Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chaplin: The Ultimate Perfectionist

Chaplin showing why he was a perfectionist: In “the Flower Girl,” scene from City Lights 1931, he enters and exits an expensive parked limousine in a traffic jam to avoid a motorcycle policeman. There in front of him is a beautiful flower-selling Blind Girl (Virginia Cherrill). She hears the limo door slam, assuming he is a rich millionaire. She offers him a flower, a boutonniere - his first reaction is a flirtatious one (before he learns she is blind). He is smitten by her and gives her his last coin for the single flower for his buttonhole. [According to Guinness World Records, this sequence took 342 takes to make - the most retakes for one scene.] This is a rare glimpse of Charlie Chaplin (Official) at work taken by a friend on the set with a camera. Chaplin was very secretive about his methods and this scene was crucial to the entire movie where the blind flower girl must perceive the tramp as a millionaire instead of a poor tramp.

To watch this scene on YouTube click below.

Click here

Chaplin behind the camera

Chaplin taking the flower from the blind girl.

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