Friday, July 20, 2007

CHAPLIN & KEATON: Limelight Scene on the Martha Raye Show

This is the video that may have given rise to all the rumors about Chaplin leaving Buster's best moments on the cutting room floor, Buster Keaton and Martha Raye (who had starred in Chaplin's earlier film MONSEIUR VERDOUX) performing the scene from LIMELIGHT on The Martha Raye Show.

There is plenty of additional material here not found in the film. These may be ideas that had been tossed in rehearsal, they may be ideas Buster had since shooting but a close friend of the Chaplin family has stated in a recent book that he was on set the entire shoot and none of Buster's material was cut.


Anonymous said...

I like chaplin: he's a comic genious.

but I like this version better.
the part s from buster keaton left out in the limelight version are very good en h's much better ten in the chaplin version.

a shame that chaplin has left them out.

It is clear the spotlight had to be on him and keaton was just a sidekick.

but very nice scene and the lad does agoed job to.

yes as good as chaplin.

Anonymous said...

Interesting version of the same basic scene. In the original film version, Chaplin controls the pace and energy. In this TV version, Keaton is the driving force, hence it playing up his incredible ability to take the most natural falls. Also, the Martha Raye version is presented like a live performance, wherein the Chaplin version is created in the editing process(with close-ups, cut-aways, reaction shots and the typical Chaplin sloppiness in regard to basic film-making technique - watch Chaplin tumble off the stage and when he comes up from the pit in the drum, he no longer has the same hair/wig as in the prevoius shot).

It has been written and documented that Chaplin shot this sequence over a 3 week period from December 1951 to January 1952. The basic outline for the scene was written by Chaplin, but the actual comedy was improvised on the set. The rumor of Chaplin cutting Buster out was started by Raymond Rohauer, Buster's business partner, and Buster never believed in it, and always enjoyed the time he spent working with Chaplin.


Anonymous said...

heey your wright about the wig.

what you see when he 's in the bass drum is his own hair.

he is wearing a wig the whole act but not at the end then it is is own hair.

as the tramp he also always was wearing a wig; chaplin had no black curly hair.

but could it be possile he lost the wig when falling of the stage??

Anonymous said...

It could be possible he lost the wig in the fall off the stage, but then again it's a movie and he should have cut and redone the scene with the matching wig/hair. His violin playing is very badly dubbed as he is carried off stage.

Also, Chaplin insisted that there be no audience laughter during the routine...odd choice since the scene is played as a performance in a theater. Maybe Chaplin didn't want to influence the audience watching the film?


Anonymous said...

yes very true:

you can do scenes again for a movie and hove to watch that the continuity of the shots:

same thing for tv series. the specially have an employee for that.

you see lots of mistakes in movies:
fot instans a guy is wearing a ring and in 50 seconds later it is on his other hand or wears two rings.

I doubt the violin playing is dubbed: he could play himself!!

I know fo sure he could play the cello;

and most of the music in his movies is written by himself.

and leaving the laughter out is smart.

because nothing is more anoyng the a a laughing tape.

maybe he has the laughter at the end to make clear there was an audience and mark the end of the scene very clearly.