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March 24, 1928 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1928-03-24

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The Art of a Genia
" . ~ Another Cosmopolitan_ Opening for Ann Arbor
t _ J Saturday, March' 24 Saturday, March 24
E IR E AT L As" i",
r ~w After an Absence=vf Over Two Fears .
t ICY ANY GREAT ARTIST OF T IE SCREEN OR CONCERT vr. Appearing on either side of thi§ announcement, we have clipped inserts from four full pages of unsolicited braise that appeared in 'the March '2 4issue"of xa U 1 TE N
the, Literary Digest-Also quoting Dr. -Vincenzo Nitti, whoa eared this week at Hill Auditorium.

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Bonnie Prince Charlie of the
Custard Pies
A baby with a frankfurter is lolling
on the shoulder of its papa, who cud-
dles it dutifully as he mingles with
the gaping crowd around the entrance
of a circus which has just come to
town. The infant looks apathetic
and overfed, and takes but :a languid
interest in the hotdog grasped in its
dimpled fist. But lo! that 'unregard-
ed sausage 'suddenly assaults the
vision .of a grotesque human outcast
who is Qbvic.usly worrying about his
next meal. A wistful and unforget-
able figure, this "tramp," as the pro-
gram calls him-a zany with huge,
wut-pointing 4feet, legs like parenj-
theses, a skimpy bowler hat on his
dark curls, an absurd smudge. of a
mustache under his nose and a pair
of eloquent Oriental eyes from which
flickers a swift alteration of pathos
and slyness, hope, momentary ,tril-
umph, and eternal defeat. Just now,
as they light upon the fat baby's
frankfurter, those eyes expand with
desire, speculation land !ardent de-
termnintaion,- tempered with infinite
tact. A's th& baby turns its face
toward him, Charlie Chaplin greets
it with a honeyed smile and an in-
gratiating gesture. Yes, gent-le read'
er that pathetic tramp is none other
tihan our ancient friend, hailed by
all the world as the King of Clowns,
adored in farthest China as Cha-Po-
Lin, and now in process of being
welcomed homfe, alike by high-brow
critics and high-brow movie fans, to
his own undisputed kingdom of the
custard pie. Oae gathers from the
current review's of "The Circus," Mr.
Chaplin's new film,' the impression'
that his critical admirers are killing
the fatted calf to celebrate his return
to his own field of pure clowning.
As Mr. Quinn Martin remarks in the
New York World:
To me "The Circus" is one of the
best and most amusing of all Mr.
Chaplin's pictures, largely because of
the fact that it i, cast in that same
old mold out of which so many of his
earlier triumphs rolled. In form and
method it is pleasantly reminiscent
and familiar, and there is much of
soft pie, of soft brushfuljs of soap-
suds, of chases, of animal cages, of
'swift kicks and of trouser-dropping.
The same general type of excruciat-
ingly funny situations, gag on gag,
in which Charlie Chaplin dealt in
the old days, and these gow glossed
with all the fine, sharp shadings the
value of which he knows so well and
in th execution of which he .has.
alway been so genuincly the mas-
te '. -. .
I im gce that for the most part
"The Cl:us" seems truer Chaplin
lbecause of the fact that in it the
star makes no obvious play for seri-
ous plot, and still, in the final scenes,
showing a weary, lorn figure of a
circus tramp marching away over a
hill into the darkness, there rises a
note of lhopelessness and futility
which has ever made itself so en-
chanting a part of Mr. Chaplin's mad


thing's in this direction. I refer to
Charlie Chaplin, an artist very dear
to my heart. His achievement is of
historical importance and will never
be forgotten. Chaplin is poet, di-
rector 'and actor all in one. He does
not adapt novels or plays. He cre-
ates directly in terms of motion pic-
tures. He has enriched the Com-
moedia del Arte with an immortal
figure. Around this figure he has
created 'a modern fairy tale which,
despite its silence, makes us l.augh
and cry. But the figure itself neither
laughs nor cries. Chaplin's artistic
integrity is admirfble. It is impos-
sible to speak of the motion pictur
without beginning and ending with
him. For in the beginning of this
wordless art was Charles Chaplin.
While we read i f "The Circus"
playing to $81,208 ,in its first week.
Mr. Robert E; Sherwood, writing in
the New York Evening Post, under
the Bell Syndicate copyright, con-
gratulates Mr. Chaplin and his pub-
lie on the. comedian's reversion to
type. As Mr. Sherwood :puts it:
In some of his later pictures,
notably "The Gold Rush,". Charli
has .appeared to be a trifle too critic-
conscious-that is to say, he has
listened too much to the depressing
advice of those professional high-
brows who are always urging him
to play "Hamlet."
Charlie Chaplin doesn't have to
play "Hamlet." He doesn't have to
play any part created by any other
genius, from Shakespeare down.
The character that Charlie has cre-
ated for himself-the bewildered
little tramp in the big shoes and the
battered 'derby-is just as important,
just as great, just as true, as all the
melancholy princes who ever discov-
ered that there is something rotten
in Denmark, and, for that matte', in
all human civilization.
"The Circus" above everything
else, is funny-violently, explosiveiy
so. It is not content to inspire smiles
and chuckles of appreciation; it is
able to promote shreks and yells of
approval. It contains more ingenius
humd'rous invention thn .any. of the
other Chaplin pictures-whicli means
that it may be consider'ed 'e fun-
niest ever made.
The infinitely touching pathos is
there, too, of course, but it is inci-
dental. It is never shovel forward:
Charlie never steps aside to hold up
a placard with the words, "Now I'm
going to be appealing."
Nevertheless,. there is nothing that
Charlie does, however hilariously
laughable, that isn't also ineffably
sad. When, at the end of the pic-
ture, he wals off, 'with is penguhi
gait, into the loneliness from whence
he came, you want to run after him
and rescue him and take him hoaie
to dinner. I . don't believe there ha's
ever been any one-in literature, the
drama, or in real life-who has been
able so 'completely to awaken the
tender .sympathy of all mankind.
But here....if I keep this up, I
shall be suggesting in a moment that
Charlie Chaplin should play "Ham-
The fact remains that "The'f Cir-
cus" is a grand, noble' pictureand
that you must see it at the earliest
possible moment. If you feel 'about
it a's I do, you will want to'see it
over and over again.
From the Chaplin Studios comes
the announcement that Charlie will
make three productions this year.
The first is to be a comedy, entitled
"Nowhere." The second .is to be
"Charlie.Chaplin's Conception of Na-
poleon." The third will -be- another.
comedy, as yet untitled.
This 'announcement ranks next to
"The Cirus" itself as the biggest
laugh of 1928.
Charlie Chaplin, he said,-is his big
favorite, as is the case, with the av-
erage European. Strangely enough,
however, Dr. Nitti pointed ,out'Chap-







No outline of story or simple
statement of narrative, of course,
serves to iml)art or even suggest any
very great deal of the warmth .and
beauty in which a Chaplin comedy
is plaed ,out, but I may asrure you
thit in ihe picture at the Strand
there is t4 be round quite 'as much of
the dep and' piercing drama which
ia un bedded in every lonely, humble
ilo us there is- of the fiip and wag-
gish buffoonery of a man who must
he uinny. I commend ' lThe Circus'
. tt makes any difference) to
ur immediate attention.
Of Chaplin's world-rank as an art-
1st. we aire given this spontaneous
tritiut by Max Reinhart, the great
Serman producer. delivered in the
eurIse of a speech to the National
ioard of Review'




represent man in form and ' :".

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