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The Gold Rush Clippings 155/363

Variety, New York, March 4, 1925

Chaplin vs. Aplin. This is not Charlie Chaplin.

It‘s Charlie Aplin. Chaplin has sued in effort to stop Aplin

from using famous make-up.

(...) Photo International,

New York Tribune, March 16, 1922


„Before the advent of Chaplin

Editorial content. „Tom McKay Alleged Original

      Of Charlie Chaplin‘s Make-Up

      ,Living Image‘ Brought Into Amador Suit in Los

      Angeles – Chaplin Denies Knowing McKay –

      ,Old Pal, Charlie,‘ Autographed Picture

                                                        Los Angeles, March 3.

      The right of Charles Amador to call himself Charles Aplin

and present a screen character in films that closely

resembles the work of Charles Chaplin is being trashed out

here in Judge Hudner‘s court following a suit for an

injunction filed by Chaplin.

      F. M. Sanford, producer of the pictures in which

Amador was starred as ,Charles Aplin,‘ has been accused

of being a ,pirate‘ and to have infringed on the names of several

prominent screen players.

      During the course of the hearing Chaplin appeared

in person as a witness.

      Much testimony has been introduced anent Chaplin‘s pants.

  1. L.G. Marriott, who qualified as witness because of the

fact that from 1905 to 1913 he was engaged as a ,film viewer‘

in England, and during that time viewed an average

of 100 pictures a week, said:

      ,It‘s the hang of the thing. I don‘t know just how

he does it, but he gathers them in front somehow as if they were

hanging from a string. Nobody else does it just that way.‘

      Marriott also testified that although he had seen scores 

of screen comedians and many vaudeville actors,

he had never before the advent of Chaplin seen any one using

the entire Chaplin makeup and character.

      Amador was called to the stand and testified concerning

his rise from a picture operator to a screen actor.

      ,I worked as an operator from 1909 to 1915,‘ Amador said.

,I believe I first saw Chaplin in films in 1916.‘ He denied

imitating Chaplin by wearing baggy trousers, derby and carrying

a cane. His explanation was:

      ,I was not imitating Chaplin any more than numerous

other actors who were using similar wardrobes. Under

my first contract with Sanford I was to use the name Charles

Aplin. It was Mr. Sanford‘s idea to use this name, but

I consented to it. I received $75 a week and 10 per cent of the

returns from the pictures.‘

      Sanford admitted on the stand, under cross examination,

to having seen Chaplin on the screen in his characteristic

makeup about seven years ago, and that he afterward produced

films with Billie West and later with Amador using

a similar makeup.

      Surprise for Chaplin

      A surprise was sprung on Chaplin by Amador‘s attorneys

when they called him to the stand and asked him

to look at a living image of the Charlie Chaplin characterization

and see if he recognized who it was. This person

was seated in the spectators‘ section of the courtroom

and as the question was finished walked to the

front. Chaplin looked at him for a moment and then said

he had no knowledge of having seen him before.

      The attorney then said, ,Do you know Tom McKay?‘

The reply was in the negative. When further pressed, Chaplin

stated that if he had known McKay in the past he had

forgotten him.

      The attorneys explained to the court that McKay and

Chaplin had known each other before Chaplin

became famous on the screen; that McKay had used the

Chaplin makeup long before Chaplin adopted it,

and that McKay had been the inspiration of Chaplin‘s

characterization. At a time when both were

members of the Fred Karno vaudeville act, A Night In An

English Music Hall.

      In support of this contention the defense exhibited

a photograph of Chaplin, alone, made years ago, which they

said Chaplin had sent McKay. On the picture, which

showed Chaplin wearing the old-fashioned Windsor tie, was

scrawled ,From your Old Pal, Charlie.‘ It was also

asserted that Chaplin had taken the idea of his character from

McKay, who had really created it in the Karno act.

      Then the attorneys assumed a different method of

procedure by endeavoring to go into Chaplin‘s private life

and asking him if he did not think that escapades

in which an actor might indulge would injure his reputation

with the public and lessen his popularity. Judge Hudner

ruled that this was not admissible.“


      In 1916 Charles  Amador, a mexican actor, changed

his name to Charlie Aplin.


      Chaplin vs. Aplin in The Gold Rush chronology

      Clip 1   Clip 155   Clip 175   Clip 258   Clip 290   Clip 306  

      Clip 307


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