn't know about Edna's later years and what Edna looked like. The rumor has been around so long, it is now in books and websites about Chaplin. And it is hard to correct a rumor, once it starts. But after nearly 12 years of research, Edna's own family finally have cleared this up.

Lita Hill, Edna's grand niece, lived with Edna during the filming of Limelight and there were NO trips to the Chaplin Studio during those years. Edna was not in good health throughout the 1950s. Also, Edna was in the early stages of her long illness with cancer and other illnesses, as well. Edna died from cancer in January 1958.

As for the 'lady' someone thought to be Edna in Limelight, that woman in the film is quite tall (Edna was about 5' ft. 3" inches - shorter than Chaplin) and that lady had very different features.

I and Lita watched the Limelight film footage and Lita was very surprised to even hear of such a thing, being she was living in Edna's house the whole time the film was being made. She was even driving Edna, since Edna wasn't driving as much, anymore. There were no trips or even chats about any Chaplin films.

Same goes for the rumor of Edna in Monsieur Verdoux. Edna did try out for a part (and an eye witness thought she had a good voice and read the part well), but Edna was not comfortable working in front of the cameras. She was trained as a silent film actress. Also, for Chaplin, Edna reminded him of this early film day successes. He just didn't feel it would work out. It was Edna's last official business at the studio. For Edna's part, Edna was very relieved not to get the part. She never talked about it with the family, but only mentioned the try out to a film crew while visiting a student education film project in Reno, Nevada. (NO, Edna was not in this student film project, just visiting and picking up her grand niece.)

And again, as for the woman thought to be Edna in the wedding party scene, that woman doesn't match the images of Edna from the 1940s and is way too tall with the wrong body shape. (Lita also told me she knew Chaplin wouldn't even think of putting Edna in a bit part and Edna wouldn't consider it, herself.)

And it should be noted, one of the reasons Chaplin may have offered Edna a part in the film, was the fact he knew Edna lost her husband several months earlier to a sudden death. Edna would never fully recovered from the lost of Jack. Chaplin may have been trying to lift her spirits, by getting her involved with film work again. He knew how work always relieved him with his depression, and Edna was depressed about the lost of Jack. She was very happy, up until the time she lost Jack in June of 1945.

This information is from 12 years of my personal research into Edna and learning first hand accounts from her family members who actually knew her and lived with her. You will not find this information in other publications. Most books have repeated from the same former information over and over again, but never knew the full facts. I am currently working on the second book to feature Edna, which will included Edna's later years.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Charlie Chaplin on TCM - April 16th, 2009
6AM-6PM Eastern

Friday, April 10, 2009

Badapple Theatre 'doorstep theatre' of Laurel & Charlie

April 28 to May 10, 2009
Laurel and Charlie (UK Tour)
Badapple Theatre Company
Green Hammerton, York, UK

Badapple Release: Silent comedy legends tread the boards once more Silent comedy legends, Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin, are treading the boards once more in a new touring comedy from Yorkshire’s Badapple Theatre Company.

Few people know that back in 1910 two young touring actors- Laurel and Chaplin- toured the music halls of England together before setting sail for the USA and becoming two of the most famous faces in Hollywood history. This unusual true story has inspired writer/ director Kate Bramley (formerly of Hull Truck Theatre) to create the hit show ‘Laurel and Charlie’, that sees the two comedians reunited after nearly 100 years.

The national tour of ‘Laurel and Charlie’ follows two successful outings already for this piece as part of Badapple Theatre’s ‘doorstep theatre’ programme. Writer, Kate Bramley says, “We call it doorstep theatre. This is a chance for local people to come out and enjoy professional theatre right on their doorstep... to come and have a drink and a laugh among friends close to home.

But the shows are just as well suited to theatre audiences across the country and we’re delighted this show is touring for a record 3rd time due to popular demand!” The two comic actors find themselves trapped in a run-down boarding house, penned in by their rent-hungry landlord. With their show cancelled and no money to pay the rent they turn to ever more hilarious means to escape!

The more obliging ‘Laurel’ is played by Colin Moncrieff, a regular actor with the company, who was described as “having an uncanny resemblance to Stan Laurel both in looks and comedic style” (Northern Echo newspaper).

‘Charlie’ is played by Mat Urey, fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe hit ‘The Butler did it’ who makes his company debut with this show.

‘Laurel and Charlie’ tours:
TUE 28 APR PREVIEW Etton Village Hall, Etton, Nr Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire

WED 29 APR The Met, Market St, Bury

FRI 1 MAY Rotherham Arts Centre, Walker Place, Rotherham

SAT 2 MAY Spotlight Theatre, West Street, Bridlington

3 MAY Laurel and Hardy Convention, Winter Pavillions, Morecambe - PRIVATE EVENT, MEMBERS ONLY TUE

5 MAY Bishop Greaves Theatre, Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln

WED 6 MAY Madge Bayes Hall, Hyde Festival Theatre, Hyde, Stockport

THU 7 MAY Seven Arts Space, 31 Harrogate Road, Leeds

9 MAY Brigg Angel Suite, Exchange Place, Brigg

SUN 10 MAY Blackfriars Arts Centre, Spain Lane, Boston

Information from Badapple Theatre and the local theatres on the tour. Contact the Badapple Theatre for more information

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

BAFTA/LA's Inaugural Charlie Chaplin Lifetime Award

From Screen Daily: Tracey Ullman will receive the first Charlie Chaplin Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy. I guess that breaks down to: CCLAAC (?). A mouthful for a silent film star. The award has been designed by John Tribe.

"Tracey Ullman will receive BAFTA/LA’s inaugural Charlie Chaplin Lifetime Achievement Award For Comedy at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles on May 8 marking the culmination of BritWeek 2009." - Screen Daily

Monday, April 06, 2009

Charlie Chaplin Music buying and collecting

Charlie Chaplin Film Music
Information for collectors
by Linda Wada for ednapurviance.org

Are you a Chaplin music collector? Are you confused about all the different CDs available? Well, don't feel bad. It is confusing, especially anyone new to Chaplin's Music.

There are some basic background facts that may help you with collecting Chaplin's music.

Original soundtrack recordings.

To start with, we need to separate the silent films from the sound films. Then you need to separate Chaplin's copyrighted films from the ones he didn't own the copyright.

All films created before 1918, which included the Mutual, Essanay and Keystone Films, Charles Chaplin did not own the copyright.

These films fell into many different hands and are not the ones mentioned in this article. (But so you know, those films have a variety of music scores, depending on the collection you buy. From professionally written compositions to pre-recorded music off records.)

When fans speak of Chaplin's film music, in general, they are speaking of the films made between 1918 to 1967. All these films Chaplin owned the copyright (and still does) through Roy Export.

Now we need to break these down into silent and sound films.

The Silent Films
All of Chaplin's copyrighted films made between 1918 and 1928 were silent films (no soundtracks). These were:

• A Dog's Life (1918)
• Shoulder Arms (1918)
• Sunnyside (1919)
• A Day's Pleasure (1919)
• The Kid (1921)
• The Idle Class (1921)
• Pay Day (1922)
• The Pilgrim (1923)
• A Woman of Paris (1923)
• The Gold Rush (1925)
• The Circus (1928)

All of these films above were re-edited with original music scores created for each during the years between 1942 and 1977.

The first film Chaplin re-edited was The Gold Rush in 1942. Chaplin re-edited the film and created an original film score. He also added his own voice to replace the inter-titles. His voice recording is only on the film, not the music recordings.

While The Gold Rush was re-edited in America, the rest was re-edited in Europe and England, while Chaplin lived in Switzerland between 1952, until his death in 1977.

The next set of films that were re-edited was a collection that became known as The Chaplin Revue.

Released in 1959, this collection of three First National films included:
• A Dog's Life (1918)
• Shoulder Arms (1918)
• The Pilgrim (1923)

Chaplin included some extra footage of himself, his crew and the players at his studio, as he narrated the introduction and start of each film.

The music from the Chaplin Revue is among the least known of Chaplin's music and only a few of the music pieces can be found on CDs.

One of the best known songs from this set of films is from The Pilgrim called Bound for Texas. A special song written by Chaplin, it was sang by Matt Monro, a popular English singer from the 1960s. Monro became well-known in the 60s for his recording of Born Free.

During the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Chaplin continued re-editing and scoring the rest of his silent film collection.
These were:

Sunnyside (1919)
• A Day's Pleasure (1919)
• The Kid (1921)
• The Idle Class (1921)
• Pay Day (1922)
• A Woman of Paris (1923)
• The Circus (1928)

Out of these films the music from The Kid and The Circus is the best known.

For The Circus, Chaplin actually wrote and sang Swing Little Girl, at the beginning of the film. This replaced his original 1928 opening of the film.

In 1976, A Woman of Paris was the last film to receive an original score and re-edited. It was felt to be his weakest score, due to the fact his health was failing at that time.

Since that time, the score has been re-constructed using Chaplin's own music and notes, and a bit of imagination on what the composer thought Chaplin would like. This updated score premiered at a live music showing of A Woman in Paris in Italy in 2005. To date, this new score has not been recorded.


The Sound Films
Now it's time to go back to the sound film recordings Chaplin made between 1931 to 1967.

Beginning with City Lights in 1931, Chaplin created film scores for all his following films. These films were:

• Modern Times (1936)
• The Great Dictator (1940)
• Monsieur Verdoux (1937)
• Limelight (1952)
• A King in New York (1957)
• A Countess From Hong Kong (1967)

City Lights is a favorite score of many fans. It was Chaplin's first chance to record a score for his film. It was also his answer to the sound film age, which just taken over the silent film era in full force starting in 1928. Chaplin held out until 1936 with doing silent films, but always loved the idea of creating music for his films. Now he could.

Chaplin gathered the best musicians and recording equipment available, but in the end, was not pleased with the limits of recordings at that time. It is written, he made fun of the sound era in City Lights, by doing the distorted voice versions of the speeches given at the beginning of his film in his own voice.

He used a few sound effects in City Lights, but the most remembered theme was used for the blind girl. Called the Violet Seller, this music was created from difference themes, with the main part of it from a famous 1920s song sung by Raquel Meller.

While the score of City Lights is a favorite, the most popular theme would come from his next film, but it would take over 20 years before the world would know it.

His second film score was for Modern Times.

My LP from United Artists of the Modern Times soundtrack.

Modern Times is noted for a theme Chaplin created and most remembered at the end of the film. It didn't have it's current name or any words in 1936, but would become a musical standard, thanks to a couple of song writers.

In 1954, words were written for this theme, and the music became known as the song Smile.

This song has been sung by many artists over the years, but first sang by Nat King Cole in 1954. The lyrics were by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons.

That was many years ago, so over time, fans of Chaplin's music have been confused, thinking Chaplin wrote the lyrics and those lyrics were sung in the 1936 film..

That is not correct. Smile was never sung in the film and never had words, or even the name Smile, until 1954.

Also from Modern Times came The Nonsense Song. This was Chaplin as the singing waiter. This song is the first time we hear Chaplin's singing voice on film.

Limelight is another film of note for Chaplin's music. The most famous theme being Eternally. Eternally would become a standard, but would take years to be better known in America.

Due mainly to Chaplin not being allowed back in America in 1952, Limelight was released in London, but it didn't play in Los Angeles until 1972.

Chaplin was warmly welcome back to America, after 20 years, and Limelight finally played in LA, making it available for nomination for an Oscar. The score for Limelight did win the Academy Award for 1972, twenty years after the film's was first released in 1952. (Award given in 1973.)

Chaplin's last song of note is the popular This is My Song, recorded by Petula Clark in 1967. The song was from the film A Countess in Hong Kong, Chaplin's last and only color film.

It is the most remembered part of this film, as it has been the most forgotten of all of Chaplin films still available. It has been left out of all Chaplin's collections, but can be bought as a single film.

On Christmas Day in 1977, Charles Chaplin passed away, but not his music.

In 1989, The Centennial Collection (marking the birth of Charles Chaplin) was released on VHS. This collection included all of Chaplin's final cut films, with Chaplin's created scores. LINK

It was also in 1989, the first re-recording of Chaplin's original film scores occurred in London.

My signed Carl Davis CD that I won from the UK Chaplin Society Crossword contest.

Music conductor, Carl Davis, with The City Lights Orchestra, re-recorded the original film score for City Lights, to re-create the music as Chaplin would have liked to have heard it in 1931. This would be the first film to have a new recording of the original film score re-created by someone other than Chaplin. Others films would follow, including The Kid, The Gold Rush, The Circus, and Modern Times. All recorded and conducted by Davis.

By the 1990s, there were many varied collections of Chaplin's music on LP, CD and tape. These were created from record companies libraries of recordings released from the 1950s onward. Most of the recordings were created in Europe, with each company having slightly different versions of the film music collections. (Each trying to be a bit different, and not wanting to be the same, to have their collections bought.)

Add in the Davis's recordings as well, as other Orchestra recordings, created for studio or live performances, and you have a wide variety to choose from.

For Instance, some fans wish to own the original film soundtracks, while others like to have the best recordings available of Chaplin's music, opting for the Davis's collections.

But it depends on what you want.

Chaplin was in control of the original soundtrack recordings and the other recordings by other conductors do add a bit of their own twist to the music.

Of course, Chaplin's recording due suffered from not having the modern day recording devices.

What are the best ones to collect? That is up to you, actually, but the more important question maybe more, what can you find.

This CD has the original soundtrack scores but incorrectly list Carl Davis as the film music for City Lights.

Many of these soundtrack are becoming harder to find. They can be expensive to very cheap, depending on who is selling and the current market prices.

You could look for LPs at private sells and charity shops, and transfer that to CD for you home listening pleasure, but those are rare to find too.

You can check my Chaplin Music page for ones that have been and currently available. But even after I created this page, some CDs are no longer available, and have to be found used.

To know what you like to collect, one thing you can do is to watch the films, listen for the music you like to have, and try to find that music on CD. It's not quite as easy, as it was a few years ago. You just have to spend sometime, and/or maybe a bit of cash to get them.

Whatever the case, if you like Chaplin's music, but have been a bit confused, I hope this might helped with your collecting of his music.

LINKS - See more on Edna's Chaplin Music page:
Charlie Chaplin Music
Click on images above for more details on each.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Thank-you!

Even with this huge turn down, we have been very pleased to see more fans buying The Sea Gull this week. I have a few books left from our January stock and more books coming very soon.

The per book cost has gone up even since January 1st, but I plan to hold the price at the current listing. If you have ordered, check your emails for books in the post now. And again, many thanks...

Update: NEW STOCK IN!!!

Also, a reminder to get your entry forms in for the Chaplin Birthday Event! The only way you have a chance of winning The Sea Gull! The last SG book I will be giving away this year.

Friday, April 03, 2009

20th Annual Silent Film Celebration - Los Angeles

June 7, 2009
20th Annual Silent Film Celebration
The Gold Rush (1925)

with composer and conductor Timothy Brock
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Los Angeles, California - Royce Hall

"The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is proud to present Charlie Chaplin’s greatest and most ambitious silent comedy, The Gold Rush (1925). LACO will present the restoration print of Chaplin’s complete 1925 cut of the film with the musical score Chaplin composed for the film’s 1942 reissue." - Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Update: Norman Lloyd reminisces about Charlie Chaplin. LINK

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Il Cinema Ritrovato - June 27th-July 4th, 2009

Il Cinema Ritrovato
June 27th-July 4th, 2009

April 2, 2009 - from Bologna, Italy - 2009 Film Festival
Il Cinema Ritrovato, the festival sponsored by the Mostra Internazionale del Cinema Libero and the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna, invites film lovers from around the world to Bologna from Saturday June 27th through Saturday July 4th, 2009. Eight days and evenings of cinephilic joy to be experienced in various locations: the twin screens of the Cineteca's Lumière cinemas, one dedicated just to silent cinema, the other to sound; the Bologna Opera House and the Arlecchino Cinema (where we can experience the miracle of big screen projection as films were meant to be seen, but almost never are these days).

Let’s get started with some of this year’s titles. We pay homage to certain films simply because they have a special place in film lovers’ memory: Michael Powell's and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes in its splendid new Technicolor restoration by UCLA Film & Television Archive with The Film Foundation; a brand new restoration of Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (for the closing night); Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937), the predecessor of Ozu's Tokyo Monogatari and its equal as a deeply emotional experience.

As always, evening screenings with a live orchestra promise to be some of the most exciting events: Timothy Brock, with a new score for the print restored by Cinémathèque française of Marcel L'Herbier's Feu Mathias Pascal, the greatest Pirandello film; and Otto Donner, the grand maestro of Scandinavian jazz, with King Vidor's The Crowd. Of course, there are also films that will be shown because they have been forgotten for too long such as Village of Sin by Ol’ga Preobraženskaja (1927), a rural melodrama and a key film from a particularly rich period of Soviet silent cinema.

The director of the year is the great Italian-American Frank Capra: his entire silent output, of which amazingly little is known today. We will be enchanted by works from the already fully-formed comic mastermind during Capra's silent period, with their incisive view of social life and without the ready-made formulas of his later years. We will also dive into the dynamic, original and little-known beginning of his first 8 sound films, culminating in decisive masterpieces like Platinum Blonde and The Bitter Tea of General Yen. The program was created in full partnership with Sony-Columbia and with the participation of scholar and screenwriter Joseph McBride.

Vittorio Cottafavi is comparable to Sirk or Fassbinder or Leone in his capacity to treat any marginal genre with respect, literary sophistication, visual flair (with beautiful ideas about space, irony and rhythm) and a deeply nuanced popular sensibility which he lavished upon everything he touched, especially historical subjects and the peplum, which in his hands became a noble genre. The series of 12 films is curated by Adriano Aprà and Giulio Bursi.

The pleasure dome of the Arlecchino Cinema will offer two special sections: CinemaScope, widening horizons for the sixth year in a row, and color, the beginning of something that will bless our programs for some years to come. Our CinemaScope selection offers treasures like The Track of the Cat (William Wellman's strange western with an even stranger color concept) and three famous epic movies by Vittorio Cottafavi.

The first session dedicated to color is an introduction to the most notable uses of color during the first 50 years of cinema history, including the oldest hand-painted films, like masterpieces from Méliès and de Chomón, the first full color systems (Gaumont Chronochrome, Kinemacolor), tinted films, early Technicolor (in films like Scherzinger's Redskin) and of course the miracle of the full three-strip Technicolor, both through restorations using contemporary film stock and in examples of original prints that have survived from its glory days. In other words, unforgettable viewing: Drums along the Mohawk (Ford), Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (Lewin), and of course The Red Shoes.


One Hundred Years Ago, a time travel journey that began 6 years ago, will again showcase the most exciting documentaries and fiction films about the life and imagination of people who lived exactly one century ago, with two special features: an homage to the miracle of Méliès and a reconstruction of the very first film festival in history, which took place, of course, in 1909. Mariann Lewinsky is this section’s curator.

Among the silent highlights we'll present two small-scale portraits of notable personalities. First up is director Eleuterio Rodolfi (1876-1933), who started as an actor and later became a director of a number of films, including the celebrated 1917 version of Hamlet. And Anita Berber (1899-1928), who was a legendary, androgynous figure of Weimar Berlin: an actress, nude dancer, writer, celebrated in a portrait painted by Otto Dix, and equally impressive in the surviving examples of her appearances on screen.

Chaplin’s influence was unlimited and can be seen in the high quality of his assistants’ work. After Monta Bell last year, we present an equally creative mind, Harry d'Abbadie d’Arrast, with his two most remarkable films, A Gentleman of Paris (1927) and Laughter (1930).

Mornings too will have a special start: a full pack of Maciste, thanks to the restorations of seven films in collaboration with Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino. The Italian superman was a personification of the mythical hero adventuring in the past or right in the middle of modern times - the first and arguably the greatest of all the strong men of film history. The films, celebrated by Fellini and others, are totally fascinating as such, and moreover present a kind of synthesis of the film history of their day, combining - as Vittorio Martinelli put it - elements of Méliès and Lang, Gustave Doré and Flash Gordon...

Sponsored by the Cinémathèque de Toulouse and Gosfilmofond, curated by Valérie Pozner and Natacha Laurent, Kinojudaica is a series on Russian and Soviet films featuring Jewish actors, directors and themes, presenting little-known films from masters and equally fascinating films from filmmakers doomed to remain in total obscurity because of circumstances or because the films were forbidden for what seemed an eternity. Kinojudaica presents a rich flowering of Jewish films made in Russia and the Soviet Union: four silent programs and three little known sound films like Frontier by Michail Dubson (1935), The Return of Nathan Becker by Boris Špis and Rašel Mil’man (1931) and Nepokoronnye (The Taras Family) by Marc Donskoï (1945), with its terrifying re-creation of Babi Yar on screen.

Then there are films that offer a cross-section of life, with 10-15 people from all walks of society who encounter each other in situations without any clear-cut protagonist. For unknown reasons, British cinema made this a subgenre all its own, with films like Rome Express (Walter Forde, 1932), Friday the Thirteenth (Victor Saville, 1933), The Passing of the Third Floor Back (Berthold Viertel, 1935), culminating with Carol Reed's finest 1930s film, Bank Holiday (1938).

Richard Leacock will be our guest this year. The cameraman of Flaherty's film, Louisiana Story, and as such a bridge between the greatest tradition and the new heights of "direct cinema", Leacock will present his own masterpiece, A Portrait of Stravinsky.

The cinema of Vichy gives us a glimpse into that enigmatic, paradoxical period of French film, with the reconstruction of an entire program from April 17, 1942, feature films, short propaganda films from 1940-44, official Vichy and other collaborationist materials, and resistance films. This program was curated by Eric Le Roy with Les Archives Françaises du Film.

Last year's von Sternberg series was such an astounding success that we can't imagine it being over: so this year we are offering the master's most sublime film of his later years (The Shanghai Gesture, the perfect Dietrich film without Dietrich) as well as a selection of fabulous footage from I Claudius, a film that was never finished and that still haunts the world’s cinephiles. And we will see Von Sternberg at work once again in an interview by Eric de Kuyper for Belgian TV.

The underlying theme of this all is again cinephilia, the absolute love of cinema. Several programs will be dedicated to this theme: films on notable personalities (Bernard Chardère, Henri Langlois’s television interviews), the unsurpassed Cinéastes de notre temps programs by André S. Labarthe.

The festival also sponsors the Film Publishing Fair (Books, DVDs, Antiquarian and Vintage Materials) and Il Cinema Ritrovato DVD Award (6th edition). We would like to remind you that Il Cinema Ritrovato will host two seminars: the continuation of the Film Restoration Summer School / FIAF Summer School 2009, organized by the Cineteca di Bologna, and a workshop for European cinema exhibitors organized by Europa Cinemas and Progetto Schermi e Lavagne. Enrollment in each seminar requires separate registration, available on the website indicated below.

On a sadder note, funding for our festival has been cut drastically. This makes it necessary for us to seek out new resources and to ask our fondest, most loyal audience to consider the possibility of contributing to the festival expenses. We would consider the gesture (whether on your part or on the part of your institution) as a contribution to enhancing the festival.

Therefore, if you decide to become Donor of Il Cinema Ritrovato you will be entitled to free entrance to all screenings, reserved seating for Piazza Maggiore and to a free copy of the Cineteca publications.

You are most cordially welcomed to the most memorable eight days of 2009.

Artistic Director of Il Cinema Ritrovato
Peter von Bagh

President of Mostra Intenrazionale del Cinema Libero
Gian Paolo Testa

Link to Il Cinema Ritrovato home website
Never been to Bologna? Link to our introduction to the city

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing release August 4th

The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing has appeared on the Amazon UK site today with the release date of August 4, 2009. It has also showed up on Amazon's Japan, France, Canada and Germany sites for the UK edition.

Current cover of Rainbow Orchid Vol. One - Release Aug. 2009

But I highly recommend ordering through The Rainbow Orchid Shop starting August 4th, 2009. Garen will have standard and signed copies available.

Also to see a sneak peek, check out this link. (release date may vary a bit in each country)

APRIL 27, 2009 - Because of the coming publication, Garen's online version of The Rainbow Orchid will be changing, as the online comic will become a preview comic after bank holiday weekend on May 5th. The full comic will be in print form starting August 4th, 2009.

About the story The Rainbow Orchid from Garen's site:
"If you like your comics full of mystery and adventure and you love the worlds of H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Edgar P. Jacobs and Hergé, then you'll want to read The Rainbow Orchid.

Set in the 1920s, it is a tale of the search for a mythical flower last mentioned by the ancient Greek philosopher and botanist, Theophrastus.

But why does the orchid also feature on a stone slab that may tell of a forgotten Vedic legend? Who was the mysterious stranger who brought one to a remote village in the Hindu Kush, populated by those who are said to be descended from Alexander the Great? And why does Urkaz Grope want the legendary Trembling Sword of Tybalt Stone at all costs?"

The Rainbow Orchid is traditional adventure at its best. Strong and simple storytelling with attractive and cinematic artwork, it enjoys a varied international readership of all ages and both sexes.

We are very excited about the release! The Rainbow Orchid story features fictional silent film star Lily Lawrence (who happens to be a good friend of the real silent film star Edna Purviance). While Edna is not a character in the story, she is mentioned in this beautifully drawn story. We hope Edna fans will take note and will look into adding this wonderful book to their collection.

While not about silent films, it is not often you find a comic set in the 1920s with a leading silent film character. We are truly looking forward to the release of The Rainbow Orchid with Egmont UK.

April 5, 2009 - Garen speaks with The Booksellers about The DFC and The Rainbow Orchid.

The Rainbow Orchid will be published in three volumes. It is beginning of a series of books about Julius Chancer. From Amazon, only available in the countries listed above, but maybe available else where from Amazon UK. At Amazon UK some credit cards may not be excepted, but you only will find out when ordering. Please be aware of changing exchange rates. Orders are not charged until the date of release, so current exchange rates do not apply. Watch for it at UK bookshops starting in August, but as said above, for online ordering, buy through Garen's Rainbow Orchid shop starting August 4th, 2009.

Update April 16th - While The Rainbow Orchid has a silent film star, Garen has featured another graphic novel with a story featuring Hollywood in the silent film era. The Adventures of Blanche by Rick Geary, is a story about a girl who adventures to Hollywood during the early days of silent pictures. It is one of many adventures in this unique graphic novel story.

UPDATE JUNE 1, 2009 - Interview with Garen Ewing (Garen's first podcast interview with Linda Wada - first podcast program.)