Expert Presents Charlie Chaplin’s War Movie (Thurs., 9/29/22)


Everybody knows who Charlie Chaplin was, but not many Pittsburghers know that we have a renowned Chaplin expert living in our midst.  Dan Kamin—an accomplished comic actor and mime himself—has both studied and taught the art of the great silent film star. Kamin coached Robert Downey Jr. for his title role in the 1992 movie Chaplin. He helped Johnny Depp learn Chaplinesque tricks for Benny and Joon. Kamin also has written books about Chaplin. And for one night only, he’ll present a live multimedia show at the Harris Theater, highlighted by a rare screening of an early Chaplin feature: the 1918 release Shoulder Arms. Chaplin at the time was already famous worldwide. As a young Englishman working in the United States, he’d been criticized for not returning to fight with British armed forces in World War I. But Chaplin arguably did more for the effort by publicizing U.S. war bond drives, and with Shoulder Arms he took a bold gamble—making a comedy about the war while it was still raging. Audiences in 1918 (including war veterans) reportedly loved the film. See a newly restored version as part of the Dan Kamin show titled Charlie Chaplin’s Red Letter Days. 7:30 p.m. Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. (M.V.)

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Mike Vargo

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