Sunday, May 16, 2004

One great comedy moment that was never recorded

Art director Wilfred Buckland created some of the most magnificent sets in film history for Douglas Fairbanks'version of Robin Hood (1922). One set was the enormous castle of King Richard the Lion-hearted which was so large, it could be seen on the Hollywood skyline. It's huge drawbridge could accommodate the flower of English knighthood marching out to war. Kevin Brownlow tells what happened after filming was completed:

"Charlie Chaplin asked Douglas Fairbanks if he could borrow the castle for a sequence in his next picture.
'I don't get it, Charlie,' said Fairbanks. 'What do you want to do?'
Chaplin demonstrated: the huge drawbridge was lowered and Chaplin appeared from inside, clutching a kitten. He put out the cat, picked up a bottle of milk, a newspaper, and some letters, and sauntered back inside again. The drawbridge slowly closed."

The Parade's Gone By...p. 257

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