Thursday, May 23, 1974
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
'King in New York'
Chaplin views America
By MICHAEL WILSON
Ann Arbor moviegoers should
not miss the chance to view
Charlie Chaplin's A King In New
York (1957) at the Fifth Forums
before it winds up a highly suc-
cessful week-long rogageme't
there this Friday.
Produced, directed, written,
scored by, and starring mt tnas-
ter himself, King was b nned
exclusively in the United States
for over fifteen years by its
embittered creator. It marks
his 81st appearance on screen
in a career that has spanned
over half a century.
King was produced in Great
Britain and contains what many
reviewers in the 30s thought
was "anti-American stire."
But prior to the 1957 London pre-
miere of his film, Chaplin re-
torted, "This is by no means an
anti-American film. It is not a
Communist film. It is simply a
film, and a vey goy Ione at
King is a brillilnt and often
times sadly irosia niotion pic-
ture. Much if th dialogue
seems curiously ap'rsopriate to
the situation Chaplin himself
was involved with in America
when he was being invescigated
by the House Committee on Un-
In the picture, a recently de-
throned King of Estrovia de-
parts from 'lis nativi land
amidst mass revolution between
his fellow countrymen: he re-
fused to allow them an atomic
bomb and now suffers the con-
Journeying to Ntew York City,
he tries without success #o con-
tact the American Atomic En-
ergy Commission about his
plans for the peaaefui uses of
During the course of his fres-
trated efforts, he unwittingly be-
comes an ove:night TV cele-
brity through the use of 'hidden
TV cameras it w-,oser patty
held in msc onar. Alit he
King learns is mr_3iv fortune
has been embezled by the Fs-
trovian Prime in se, he
starts accepthng telv isof-
Trouble begiss whet the yKog
befriends a 10l-s- old boy
whose parents are in jail for re-
fusing to divulge the name of
their Comnunist friends.
"Isn't that Karl Marx you'e
reading?" asks the King.
"Yes it is," repi -s t e boy
(played by Chaplin' real-fufe
"Are you a Communist)" in-
quires King Shahda".
"Does reading Marx mtuke ire
one?" retorts the boy.
The boy is u.ed re narkably
well, much like the p'thos Jack-
ie Coogan's little tyke gave us
in Chaplin's The Kid. Y o it n g
Michael lends a striking authen-
ticity to the role, and in the
end reveals tne important nam-
es to save his parnats f r o m
Disturbed by the bov s ,se-
dicament, humiliated by the
American television s'at-us,
chagrined at the AEC's rearton
to his blueprints for atomic
peace, the disgruntled K i n g
Shahdov decides to leave the
United States and return to his
Queen somewhere in Europe.
The boy is left crying and the
cute advertising employe who
conned him before hidden
cameras at the start is told,
"Oh, that I were 20 years young-
N]' vor typical Chaplin end-
ing? But it is.
The Chaplin with baggy pants
and mustache left us long ago.
In films like Monsieur Ver-
doux (a story about a mass
murdered), The Great Dictator
(concerning Hitler and Nazism)
and King In New York, Chap-
lin is expressing a desire to
communicate realistically with
the people who rejected him for
politics in the fifties and sixties.
He is bitter in King, but the
hilarious spoofing of television,
rock and roll, dancing and Mc-
Carthyism is enough to over-
corne any bad aftertaste Nou
may find in your mouth.
Chaplin was never in de-
cline" as so many rotten Amser-
iran critics were apt to define
him. His humor and increduble
perceptive powers are still just
as stror.g even- now, while he
makes a film in France called
The Monster, as they were lif-
ty years ago.
The negative reviews King re-
ceived were numerous in 1957,
but ambiguous as well. With the
exception of two or three critics,
it is doubtful whether any of
the reviews were written by
people who actually saw the
Surprisingly enough, use intl-
ligent review was printed in
The Reporter by a current Uni-
versity Professor of American
Studies, Marivn Felheim. Writ-
ing from London, Felhein con-
gratulated Chaplin on producing
a film about a dethroned tDing
that was "an ironically a p t
image." The satire in laing,
as he so admirably points out,
is no less anti-American than
the TV commercial spoofs in the
Tony Randall-Jayne Mansfield
epic Will Sucess Spoil R o c k
Hunter?, a film that vas nak-
ing the rounds about the same
time King was.
Thus we see Charles Chaplin
as a victim of paranoid Amer-
ican hostility, the butt of count-
less numbers of anti-Commuttist
jokes aimed at sinking the great
American comic's ship before it
even left the shore.
Go see King and paj C'arlie
Chaplin the respect he deserves.
The mustache and pants are
gone, but he never will be.
By DAN BIDDLE
Special To The Daily
EAST LANSING - Ten years after
"Surfer Girl" wooed America's teenage
hearts, Mike Love and Al Jardine think
they've found the perfect wave.
The Beach Boys played loud and
long for 7500 fans at Michigan State Uni-
versity's cavernous Jenison Fieldhouse
Saturday night. But the real show start-
ed around suppertime when Love and
Jardine chugged across town in a VW
bus to a pot luck dinner-reception at the
local chapter of the International Medita-
tion Society (IMS).
As some 40 guests munched on lentil
loaf, vegetarian spaghetti and a wagon-
load of other organic dishes, skinny old
Mike Love exhorted a flock of reporters
to "enhance the innerlife, the senses, the
mind" through Transcental Meditation.
Fresh from an hour's meditation him-
self, Love sounded more like a crusader
than the golden-haired lad whose wise-
guy alto voice lead the Beach Boys to
jukebox glory with "California Girl",
"Surfin' USA" and "Barbara Ann".
The only numbers Love did at Satur-
day's dinner sang the praises of Maha-
rishi Mahesh Yogi, India's high priest of
Transcendental Mediation, or TM.
"Maharishi taught me that TM is the
way to enhance both sides of life, the
material and spiritual, by reaching and
developing the deeper, inter recources,"
intoned Love, whose tiny blue eyes smil-
ed out from beneath a wide-brimmed
George Raft style hat.
"The whole TM philosophy says that
man is born not to suffer, but to live
life to its fullest," he continued.
"Which was our bag anyway. The
Beach Boys generally didn't sing songs
about bummers! About the worst things
that ever happened in our songs, may-
be a guy lost his girl-friend at the Three of thec
beach." Carl, and Den
When the laughter subsided, Love ex- brothers, and L
plained the basic formula of TM-twen- dine is not rela
ty minutes of silent, uninterrupted medi- to the same higl
tation every morning and evening to California,
"expand one's senses and ameliorate all That was on
aspects of life." "Little Deuce C
"Look at this." Like magic, the tall into prominence
pop hero produced a leather AWOL bag, duced so many
opened a compartment, and pulled out said he "lost co
a thick gold-bound volume emblazoned The route ht
"Meditation International University." smooth as the
The volume, Love explained, was a Brian Wilson's
brochure and course catalog for the In 1966, Love;
Marareshi's own college of TM instruc- term for refusin
tion in India.
"There's a lot in here about brain tyEtatis"u'
waves," Love added excitedly, flipping
through the pages. "It says TM increases "It's noti
your brain wave rate as it slows down ground.
your metabolism. I'm not into brain I
waves myself, but it's pretty cool, if give up th
you're into brain waves."
The big gold book, Love added, con- yisgs# gisggs
tains 48 charts testifying that TM im-
proves everything from relations with physical. That
co-workers, to athletic ability, to sexual "Good Vibratiot
appetite. the fibre of roc
"It also aids the body in making a of an honest-to-
quick metabolic recovery in stress or ex- Now Mike is
ertion," added Love as he munched on blond hair has ft
a hunk of Dahl, a greyish vegetarian dish publicity photos
made of crushed peas. "And that's very him look all-An
important if you're a rock star". say about the j
"The book contains infinite know- "I'm still glad I
ledge," announced Love with a combined said he's given
verbal and physical wink. "And I'm a moral decision.
great pursuer of knowledge." "Since I've b
"Yeah, all the Beach Boys are," as his entourag
chimed Al Jardine, who appeared wear- Jenison Fieldho
ing a felt hat just like Love's. Both men tally and physi
have sun-bleached hair and beards, and anything to ruin
look for all the world like brothers. "God, in the
surf to TM
her Beach Boys, Brian, road tour and be so tired and tense, we'o
is Wilson, really are be ready to break up. Now we actually
ve is their cousin. Jar- feel better, stronger after a tour.
ed to anyone, but went "It's not really a matter of rejecting
school near El Camino, dope on a moral ground. It's that you
have to taste something better to give
a few years before up the old stuff."
upe" rocketed the group The Beach Boys haven't given up all
They have since pro- the old stuff. They wowed the Jenison
gold records that Love crowd with everything from "Wouldn't
nt when we got to 20." It Be Nice" to "Barbara Ann" and
not always been so worked in several more introspective
four-part harmonies in songs from recent albums.
tngs. Near the end came "Good Vibrations"
erved a one year prison and Carl Wilson, bathed in silver-blue
his pre-induction draft light, fought to keep the delicate vocals
really a matter of rejecting dope on a moral
i's that you have to taste something better to
e old stuff."-Mike Love
# <tint v-ttE#2.' is - c/st~seatr/uiyat / -s -- ..,,in,- - m m-
was the same year as
ns", a song that changed
k music with description
33 years old. His long
rayed and receeded since
in the early 60's make
serican. He had little to
ail experience Saturday:
I. did it, that's all." Love
up drugs but it wasn't a
een meditating," he said
e prepared to leave for
use, "I feel better men-
cally. I wouldn't ingest
old days, we'd finish a
from being lost in Jenison's mile-high
The crowd had no mercy; they clapped
and stomped enough rhythmic thunder
to slaughter the subtleties.
The band roared out with two en-
cores, finishing the night with "Fun,
Fun, Fun". But the most fun of all was
"I Get Around" at the end of the reg-
ular set. As Mike Love and Dennis
Wilson danced side by side a woman in
a green sweater leaped on the stage to
But it only lasted for a few seconds.
Love motioned to the guards who pulled
the woman from the stage while the
Beach Boys sang "You leave your best
girl home every Saturday night."