1916, September 4 – PREMIERE, CHAPLAIN IN “THE COUNT”

Chaplain is a tailor’s assistant and he and the tailor discover in a client’s suit pocket that a Count is expected at a high society ball…at the ball, they both pretend to be the Count seeking to win the favor of the daughter of a wealthy man who is called “Miss Money Bags” who is played by Edna Purviance…in the midst of alot of slapstick, he dances a facsimile tango with “Miss Money Bags”…Edna Purviance, the leading lady in over 30 films with Chaplain, grew up in Lovelock, Nevada  where she dreamed of being a concert pianist…she reluctantly heeded the advise of her mother and went to San Francisco to study business…one day while sitting at “TatesRestaurant” an agent for Charlie Chaplain happened to see her and thought she would be perfect as a leading lady for Chaplain’s new film “A Night Out”…she not only won the part but was Chaplain’s lover for many years…for this film Chaplain was not only the director but did the writing and editing as well…

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Two years earlier Chaplain danced the tango in another short “Tango Tangles”…actual tango dancing appears only briefly in the opening scene where a couple is dancing what appears to be a parody of a tango which metamorphosis into a ballet style movement…Charlie Chaplain plays an inebriated dandy who shows up at the “Dark Town Strutter Ball”, a  masked affair, makes a pass at the hat-check girl played by Sadie Lamp….her favors however are being sought by two other characters, the orchestra leader played by Ford Sterling and the clarinetist Roscoe Arbuckle, all legends of the silent movie era…George Bernard Shaw would say, “he was the only genius to come out of the movie industry”in real life Charlie Chaplain was an enthusiastic tango dancer…Julio De Caro would recall in his memoirs that in their debut at the Palais De La Mediteranee in  Nice in 1931, Chaplain suddenly began dancing while they were playing “El Monito” and everyone marvelled at how good he was

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