Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Charlie Chaplin's THE KID (1921): [Pre] Teen & Two Men Love Triangle

Joyce Milton shared in her book,Tramp: The Life of Charlie Chaplin, that Chaplin acknowledged, “I had a violent crush on a girl only ten or twelve. I have always been in love with young girls [...]”

In addition, Milton clarified that Chaplin developed a crush on 12-year-old Maybelle Fournier, he met Mildred Harris when she was 14-years-old, and impregnated her when she was 16. Furthermore, he was smitten with 15-year-old Hetty Kelly, and impregnated Lillita Grey when she was 15-years-old - allegedly before they were married.

And author and ephebophile J.D. Salinger was livid after Chaplin married Oona O'Neill. Salinger and O'Neill began an affair when O'Neill was 16-years-old, but after Salinger joined the Army, 18-year-old O'Neill moved to Los Angeles and married 55-year-old Chaplin.

Interestingly, Barbara Wyllie wrote in "'My Age of Innocence Girl' - Humbert, Chaplin, Lita and Lo" about the influence that Chaplin had on Vladimir Nabokov. For example, there's a reference to Chaplin's toothbrush mustache in Lolita and Chaplin appeared on a movie poster in Nabokov's short story “Easter Rain” (1925).

Wyllie wrote: "[...] it could be argued that the particular nature of Chaplin’s incarnation in Lolita is linked to Nabokov’s 1928 poem, “Lilith,” via The Kid, Chaplin’s silent feature of 1921."

In The Kid, a nymphet in wings, played by Chaplin's 12-year-old future wife Lillita 'Lita Grey' McMurray, who wrote a tell-all book about their marriage, was told by Sin (i.e., The Devil) to "vamp" (i.e., seduce) the Tramp. 

The pre-teen and the Tramp (32-year-old Chaplin) kissed before her Sweetheart (34-year-old Charles Reisner) arrived. Then the nymphet and her Sweetheart kissed. Surprisingly, with her Sweetheart's approval, the nymphet and the Tramp embraced and kissed again. 

However, after the pre-teen in wings refused to cease embracing the Tramp, her Sweetheart became jealous and pummeled the Tramp.

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