A British-American bluestocking living in the UK writes about politics, pop culture, and emerging new paradigms as they unfold on both sides of the Atlantic. (New content.)

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Time Traveller in the Charlie Chaplin Film?

The current TV buzz in the UK is about the popular Edwardian era mini-series airing now called: "Downton Abbey" which stars Dame Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville among a cast of other superb actors. There have been "tut-tuts" about some of the chronological mistakes that were made (and not caught) during filming. For example, a carriage passes by a house that has an antenna on the roof or the horses have rubber stirrups rather than silver (which would have been the norm for the day.) The Brits are sticklers for detail, especially in their period dramas. What will they think of the following story? 


Filmmaker George Clarke of Belfast, Northern Ireland, points out a huge anachronism in Charlie Chaplin's film, "The Circus".  It is a very clear view of a woman (?) who crosses the screen seemingly talking on a cell phone. The film was made in 1928. Cell phones were not even thought of until around 1947. After watching this, I thought that perhaps it was a "walkie talkie", an extra walking across the film set barking orders to someone. However, after researching it myself, walkie-talkies were not around until the 1940's either.  It's a darn tootin' bit of film footage, that's for sure.

Did someone go "back to the future" and get stuck on a film set? Perhaps it was a huge Charlie Chaplin fan from 2020 who wanted to meet him?  Whether real or faked, it gives room for pause. When I go back in time, I want to use my cell phone in "Gone with The Wind" while I dance at Tara and try to get Clark Gable's attention. I'll be the short one wearing the antebellum dress with pantaloons...and cowboy boots. Look for me.