Tag Archives: Charlie Chaplin

Smile, though your heart is aching

I thought I actually learned something from watching American Idol last night, but it wasn’t the whole story.

The song Smile was performed on Idol last & it was announced that it was written by Charlie Chaplin which I was not aware of…

To be clear, the score was written by Chaplin in 1936 for his film Modern Times. He did not write the lyrics. The lyrics weren’t written until 1954 by John Turner & Geoffrey Parsons.

Since then it has covered by many artists including Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson,  & even Robert Downey Jr.


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Missing Something? (03/14)

Although he ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era – he was always less known to me – the man I am talking about is Harold Lloyd.

Harold Lloyd as his "glasses character"

Harold Lloyd as his "Glasses Character"

Harold Lloyd was a brilliant comedian, superb athlete, and daredevil who did most of his own stunts even after a 1919 accident…

On a Sunday in August of 1919, Harold posed for a photographer. The set-up called for him to light a cigarette with a prop bomb — the round, black, type you might see in the cartoons. The bomb wasn’t a prop at all; it exploded in his hand. It ripped open the sixteen-foot ceiling and left Harold blind and with most of his right hand missing. Doctors told him he would never see again. His career was over.

But the doctors were wrong. Eventually, his sight did return, the scars healed, and a glove was crafted to hide his handicap from his public. The comedian, known for doing all his own daredevil stunts, felt his audience would be concerned for his safety and not laugh at the movie if they knew about his injury. So he wore the glove in every movie he ever made after the accident.

(from the official website of Harold Lloyd)

If have ever seen his 1923 movie Safety Last! you will find it hard to believe all of the stunts that he accomplished with a prosthetic hand.

Safety First!

Safety First!

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Woody Allen’s Woodwind (01/28)

So I was looking for images of Woody Allen for a project at work and wouldn’t ya know it – I learned something new!

Woody Allen plays the clarinet and joined the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the New Orleans Funeral Ragtime Orchestra in performances that provided the film score for his 1973 comedy Sleeper.

images

But that wasn’t enough for me, so I decided to find out about other unknown (to me) actor/musicians.

Here is a list:

Charlie Chaplin played the accordion.

Bob Hope played the saxophone.

Dustin Hoffman and Anthony Hopkins play the piano.

Meryl Streep plays the violin.

and last but certainly not least,

Alyssa Milano plays the clarinet AND oboe.

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