Thursday, April 30, 2020

More from Red Letter Days

Post #2 In a series:
This book has a series of articles in it from a British magazine called Red Letter. In 1916 it began a series of 37 articles about Charlie Chaplin.

This is an excerpt from an article that ran on May 6, 1916.
Thanks to Dan Kamin for bringing this book to my attention, and for putting it together. The articles were written by Fred Goodwins.

From Red Letter Days

It wasn't long before the necessity of getting started in returned to Charlie in full force, for he came flying back to Los Angeles within three days of his departure to the mountains.
     I happened to be on the stage when he walked into the studio, and I began forthwith to "kid" him strenuously upon his broken vows.
     "Did you take some good scenes up there, Charlie?" I asked.
    He looked at me vacantly. "Scenes?" he repeated."Scenes?" Then he got me. "Listen!" he grinned. "Are you trying to kid me, or just show me a good time?"
     "Neither," I answered. "But I like the way you 'start in right away,' Charlie."
     He immediately felt he was losing his dignity, and tried to pull a solemn face. "Really, Goody," he said. "I went up to the mountains in the sacred cause."
     "Of charity?"
     "Sure," he replied. "Harry" (his chauffeur) "was down with influenza, and I thought the trip would do him good."
     A volley of incredulous jeers greeted his diaphanous statement, whereat Charlie proceeded to look very much hurt. "You chaps don't believe I'm capable of doing a Christian act," he grumbled. But he couldn't keep it up any longer. That irresistible, twinkly smile came over his face, and he darted into his dressing-room.
     During the afternoon he unlocked his trunk, with its multitude of labels proclaiming the fact that he had but a short while ago travelled over the "Western Vaudeville Circuit" with the "Karno Company." Other labels betrayed him as having stopped at the So-and-So Hotel - - one dollar a night and up, with private bath one dollar 50 cents, in most of the big cities of the U.S.A. between here and New York City.     

These articles have given me insight into the Charlie Chaplin of the day, what his schedule and attitudes and thoughts were, plus observations by an accomplished journalist. I hope you enjoy these samplings.

If you would like to read a well-received  novel about Charlie, and what he was like in the 1920's...and what might happen if he were in Hollywood today...I suggest you purchase a copy of "Shadow and Substance: My Time with Charlie Chaplin." Email me (, or reply to this post, and I will get one in the mail to you, for $20 plus shipping, signed if you like. Thank you.

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