Charlie Chaplin’s Welsh Rarebit (in 10 easy photos)

Chaplin

The following is my entry in The Classic Movie Cookalong (and Book Giveaway!), a contest being hosted by Fritzi at the blog Movies Silently through Apr. 27, 2017. Click on the image above to learn more about the contest and how to enter!

*

My main memory of Welsh rarebit is an episode of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” where Gomer fell asleep after eating the dish and turned into a sleepwalking maniac. I’d also heard of the silent film Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend. So for decades, I had the idea that Welsh rarebit was some exotic food. Imagine my surprise when Movies Silently‘s Fritzi announced this contest, and the main ingredients of the dish turned out to be shredded cheese and beer!

Nevertheless, the contest sounded fun and easy. All you have to do for it is use one of the two recipes (Charlie Chaplin’s or Maurice Chevalier’s) provided by Fritzi, and take photos or a video of yourself preparing and eating the dish. Fritzi is offering some very nice prizes to the contest’s winner. But frankly, the prizes don’t interest me — I entered the contest just to ham it up and to try a food I’d never eaten before. So I hereby declare that I do not want to be considered for the prizes — I just want to post my silly photos of me cooking this crazy dish!

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

p

 

Advertisements

THE APRIL SHOWERS BLOGATHON – Final Recap

Every shower must come to an end. It is with great regret, then, that we present

DaBigFinish

If you missed Day 1 and/or Day 2, click on those days (highlighted in this sentence) to review those days’ blogathon entries. For today’s finale, click on each respective blog’s name to read his or her ‘thon contribution.

seine-flood-1910-image-6

The silent-film blog Movies Silently takes a fascinating look at an “actuality film” of The Seine Flood, a natural catastrophe that occurred in 1910 Paris.

61

Musings of a Classic Film Addict tells how rain helps a nun (Claudette Colbert) uncover a secret from the past of a criminal (Ann Blyth) in Thunder on the Hill.

rainmaker9

Before any rain comes to end a Kansas drought, lightning definitely strikes Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn in The Rainmaker, as recounted by Moon in Gemini.

game

More rain-soaked sparks fly between a young boy and Two English Girls, as Francois Truffaut’s film is blogged about by Cinematic Scribblings.

singinintherain3

And last but hardly least, Whimsically Classic critiques what is surely the sunniest rainy movie ever: Gene Kelly’s glorious-feeling musical Singin’ in the Rain.

This blog thanks all of the blogathon’s enthusiastic entrants and interested readers. We hope that we’ve helped to keep your head in the clouds for the past three days!

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925) -A movie about disfigured people who don’t know their place

1

Have you ever gone to see a movie that has been raved up for years and then doubted your better judgment when you weren’t crazy about the movie? That’s what happened to me when I viewed the much-revered silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera for the first time.

(Brief synopsis: Erik [Lon Chaney] has been hiding out in the bowels of the Paris Opera House for years because he is ashamed of his disfigured face. However, Erik has designs on an up-and-coming opera singer named Christine [Mary Philbin], and he will do anything to both further Christine’s opera career [rival singers be damned] and win Christine’s love despite his physical appearance.)

Fortunately, I have Fritzi, who runs the blogs Movies Silently, as my blogging “neighbor.” I quickly consulted her entry on Phantom (click here if you’d like to read it for yourself), and much to my relief, she pretty much agreed with me: The movie is good but not a masterpiece, Chaney does an amazing job with both his makeup and his acting, and Philbin is fluttery and just this side of over-the-top.

However, my major hangup with the movie is in one of its major plot points, which I would imagine is a carryover from the original novel. (MAJOR SPOILERS from this point on!)

The movie’s money shot is when Christine surreptitiously removes Erik’s mask (despite his previous command not to do so) and gets a full view of Erik’s face. This is the shot on which the rest of the movie hinges, and when the movie was first released, Chaney was careful not to take any publicity photos that would show him in full Phantom make-up so as to build the audience’s shock at the unveiling. Mission accomplished. It’s still a pretty powerful moment.

th

Surprise!

What really bothers me is that the moment is taken at face value. In other words, Christine uncovers Erik’s face, and this drama queen’s first reaction is basically, “Whew, he ugly! Gotta avoid him like the plague!”, as if she was a high-school cheerleader who just got asked to the prom by the class nerd.

Since I am of the era of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast — a movie wherein an initially monstrous figure is shown to be human like the rest of us — Christine’s attitude really puts me off. It’s later revealed that Erik, while a musical genius, is also an escaped prisoner from Devil’s Island. The movie showed Christine as having been fascinated by Erik at first. Wouldn’t it have been more interesting to have Christine smitten with this man and his offbeat behavior and looks, only to find out later how dangerous he is? Instead, the story takes the easy route and instantly equates physical ugliness with supreme villainy.

I suppose movie buffs will chastize me for applying contemporary sexual politics to a 1925 movie. But it makes me think that when modern-day moviegoers scoff at silent film in general, it might not be only the antiquated technology they’re pooh-poohing. Maybe it has something to do with the way those movies look down their noses at the more underprivileged among us.

 

 

 

From “Movies Silently”: The Silent Movie Star Sandwich Contest

2504248x2yZmDQ7

Just when you think you’ve read it all, along comes “The Silent Movie Star Sandwich Contest.”

It’s being hosted by my blogger-friend Fritzi at her blog Movies Silently, and if you could resist plugging such a unique contest, you’re a stronger man than I am. Please follow the link below for all the details:

http://moviessilently.com/2015/11/24/the-silent-movie-star-sandwich-contest-is-on/