Charlie Chaplin demanded 'City Lights' co-star to do 342 retakes of one scene
Charlie Chaplin made 'City Lights' co-star Virginia Cherrill perform one scene for 342 times in the 1931 film, it has been revealed through the behind-the-scenes footage released by film archive the Criterion Collection.
Cherrill, who was not a professional actress, but a socialite that Chaplin had spotted in the crowd at a boxing match, had to say only two words – “Flower sir?” –in the silent film, CNN reported.
According to Hooman Mehran, the author of ‘Chaplin’s Limelight and the Music Hall Tradition’, Chaplin was a perfectionist, the king of the re-take.
Mehran asserted that Cherrill’s performance was just a three-minute sequence in the finished film but he took her to task, even though it was a silent film.
In the black and white movie Cherrill played a blind flower girl who mistakes Chaplin, the tramp, for a wealthy man.
Mehran added that the Oscar-winning comedian was a one man show, as not only was he the director, he was the writer, he was the producer and when music came in, he was a composer too.