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Classic Clowns Span The Globe

Leonard Maltin By Leonard Maltin | Leonard Maltin November 9, 2010 at 5:30AM

Photo courtesy of Bill Brioux
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Photo courtesy of Bill Brioux

As I mentioned in my recent post about vacationing in Yosemite and traveling through Arizona, one of my pastimes is finding movie-related sites and signs to photograph. It seems I’m not alone; I recently heard from my film buff pal Bill Brioux, a prolific writer about all things televised (tvfeedsmyfamily.blogspot.com) who’s based in Toronto. He’s been to a number of far-flung locations lately and writes, “Just back from Buenos Aires and a visit to the set of Wipeout Canada. Seems our mud is not good enough for Canadian contestants to fall face first into. They shoot several int'l versions of the stunt show in Argentina. Have you two been to BA? You'd flip for the market held each Sunday. ENORMOUS, spread over 20 blocks…tons of—

—antiques.”

Photo courtesy of Bill Brioux

He also ran across an exotic little camera shop with a statue of Charlie Chaplin out front, and sent along two photos of the figure as well as a lovely Laurel and Hardy piece, proving once again that these beloved clowns made a lasting impression on audiences all over the world. Now if we can just get Stan and Ollie reintroduced to American audiences we’ll be in good shape. A long-promised DVD set of their films has yet to materialize; thank goodness they still have a home at Turner Classic Movies.

As for Chaplin, his entire output for Mack Sennett has finally been assembled and restored on an amazing four-disc set called Chaplin at Keystone (Flicker Alley) which I’ll be reviewing shortly. What’s more, the Criterion Collection is about to release its new high-definition disc of Modern Times. I’d say the Little Tramp is doing quite well just now.

Photo of Laurel and Hardy statuette. Courtesy of Bill Brioux

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