The French TV program “13h15 le samedi” was allowed access by the Chaplin family to their home movies filmed by Oona Chaplin. Three of Charlie Chaplin’s children, Annie, Eugene and Michael, and one of his grandsons, Charly Sistovaris, share their thoughts and memories. They talk of Charlie Chaplin, the working man, but also the family man. And they talk of their home, the Manoir de Ban, now a museum open to all…
This documentary by Karine Comazzi, Frédéric Capron, Patrice Brugère and Oktay Sengul offers wonderful insights into the Manoir de Ban, former family home, now Chaplin’s World.
Pictured above: Michael Chaplin, one of Charlie Chaplin’s sons, and Pierre Etaix, the revered filmmaker from France, whom we had the pleasure of meeting yesterday evening at the Swiss Embassy in Paris at a presentation of Chaplin’s World by Yves Durand, and of the book The Freak: Chaplin’s Last Film by author Pierre Smolik (a drawing by Pierre Etaix illustrates the book’s preface).
At the mere mention of “Chaplin”, Etaix’s eyes filled with emotion. He spoke of his lifelong admiration for Chaplin.
In the photograph above, Pierre Etaix tells Kate Guyonvarch, managing director of the Chaplin office, that when he was a child he snipped some fur off of his aunt’s coat and stuck it to his upper lip, creating his own Charlot moustache. Etaix also remembers his surprise and awe at seeing Chaplin himself twice at Chaplin film screenings in Paris: once at the former Cinéma Paramount and once at the Cinémathèque Française, where he showed up extra early and sat in the theatre for over an hour and a half to be sure to have a seat, only to be asked to change seats by Cinémathèque staff when Chaplin himself showed up!
Pictured above is no ordinary cog. It is a relic from Chaplin Studios that film archivist and historian Bruce Lawton recently showed us (and let us hold!). The small cog is made of wood and was used as a prop in Modern Times, in a factory scene with Chester Conklin.
In Bruce’s own words:
“It was acquired by my great-grandfather, Don Malkames - who was an A.S.C. cinematographer and early film history preservationist - when he was working in California in the day. He first showed it to me at his house in Yonkers, NY during the summer of 1977 when I was 9 years old - where it was kept in his cinemachinery museum. I was already an avowed Chaplin fanatic - so I was mightily impressed! My Grandfather, Karl Malkames (also an A.S.C. cinematographer - and pioneering film restorer and preservationist) entrusted it to me one Christmas in the mid-1990s. It was Karl that first introduced me to Chaplin films as a very young child (he ran MODERN TIMES for me repeatedly - and it became my favorite film.) Presumably it is one of the VERY few existing cogs from the production.
Thanks, Bruce Lawton, for sharing this bit of history with Chaplin fans. Here he is pictured with the cog:
Chaplin’s World by Grévin is FINALLY open! Here are some photos from the inauguration celebrations of April 16th, 2016 (Charlie Chaplin’s 127th birthday):
Michael Chaplin, Kate Guyonvarch (managing director of the Chaplin office) & Eugene Chaplin in front of the Manoir de Ban, the former Chaplin family home
The red carpet leading to the Manoir de Ban for the evening inauguration of Chaplin’s World
Some Chaplin family members, actress Claire Bloom & performer Arturo Brachetti in the Manoir de Ban
The Chaplin’s World ribbon cutting ceremony
Philippe Meylan, Michael Chaplin and Eugene Chaplin at the Chaplin’s World ribbon cutting ceremony
The Chaplin’s World ribbon cutting ceremony
Michael Chaplin, his wife Patricia, and Eugene Chaplin
The press floods Easy Street at the Chaplin’s World inauguration
Colette Aeby worked at the Manoir de Ban as a kitchen girl when she was 16 years old. She has fond memories of Charlie & Oona Chaplin and their children. Here she reminisces with Michael and Eugene Chaplin.
Carole Sandrin (who looks after the Chaplin photographic collection deposited at the Musée de l’Élysée - Lausanne), Tatyana Franck (director of the Musée de l’Élysée) & Cecilia Cenciarelli (head of the Chaplin Project at the Cineteca di Bologna) seem to have found the perfect spot for an impromptu meeting to discuss Chaplin projects…
Carole Sandrin (who looks after the Chaplin photographic collection deposited at the Musée de l’Élysée - Lausanne) caught up in the cogs from Modern Times at Chaplin’s World
Arnold Lozano of the Chaplin office visits a special barber at Chaplin’s World
The cabin from The Gold Rush at Chaplin’s World
The wings Chaplin had made for The Freak on display at Chaplin’s World
View of lake and mountains from the Manoir de Ban, the former Chaplin family home, now Chaplin’s World
The gorgeous bust of Chaplin by Clare Sheridan on display at Chaplin’s World
And of course…
Chaplin’s iconic Tramp costume on display at Chaplin’s World
We’ve uploaded a new video on our Youtube channel, TheChaplinFilms, which includes rare footage of Charlie Chaplin at the 5th Liberty Loan campaign in Los Angeles and some background information on Chaplin’s involvement with the Third Liberty Loan Act.
Watch this video for a bit of history, and of course, a laugh! (Laughter guaranteed at 3’04”):