WE CAN GO TO DENMARK!


budget1
Originally uploaded by donpayasos

This is the budget top page of Charlie Chaplin’s A KING IN NEW YORK, (1956) here called THE KING IN NEW YORK. The part I like is:

“The fact that we have not had a script to work from has been a very considerable handicap and the estimates are naturally subject to the eventual requirements of the script and certain other considerations.”

1) Chaplin had been used to working without a script in his silent days, and perhaps it took him longer than expected to produce one here.

2) The author of this budget sounds peeved about it!

3) I like the mysterious “certain other considerations” …which shall remain nameless.

A KING IN NEW YORK is Chaplin’s penultimate film, and not one of his best. Although set in NYC, it was filmed in Britain at Pinewood Studios as Chaplin had been refused permission to reenter the US. The film is a somewhat embittered attack on HUAC and American life in general, but it shows a steep drop in quality from Chaplin’s previous talkies.

But this bit’s pretty good —

I like the Ed Wood-type gender-confusion film, with the gnomic line about Denmark, the fashionable gibe at widescreen, and all the stupid gunplay. I guess A.K.I.N.Y. has a touch of Frank Tashlin’s scattershot satirical bite…but Tash was doing it better by this time.

2 Responses to “WE CAN GO TO DENMARK!”

  1. David – trawling your blog and discovering the original joys (this could be the most fun I’ve had in ages -it’s like living David Thompson’s book Suspects). I feel compelled to relate an anecdote from my early childhood.

    My neighbourhood friend in East Kildbride Bryce Sampson arrives back from his family summer holiday in Nairn. He tells me that they had a good time but something funny happened when they visited the seafront. They couldn’t get anywhere because there was an enormous crowd gathered. “Why?” I ask. They were crowding around two people. “Who were they?” We pushed through and there was an old man and a woman. “Who were they?” My Mum said it was Charlie Chaplin and his wife.

    Then we shrugged and continued playing Subutteo or whatever we did when we were six years old.

    I’ll try and find my tape of an interview I did with Mike Hodges circa Croupier. We went to the pub afterwards and he told some great stories. Mostly about Dino DiLaurentis.

  2. Oh, I know a few of the Dino stories — some of them he told at the Edinburgh Film Fest, some in the Flash Gordon commentary, and some to my partner at a screenwriting workshop.

    She said how cool it was that Flash, at his funeral, has his cataflaque inscribed in his special movie font, an observation Mike used in his director’s commentary.

    Love the Chaplin story!

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