Syd Chaplin

A Biography

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About the Book

This is the first study of the life and art of Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s brother, a person notable not only for his importance in establishing his brother’s career, but in several other early Hollywood enterprises, including the founding of United Artists and the Syd Chaplin Aircraft Corporation, America’s first domestic airline. Sydney also had a successful film career, beginning in 1914 with Keystone and culminating with a string of popular films for Warner Bros. in the 1920s. Sydney’s film career ended in 1929 because of an assault charge by an actress. This incident proved to be only the last in a string of scandals, each causing him to move to another place, another studio, or another business venture.

About the Author(s)

Lisa K. Stein is an assistant professor of English at Ohio University Zanesville, in Zanesville, Ohio. A Chaplin scholar for the past ten years, she edited the Charlie Chaplin e-newsletter for four years, the only newsletter sanctioned by the Chaplin family organization.

Bibliographic Details

Lisa K. Stein
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 279
Bibliographic Info: 60 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6035-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6226-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Abbreviations viii

Preface 1

Introduction 3

 1. Kennington Kid 9

 2. Downstage to Marquee 27

 3. A Keystone Cop Aesthetic 44

 4. Surviving Hollywood, 1916–1921 68

 5. Rebuilding a Film Career, 1922–1925 103

 6. Stardom and a Tenuous Homecoming 126

 7. “An Incident at Elstree” 166

 8. Travels with Charlie 178

 9. Double Exposure: 1932–1938 188

10. Charlie, Gypsy and a Caravan 206

Appendix A: Filmography 227

Appendix B: A Selection of Sydney Chaplin Letters 235

Chapter Notes 243

Bibliography 261

Index 265

Book Reviews & Awards

“excellent research”—Senses of Cinema.