Daily Archives: March 17, 2011

The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. A Man Escaped (Bresson)
2. Le Bonheur (Varda)
3. Leprechaun 2 (Flender)
4. The Matrix (Wachowskis)
5. Howl (Epstein/Friedman)
6. Cloak and Dagger (Lang)
7. Dance, Girl, Dance (Arzner)
8. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman)
9. Bringing Up Baby (Hawks)
10. The Long Goodbye (Altman)

The Secret History of Chicago Movies: Chaplin at Essanay Podcast!

Last fall I blogged about the fascinating but little known story of the film Charlie Chaplin made in Chicago. Yesterday I returned to the former Essanay studio complex (now St. Augustine College) in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood to record a podcast on this same subject with Chicago historian and author Adam Selzer and his trusty sidekick Hector Reyes.

We started off outside the luxurious high-rise building that housed the apartment of G.M. “Broncho Billy” Anderson (where Chaplin bunked for three weeks from late December of 1914 through mid-January of 1915), then retraced Chaplin’s footsteps to the site of Essanay where he went to work every day several blocks away. Incredibly, upon arriving at St. Augustine College, we were not only granted access to the buildings’ interiors but also given a tour of the former studio stages where filming took place and the fireproof vaults in the basement where the original negatives of Essanay’s films were kept. The interiors of both locations have barely been renovated and look almost identical to how they would have appeared when Chaplin worked there.

You can look at pictures from our tour and read Adam’s thoughts at his excellent Chicago Unbelievable blog (formerly the Weird Chicago blog) here: www.chicagounbelievable.com

You can download the full 28 minute podcast here: Chaplin Podcast

You can listen to a two-minute audio file of me discussing the significance of Chaplin’s His New Job here: MGS on His New Job

Inside the Essanay vault:
Photograph by Adam Selzer


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