Charlie Chaplin 1889–1977

“A comedy with a smile–and perhaps a tear”

This iconic image from Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 film, The Kid,  in which he starred as the Tramp with  Jackie Coogan as The Child and Edna Purviance as The Woman, is now available at First Night Vintage on greeting cards, postcards, posters and wrapped canvas.  Chaplin had written The Kid with Coogan in mind after seeing the child actor perform.

While checking the date of the film on the Internet Movie Database, I was touched to read about the reunion between Chaplin and Coogan in 1972. Chaplin had returned to the United States for the first time in twenty years to pick up the Handel Medallion award in New York and a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in Hollywood.

To set the scene for this reunion, it should be said that the reason for Chaplin’s enforced absence was down to the US government who had suspected him of Communist sympathies because of what they perceived as subversive messages in his films, as well as questioning his morality after several earlier escapades related to women, two of whom—if memory serves–were underage.

Although he was subpoenaed  in 1947 by the House Un-American Activities (HUAC), he was never actually required to testify as they ultimately decided there was not enough evidence.  However, having flown to London in 1952 for the British première of Limelight, Chaplin was refused re-entry so that he and his family decided to move to Switzerland, where he, his fourth wife Oona O’Neill, and their children, remained until he died in 1977.

When Chaplin landed at Los Angeles airport in 1972, he shook hands with those who had come to greet him but when he recognised Jackie Coogan among them, he hugged him warmly and said, “You know, I think I would rather see you than anybody else.”

My Autobiography

The Kid [DVD] [1921]

Take care and keep laughing!