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Charlie Chaplin's Los Angeles: a black and white odyssey

8 December 2013 9:50 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In search of flickering reminders of Chaplin's La, Kira Cochrane follows in the footsteps of The Little Tramp, on the centenary of his arrival in Hollywood

Charlie Chaplin slept here: La hotels

The footprints and signature on the doorstep have faded, but there's no confusion about who built these studios: Charlie Chaplin, dressed as the Little Tramp, is painted on the door. Time-lapse footage of the construction of this mock Tudor village – now owned by the Jim Henson Company and identified by a 12ft statue of Kermit above the entrance – appears in How To Make Movies, a film directed by Chaplin in 1918. It shows the small hamlet emerging among the lemon groves that once undulated here, a city rising from the dust.

I wonder how much of Hollywood would exist if Chaplin had never arrived. If the manager of his touring vaudeville troupe had never received that abrupt, misspelled »

- Kira Cochrane

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