“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, late November into December, 1922, Hollywood, California

A Woman of Paris, which is filming here, is the first serious dramatic feature from the world’s best known and best loved clown, Charlie Chaplin, 33.

Having just fulfilled his contract with First National Pictures, Chaplin has set up a new film studio, United Artists, with his friends, actors Douglas Fairbanks, 39, and Mary Pickford, 30, and director D. W. Griffith, 47.

Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and D. W. Griffith

Charlie has written this film—although he hasn’t actually produced a screenplay; he has it all worked out in his head. He cast the major parts—he really wants to give his frequent co-star, Edna Purviance, 27, a chance to shine. And he is directing. All of which he has done before.

Charlie Chaplin directing Edna Purviance

But he isn’t in it. That’s a first.

He wrote himself a little three-second cameo playing an inept porter, but he’s not listed in the credits.

Charlie has based the story on tales his recent lover, Mrs. Peggy Hopkins Joyce, 29, former actress, former Ziegfield girl, former wife of three or four millionaires, has told him about her exciting romantic life.

Charlie Chaplin and Peggy Hopkins Joyce in Catalina

A Woman of Paris is an opportunity for Chaplin to move away from his comedic “Tramp” persona and experiment with the medium of film. His incredibly talented cameraman, Rollie Totheroe, just turning 32, even figured out a way to create the image of an approaching train at night using just lighting. No train.

Charlie is really hoping his fans will like this one as much as they have his other 70 films.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.