Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostSat Jan 11, 2014 11:10 am

Until lately, Harold Lloyd was painted as the Bob Hope of silent comedy:
the most popular comic in his field, whose success was almost entirely attributed
to a team of top-flight writers and directors--- forgetting that it was
Hope's and Lloyd's great talent and determination
that allowed them to assemble staffs of commensurate skills.
Being among the best- and smart- eventually led them to find and hire the best.

With Chaplin, even today, it's always been the opposite -
he's (superficially) portrayed as a one-man band of a genius-
and his many collaborators- on music, directing, gag-writing
and story construction- are often ignored, underestimated,
or uncredited (even when their names are actually in the credits).
This thread is dedicated to a gathering of overlooked stories or images of Charlie's little helpers.

ROBERT FLOREY

ImageImage

CIRCLE THEATRE- Chaplin Schallert Kaplan Freeman

Circle Theatre- Wikipedia .....Circle Theatre Info: Remembering Charlie by Jerry Epstein.....Circle Theatre History

William Schallert 2 Hour Chat (with Some Circle Talk- $0.99) .....Marvin Kaplan 2 Hour Chat (with Some Circle Talk- $0.99)
Last edited by JFK on Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:58 am, edited 4 times in total.
Offline
User avatar

Rollo Treadway

  • Posts: 895
  • Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:32 pm
  • Location: Norway

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostMon Jan 13, 2014 3:27 pm

The wonderful multi-talent Milt Gross thought up some famous bits for The Circus. This is mentioned in a recent book on Gross, and here in a contemporary notice:

http://www.silentcomedians.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=519
Offline
User avatar

Smari1989

  • Posts: 427
  • Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:14 am
  • Location: Norway

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostMon Jan 13, 2014 6:59 pm

Didn't know Milt Gross worked on THE CIRCUS.

There's no doubt that Lloyd's contributions to his own films were not given proper credit--even today you'll see people sometimes use it against him, that he apparently didn't "write and direct" his own films, whereas Chaplin and Keaton did. Granted, viewers of today are accustomed to a practice where EVERYONE is mentioned in the "end titles," but come on; does it really seem likely that all Lloyd did through his 17 or 18 features, not to mention all the shorts, was to do exactly as the listed directors told him to do? That said, I can't imagine that Lloyd could not have demanded and been given credit as co-director by the time of SAFETY LAST (if not earlier), had he cared about such things--but apparently, he did not.

Chaplin's failure to make more than (at most) passing mention of several trusted collaborators, such as Henry Bergman, in his memoirs has been much critized. I won't defy that a bit more of an elaborate credit to people who meant so much to him while he was making his masterpieces, would indeed have seemed reasonable while the man was resting on his laurels, so to speak. I don't believe that Chaplin necessarily cared that much about the "credits" initially, when he began in films--but by the time he wrote his memoirs, he was very much aware that the widely-held opinion of him as an "auteur" was one reason why he was regarded so highly, and he might have been afraid that the "revelation" that he also used collaborators could hurt his reputation. The truth is, of course, that it doesn't matter how Chaplin got the idea of the Dance of the Rolls; he might've seen Arbuckle's take on it, or someone taking out his laundry suggested it....whoever came up with the initial ideas, it's first and foremost Chaplin's incredible pantomimic gift that made certain scenes into great art (no hyperbole intended).

Anyway, trying to get more back on topic, it was new to me that Vincent Bryan initially was given some credit for the scenarios of Chaplin's first Mutuals, as noted in M.Hayde's new book.
My WEBCOMIC, Ticklish Town: http://www.ticklishtown.com
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Vincent Bryan - Down Where The Wurzburger Flows

PostMon Jan 13, 2014 8:40 pm

Smari1989 wrote: ... it was new to me that Vincent Bryan initially was given some credit for the scenarios of Chaplin's first Mutuals, as noted in M. Hayde's new book.
Image
Maybe there should be a thread on songwriters turned scenario/gag writers.
Ruby and Kalmar, Keaton's Jean Havez, Vincent Bryan....
the imdb listing for Havez says he wrote for Chaplin, but offers no credits.
The sheet music for Down Where The Wurzburger Flows by Vincent Bryan & Harry Von Tilzer,
in one of its printings, had a cover photo of an unlikely trio of song-pluggers.

........................
Last edited by JFK on Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Chaplin's Collaborators:Don't Say Yes Until

PostTue Jan 14, 2014 11:36 pm

I remembered where I read of another collaborator !
Image Pages 28-29
After about three months at Sennett's, Zanuck switched to Chaplin. Chuck Riesner, Chaplin's chief gagwriter, had heard about Zanuck and hired him. From the beginning he was Riesner's boy, and not Chaplin’s. “Chaplin took an instant dislike to me, I think, because of my youth more than anything else.” The dislike, or at least disrespect, was reciprocal. As Zanuck describes writing gags for Chaplin: "We would sit around working up gags among ourselves. Riesner's job was to invent gags but not reveal them to Chaplin. He would place all the props and then let Chaplin ‘discover’ the gag. We’d sit in the background, holding our breath waiting for him to fall on it. If you made a suggestion— you're dead! He would always finally find the gag and damn near on every occasion he would bawl the hell out of us for not discovering it."
As Zanuck describes the work situation, Chaplin was very much the master. "He would love to use words he looked up in the the dictionary— to crush us. Words like outr£. He would say something was 'uttra,' and then say , *You understand what I mean?" Very superior, you know. But if Riesner deliberately used a word Chaplin didn't know, Charlie went immediately to the toilet. He kept a dictionary there. Sometimes he would sit in the toilet for an hour at a time.” Pictures were made very much according to Chaplin’s schedule. “He would appear at the studio only when he wanted to. Sometimes his pictures would take a year to make.”
Later, in their relationship at United Artists, the conflict was to be personal as well as professional. But Zanuck is equally quick to praise Chaplin's talent: "He was a great great comedian." At the time Chaplin scarcely knew Zanuck was around. Zanuck was just one of his many gagwriters, and after a very short tenure— only about two weeks— he quit Charlie Chaplin to join Harold Lloyd and Carter DeHaven in a new company they were forming.
Last edited by JFK on Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Wheeler Dryden:Charlie's Brother+Rock Star Spencer's Dad

PostSun Feb 02, 2014 3:40 pm

Image
Image
Image
Image
ImageImage
Image
Dryden was initially referred to as Leo Dryden's son,
but as early as the January 4, 1919 Moving Picture World
Wheeler was being described in the trades as Charlie's half-brother.

    Film Acting /Directing Credits ………………………………………Broadway Credits
    Limelight ………………………………………………………… Blossom Time
    Thereza's Doctor …………………………………………………Wheeler Dryden [Count Sharntoff]
    1952………………………………………………………………Dec 26, 1938 - Jan 1939
    Monsieur Verdoux ………………………………………………Three Waltzes
    Salesman …………………………………………………………Wheeler Dryden [Herr Difflinger, Louis, Musical Director]
    1947………………………………………………………………Dec 25, 1937 - Apr 09, 1938
    The Great Dictator ………………………………………………Frederika
    Heinrich Schtick - Translator (voice) ……………………………Wheeler Dryden [Count Hahn, Dr. Bauer]
    1940………………………………………………………………Feb 04, 1937 - May 01, 1937
    Mud and Sand ……………………………………………………A Touch of Brimstone
    Cuspidor …………………………………………………………Wheeler Dryden [Geoffrey Smythe]
    1922………………………………………………………………Sep 22, 1935 - Dec 1935
    Penrod ……………………………………………………………Come of Age
    (uncredited) ……………………………………………………Wheeler Dryden [Friend of the Woman]
    1922………………………………………………………………Jan 12, 1934 - Feb 10, 1934
    False Women ………………………… …………………………Oh, Professor!
    Richard Lane …………………………… ………………………Wheeler Dryden [Charles]
    1921………………………………………………………………May 01, 1930 - May 1930
    Tom's Little Star ……………… …………………………………The Humbug
    (unknown part) …………………… ……………………………Wheeler Dryden [Lawson Coombs]
    1919………………………………………………………………Nov 27, 1929 - Dec 1929
    Limelight…………………………………………………………Wings Over Europe
    (assistant: Mr. Chaplin) …………… ……………………………Wheeler Dryden [Plimsoll]
    1952………………………………………………………………Dec 10, 1928 - Closing date unknown
    Monsieur Verdoux ………………………………………………The Great Adventure
    (associate director) …………………………………………………Wheeler Dryden [Dr. Pascoe, James Shawn]
    1947………………………………………………………………Dec 22, 1926 - Jan 1927
    The Great Dictator ………………………………………………Morals
    (assistant director) …………………… …………………………Wheeler Dryden [Herr Hans Jacob Dobler]
    1940………………………………………………………………Nov 30, 1925 - Jan 1926
    Skirts ……………………………………………………………Bridge of Distances
    (director/writer) …………………… ……………………………Wheeler Dryden [Lieut. Rodney Mainwaring]
    1928………………………………………………………………Sep 28, 1925 - Oct 1925
Last edited by JFK on Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Marion Feducha-Chaplin Kiddy Co-star

PostSat Sep 27, 2014 3:06 am

Image
Note- in middle column- Chaplin, Lehrman, & Arbuckle studio policies on buying outside/submitted material
Last edited by JFK on Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:09 pm, edited 19 times in total.
Offline
User avatar

Rollo Treadway

  • Posts: 895
  • Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:32 pm
  • Location: Norway

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostSat Sep 27, 2014 5:16 am

Image
Offline

Pathe Lehrman

  • Posts: 108
  • Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:01 pm
  • Location: New Jersey

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostMon Nov 10, 2014 9:45 am

I can't quite make out the inscription on the lower right-hand corner of still with Lehrman, Sterling, et al from the CHICKEN A LA KING set. The last part looks like "...from his son Henry Lehrman." Could you please provide the contents of the inscription in its entirety? Thanks in advance.

Tom Reeder
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1544
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostMon Nov 10, 2014 10:45 am

>by the time he wrote his memoirs, he was very much aware that the widely-held opinion of him as an "auteur" was one reason why he was regarded so highly, and he might have been afraid that the "revelation" that he also used collaborators could hurt his reputation.<

"The Orson Welles Syndrome."
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Thomas Burke-Chaplin Inspiration & Chonicler

PostTue Dec 30, 2014 8:30 pm

The stories of Thomas Burke inspired films by Dorothy Gish, Colleen Moore, Hitchcock ( 3 episodes of his TV series, including Edmund Gwenn's last performance), D W Griffith (Broken Blossoms and Dream Street), and Chaplin's A Dog's Life (1918)
"I got a feeling from reading Thomas Burke's Limehouse Nights," continued Charlie, "and the result was A Dog's Life- working it right out, going through natural experiences and having the consequent reactions. It is a translation, though not in Burke's language or style, of course."


Burke got to know Chaplin and wrote of him.
Image
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Bert Levy- at Chaplin Studio 2 Years

PostWed Jan 07, 2015 6:24 am

Bert Levy, Australian Stage Comedian/Artist/Film Writer
Click Below to read Levy's
For The Good Of The Races (1921)

Image............................Image

...........................................................June 8, 1929
Image

..................................Levy's Unpublished(?) Second Book with Chaplin Preface
Image
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Albert Austin Co-Writer/Co-Director & Karno Actors

PostTue Jan 13, 2015 7:45 am

William (1884–1975).......................... Laura ...................................Albert (1882–1953)

Image

Melbourne Leader Vic. Saturday 20 April 1918


Image
“An original watercolour sketch of "The Drunk" , a character in Fred Karno`s  playlet, "Mumming Birds", hand drawn by Frank O`Neill, one of Karno`s tour managers in 1911. It was O`Neill, then managing the Mumming Birds company in Manchester ,who had put Stan Laurel on Karno`s payroll in 1909. The Drunk was played by many different actors around this period, including Charlie Chaplin. The chap in this illustration looks more like Stan Laurel! So, here is an original water colour sketch of The Drunk signed and dated 1911 with O`Neill`s initials. The artist appears to have subsequently gifted the sketch to someone called Bert, also in 1911, signing it and dating it again.“

‘15 Fan Photo For Phil D.
Image



Stan Jefferson

My research tells me that a comedian named Stanley Jefferson might have shared a stage with Chaplin in vaudeville.
Here are some items subsequently signed by Jefferson to a later comedy partner, Teddy Desmond.

ImageImage
Image
Image
Image
Image

Last edited by JFK on Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:37 am, edited 5 times in total.
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Edward Sutherland

PostFri Jan 23, 2015 5:40 am

Eddie Sutherland, nephew of Blanche Ring and Thomas Meighan-
actor in
Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914), and director of Tillie's Punctured Romance (1928)-
had over 150 Director, Producer, Actor, Second Unit, Editor, Writer, Special effects, Stunt credits.
When he wasn't busy directing W. C. Fields (6 times), Oliver Hardy (twice), Mae West, Eddie Cantor,
and Abbott and Costello (their first film)- or marrying
Marjorie Daw and Louise Brooks-
he assisted in the writing and direction of the first three features Chaplin produced.


................Photoplay May 1926 ("Boy" Director at age 31)
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by JFK on Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1544
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostFri Jan 23, 2015 11:05 am

As I mentioned upstream, there was a good deal of this disease in Orson Welles; and moving to another pop culture field, a terrible case of it in Bob Kane.

It is grotesque.

-Craig
Last edited by wich2 on Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

Michael O'Regan

  • Posts: 2124
  • Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:52 pm
  • Location: UK

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostFri Jan 23, 2015 1:29 pm

Ah, lets not start blaming his collaborators. I'm sure they meant well.
:|
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

FRED GOODWINS and R E SHERWOOD (sort of)

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 10:55 pm

Image
Charlie Chaplin's Red Letter Days: At Work with the Comic Genius
By the end of 1914, Charlie Chaplin had become the most popular actor in films, and reporters were clamoring for interviews with the comedy sensation. But no reporter had more access than Fred Goodwins. A British actor who joined Chaplin’s stock company in early 1915, Goodwins began writing short accounts of life at the studio and submitted them to publications. In February 1916 the British magazine Red Letter published the first of what became a series of more than thirty-five of Goodwins’s articles. Written in breezy prose, the articles cover a two-year period during which Chaplin’s popularity and creativity reached new heights. Only one copy of the complete series is known to exist, and its recent rediscovery marks a significant find for Chaplin fans.

Charlie Chaplin’s Red Letter Days: At Work with the Comic Genius is a vivid account of the ebb and flow of life at the Chaplin studio. Goodwins was an astute observer who deepens our understanding of Chaplin’s artistry and sheds new light on his personality. He also provides charming and revealing portraits of Chaplin’s unsung collaborators, such as his beloved costar Edna Purviance, his burly nemesis Eric Campbell, and other familiar faces that populate his films. Goodwins depicts Chaplin in the white heat of artistic creation, an indefatigable imp entertaining and inspiring the company on the set. He also describes gloomy, agonizing periods when Chaplin was paralyzed with indecision or exhaustion, or simply frustrated that it was raining and they couldn’t shoot.

Reproduced here for the first time, the articles have been edited by film historian David James and annotated by Chaplin expert Dan Kamin to highlight their revelations. Illustrated with a selection of rare images that reflect the Chaplin craze, including posters, sheet music, and magazine covers, Charlie Chaplin’s Red Letter Days provides a fascinating excursion into the private world of the iconic superstar whose films move and delight audiences to this day. It will appeal to movie fans, comedy buffs, and anyone who wants to know what really went on behind the scenes with Chaplin and his crew.
Review
[T]his compilation of articles, republished exactly as they appeared in the English movie-fan magazine Red Letter in 1916, is of significance for students of Charlie Chaplin and the history of film. Goodwins, a member of Chaplin’s acting troupe, gives a weekly account of the screen’s first superstar. His praise can be fawning, but his account makes Chaplin’s genius undeniable as the comic brings a deft comic twist to commonplace situations while also filling the roles of writer, director, editor, set designer, and prop master. Chaplin’s artistic development is chronicled as he moves from mere slapstick to romance and even drama tinged with social criticism, with his Little Tramp character taking on upper-class villains. For context and a more dispassionate perspective, editors’ notes are sprinkled throughout. The only real criticism here, offered by the editors, is that Chaplin rarely gave credit to others for providing him with ideas. Despite Goodwins’s lack of objectivity, his look at the mechanics and techniques of silent filmmaking is informed and informative.... [H]is access makes the book enjoyably breezy and personal. ( Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Fred Goodwins (1891–1923) was a former New York Times London correspondent who became an actor, writer, and director during the silent film era.

David James is a film historian and senior lecturer in film and media studies at Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom.

Dan Kamin created the physical comedy sequences for Chaplin and Benny and Joon and trained Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp for their acclaimed performances. He is the author of The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin (Scarecrow Press, 2008).


Publication attributed to the Barnum clown:
Image
...............................................................................................................
Image
...............................................................................................................
Image
...............................................................................................................
Image
...............................................................................................................
A later, better known, unauthorized publication
Image
Last edited by JFK on Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Offline
User avatar

silentfilm

Moderator

  • Posts: 9327
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
  • Location: Dallas, TX USA

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 11:34 am

Image
Ahhh, I've always wondered what the "Red Letter" in the "Red Letter Photocards" that I have represented...
Offline
User avatar

Brooksie

  • Posts: 2793
  • Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
  • Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia

Re: Charlie Chaplin's Collaborators

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 3:57 pm

wich2 wrote:>by the time he wrote his memoirs, he was very much aware that the widely-held opinion of him as an "auteur" was one reason why he was regarded so highly, and he might have been afraid that the "revelation" that he also used collaborators could hurt his reputation.<

"The Orson Welles Syndrome."


Following the discussion of the legal case over the Abbott and Costello 'Who's On First' routine, I cracked open the book Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet. There is a very interesting section on Chaplin various attempts to halt the proliferation of Chaplin impersonators, beginning in the mid 1910s.

Chaplin's legal representatives leaned heavily on the idea of Chaplin as a singular genius, more a poet than a cog in a larger studio machine. In a way, it lost them the case - the court agreed that Chaplin was so good and so unique that the general public could not possibly confuse his work with that of an inferior imitator.

It just goes to show the extent to which the idea of Chaplin-as-auteur had taken hold even at that early date, to the extent that it was advanced as legal opinion.
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Howard’s Uncle’s Souls For Sale

PostMon Jul 02, 2018 2:57 pm

“Hollywood” January 1934 issue- Rupert double dates - click image for larger version.
Image
A book inscribed for a young fan - the photoplay edition of a novel the author scripted and
directed for Hollywood
. Image
Image

Return to Talking About Silents

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Mr.Mycroft and 7 guests