2 years ago #1
jayden
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So this is my all time favourite picture of Charles Chaplin. It shows him with Helen Keller, and shes touching his face to recognize what he looks like.

This picture stirs up a lot of emotion in me. Its very sad, aborable, inspirational, and every other emotion in the spectrum. Does anyone know if there is a story behind it or anything? I feel like its an in-depth picture; one with something more going on than what it shows.

(By the way, if the picture didnt show up, im sorry. Im new to this. Lol)

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2 years ago #2
JeTamme Derouet
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Oh yes, that is a splendid pic Jayden! You can see all the raw emotion in it.

Here's a little history,...Chaplin had worked with several deaf people throughout his career in an effort to improve his own pantomime communication skills.

The most well known was Granville Redmond. Chaplin met Granville because he was interested in collecting his arts. They became good friends and Granville taught Charlie sign language and fingerspelling. Granville also played some parts in Charlie’s film “The Dog’s Life”. And he went on to play some minor roles in seven films of Chaplin between 1918 and 1929.

So when Helen Keller came through Hollywood on a speaking tour, she came to the studio to meet Charlie Chaplin, the great supporter of the deaf. This at a time when most people in America were trying to abolish sign language all together.

By all accounts they got on very well. The pic you have is of her holding her hand to his mouth to feel what he is saying as he speaks to her. The one below is her showing him how she learned to speak letters in someones hand.
I read somewhere, where they spent most of the day off alone together and they smiled and laughed a lot like they had their own private world, just walking the studio lot and talking privately together. I wonder what they talked about.

Charlie Chaplin historian, paid expert and top contributor,
JeTamme Derouet

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2 years ago #3
jayden
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I love the idea of these two together... they were both very child- like, and i imagine they enjoyed their time together because they both had someone to relate their inner feelings with, like two children i think its so cute!!

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2 years ago #4
Jacques E. Bouchard
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Hello JeTamme and thank you for providing a little background for this picture. Would you know if he met with Helen Keller before 1931, when Chaplin made "City Lights"? I wonder whether she served as inspiration for the character of the blind Flower Girl. That is who I thought of instantly when I first saw the picture.

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2 years ago #5
JeTamme Derouet
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Thank you Jacque,

I know that he worked with many deaf people throughout his early film career, and even put some of them in his movies. the most famous being a man names Granville Redmond who Chaplin had great love and respect for.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granville_Redmond
[img size=400][/img]
In fact, Chaplin's work in the deaf community seemed to gain him much love and respect from all of the deaf community in return.

this may be why Keller chose to seek him out. It's hard to know what they talked about that day or how well they actually knew each other. Some witnesses said that they sat for hours off alone where they seemed to be able to understand each other quite well with their own secret language, and were seen giggling and laughing a lot like children. One witness said Chaplin looked like a child enthralled with his mother.

I hope this finds you well. I don't think we have met.I would like to know more about you and how you became a Chaplin fan. :)

Charlie Chaplin historian, paid expert and top contributor,
JeTamme Derouet

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2 years ago #6
Jacques E. Bouchard
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Hello JeTamme, I am an independent filmmaker and became interested in Chaplin for his creative process. But of course, I was a fan long before and his films delighted me even as a child.

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2 years ago #7
JeTamme Derouet
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Aaah I see Well you should join our group. There are a lot of knowledgeable and generous Chaplin scholars and fans on this site, and there s always lots of sweet little nuggets of Chaplin facts to be found. Not to mention the friendships you can make with people like yourself, who are uniquely and happily infected with this Chaplinitis. besides, it may be that you find that you know a lot mmore than you think you do about Chaplin, and you could be a great addition.


Charlie Chaplin historian, paid expert an top contributor,
jeTamme Derouet

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