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Emma-Lindsay Squier, Picture-Play, New York, August 1919.

Grad aus dem Wirtshaus komm ich heraus...

(...) Magazin, Berlin, Dec. 1932


„That struck me awfully hard“

Editorial content. „The Circus – and Charlie

      Showing that when you really get to know people

they‘re pretty much the same the world over.   

      By Emma-Lindsay Squier

      I went to the circus to get a story ,behind the scenes‘

of the ,big top,‘ and the performers talked of Charlie Chaplin.

The next day I went to see Charlie to get a line on his

next picture, and he talked – of the circus. It reminded me

of the story of the man who took his thirteen children

to see the double-headed giraffe, and who asked for a reduced

rate for his numerous brood.

      ,Are all them kids yours?‘ demanded the astonished

ticket seller.

      ,They sure are!‘ answered the proud parent.

      ,You won‘t have to pay no admission at all,‘ explained

the other. ,You wait here and I‘ll bring the giraffe out

to see you!‘

      The moral is obvious. Charlie and the circus liked

each other on first sight, each hailing the other as the world‘s

greatest attraction.

      I don‘t suppose I‘d have gotten the double-header

story if it hadn‘t been for Albert and his appetite.

Albert is the biggest elephant in the Barnum & Bailey

aggregation, and when I saw him I forgot the other

performers.“ (...)

      „Here on the lot, as in the dressing tent, the

performers were discussing the all-absorbing topic of the

season – Chaplin‘s visit.“ (...)

      „The next day I interviewed Charlie at his studio.“ (...)

      „,You know, I‘d like to make a circus picture;

I went behind the scenes yesterday. Did you hear about it?‘

      I said, a trifle wearily, that I had heard about

it. What I did not say was that I had heard nothing else.

      ,It was great stuff. I enjoyed it immensely, you know, and

yet – well, it seemed sort of pathetic to me.‘

      It is typical of Chaplin to remark the shadowed tones

of any picture. Perhaps that is why he is a great comedian.

      ,It was all so artificial – so tawdry, so inconvenient

– there is so much confusion and so little privacy, you know.

I couldn‘t help thinking of the people as puppets dressed

gayly for a little hour, to bend and nod and smile, to do their

little stunt, then to be chucked back into their box. And

do you know,‘ he went on, ,I think they felt that way about

me; I was a sort of shadow that come off the screen

for a while, and I‘m afraid they were disappointed in me.

They expected me to be funny and to crack jokes;

they seemed awfully surprised to find that I was just human.‘

      We talked of the clowns and of the one who

imitated the Chaplin walk.

      ,I found, after the last performance,‘ he went on,

,that Marceline, who was at one time the world‘s most famous

clown, was among the slapstick fellows that night – not

featured, not billed in any way – just a common clown; that

struck me awfully hard. You see, I played on the same

bill with Marceline years ago in London when he was the rage,

and yesterday afternoon, they told me, he sneaked

away to avoid meeting me, A thing like that is wretched,

isn‘t it?‘“

      Eleven photos.


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