Syd Soundbyte:

Hollywood has not the same appeal for me now.  The life seems so artificial, so many people that I knew have passed on, the orange groves have been replaced with oil stations & hot dog stands.  Studios that were sun-diffused & where we made pictures in God’s fresh air, have now been turned into stifling factories where even the artists must punch clocks.  Gone are the practical jokes the stars played on each other, the cafes where we all used to meet—where Charlie & Arbuckle would conduct the orchestra, & where we used to raise Hades like a bunch of school boys.” 

—letter to R. J. Minney, 1939

 

 

Filmography

 

1.         Fatty’s Wine Party (1914)...Waiter

2.         His Prehistoric Past (1914) ...Cop

3.         Among the Mourners (1914)...A Mourner*

4.         A Steel Rolling Mill (1915)

5.        Gussle, the Golfer (1915)...Gussle

6.        Hushing the Scandal (1915)... AKA Friendly Enemies

7.        Giddy, Gay, and Ticklish (1915)...Barber ...AKA A Gay Lothario

8.        Caught in a Park (1915)

9.        That Springtime Feeling (1915)

10.      Gussle's Day of Rest (1915)...Gussle

11.      Gussle Rivals Jonah (1915)...Gussle

12.      Gussle’s Wayward Path(1915)...Gussle

13.      Gussle Tied to Trouble (1915)...Gussle

14.      Gussle’s Backward Way (1915)...Gussle

15.       Lover’s Lost Control (1915)...Gussle...AKA Looking Them Over

16.       No One to Guide Him (1915)  Gussle

17.      A Submarine Pirate (1915)...Waiter

18.      A Dog’s Life (1918)...Lunchwagon owner

19.      The Bond (1918)...The Kaiser...AKA Charlie Chaplin in a Liberty Loan Appeal

20.      Shoulder Arms (1918)...Sergeant/The Kaiser

21.      King, Queen, Joker (1921)...The King/The Joker

22.      Pay Day (1922)...Charlie’s Friend/Lunch Cart Owner

23.      The Pilgrim (1923)...Eloper/Train Conductor/Little Boy’s Father

24       The Rendezvous (1923)...Winkie

25.      Her Temporary Husband (1923)...Judd

26.      The Galloping Fish (1924)...Freddy Wetherill...AKA Galloping Fish (USA re-release title)

27.      The Perfect Flapper (1924)...Dick Trayle

27.      Hello, ‘Frisco (1924)

28.      Charley’s Aunt (1925)...Sir Fancourt Babberley (Babbs)

29.      The Man on the Box (1925)...Bob Warburton

30.      Oh, What a Nurse! (1926)...Jerry Clark

31.      The Better ‘Ole (1926)...Pvt. William ‘Old Bill’ Busby

32.      The Fortune Hunter (1927)...Nat Duncan

33.      The Missing Link (1927)...Arthur Wells

34.      A Little Bit of Fluff (1928)...Bertram Tully...AKA Skirts (USA)

 

*Thanks to Richard Roberts, Brent Walker and Steve Massa for this new information.

 

Contemporary Reviews:

Charley’s Aunt, Uproariously Funny Film by Elford Eddy

“There is no need of comparing Syd Chaplin with his brother of the funny feet, the oversized clothing, the half-grown cane and the misplaced eyebrow.  Each is funny in his way, but there is not the slightest similarity in their stuff or in their ways of doing their stuff.  If Syd were like Charlie, or tried to be like Charlie, he wouldn’t be funny.

     It seemed to me, as I watched the development of this picture, that Chaplin was accomplishing, and with consummate skill, a difficult thing.  He played a part which was like a hundred or a thousand different parts up to a certain point, and then, in a twinkling, it became uproariously funny.  The change was as complete as the metamorphosis which occurred in young Sir Fancourt Babberly when he put on the costume of a mid-Victorian spinster in preparation for a college play and suddenly became a focal point in a bifurcated love plot.  From that instant forward, there was a laugh in every step he took, every gesture he made, every glance of his eye.” (1925)

 

 

 

 

Newsflash!!  Chaplin archives' correspondence reveals that Syd believed he would be asked to audition for a role in George Stevens' Gunga Din (1939).  Had this happened, what role do you think him best suited?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the News: 

For years, E. C. Hunter, “Cowboy Evangelist” of Wyoming, has been telling other people how to get to heaven.  Yesterday he started, physically, towards the realms he has been preaching about.  In a Syd Chaplin aeroplane, he went to the 10,000 foot altitude and showered Los Angeles, from Hollywood to the downtown district, with tracts and excerpts from one of his sermons.

 “I have a very exalted feeling, “said Mr. Hunter, when he finished his distribution and landed safely in the Chaplin aero field.

***

"Mrs. S. J. Jemison of Marshall, Texas who is visiting W. K. Henderson in this city, celebrated her ninetieth birthday recently.  When asked by her son what she desired most as a gift, she replied, 'Give me a real thrill.'  This unusual request was taken in all seriousness by her grandson, who, after much consideration decided that an airplane flight would furnish her with all the thrills she desired.  Arrangements were made with the Syd Chaplin Aircraft corporation to have a plane ready to take her up.  She was escorted to the Chaplin airdrome by a crowd of relatives, including her son and daughter and her two great-grandsons.

Upon alighting, she was asked what she thought of it.  Her answer was 'As near of a thrill as I ever had, but not quite fast enough.'  She is now contemplating hiring an airplane to fly her up to Yellowstone National Park."