There is much talk these days , the 100th anniversary of the First World War, which will take place in July. But we forget that another centenary , much more poetic , will take place this week. It has the appearance of a little man with a mustache , a bowler hat and cane.
It is February 7, 1914 , in fact , that appeared for the first time the character of Charlie Chaplin , the wanderer invented by Charlie Chaplin. The film, titled Kid Auto Races at Venice , is on YouTube . Indulge . This is as funny as the first day , and it only lasts six minutes.
You can see Charlot strolling among the crowd during a race soap box . Seeing a film crew filmed the event , he sought by all means to be in the field of the camera . The director wins and boot the target. Once . Twice. Three times. But he returned to the charge , hat askew, cigarette in mouth . Drooling , arrogant, stubborn .
Produced by an original Québécois ( Mack Sennett , born in Danville !) And directed by Henry Lehrman , Kid Auto Races ( in French , Charlot is pleased with him) is the result of a total improvisation from Chaplin. The shooting did not take more than 45 minutes. And, of course , the audience was not in on it. Indifferent at first, the audience eventually entertain antics Charlot, without knowing that they attend the birth of a future monster movies.
It was not the first time it said that the actor donned his suit vagabond.
In fact, Kid Races Auro is the second film in which Chaplin appears. This is Mabel’s Strange Predicament , shot a day earlier , which marks the true advent of the character.
Looking for a disguise , Chaplin had emerged from his famous costume with cane , his mustache and bowler hat, the accessories that will leave more later , even if the character itself substantially evolve psychologically (less drooling , most chivalrous ) . But for reasons of assembly, Mabel’s not hit theaters until February 9 , two days after Kid Auto Races at Venice .
Whatever. Before the end of the year, ” Charlie ” Chaplin had already become a huge star, signing a contract whopping $ 1250 per week with home productions Essanay . The equivalent today of $ 28,232 per week ! There is no prize for engineering. And the rest is history …
Source: Jean- Christophe Laurence