Chaplin + Pavlova linked by Castle Sans Souci

With silent film locations expert John Bengtson

In his latest post to the Silent Locations blog, silent film locations expert and author John Bengtson looks at the location linkage between The Dumb Girl of Portici, which just screened at SFSFF 2017, and Charlie Chaplin's Tillie's Punctured Romance. Portions of both were shot at the Castle Sans Souci (above).

Bengtson writes: "One highlight of the recently concluded San Francisco Silent Film Festival was the Library of Congress-restored presentation of pioneering director Lois Weber’s powerful historic epic The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916), starring world-acclaimed ballet dancer Anna Pavlova in her only film role. Anna portrays a speechless fisher-girl seduced and abandoned by a Spanish nobleman in a tale set during the 17th-century peasant uprising against Hapsburg’s occupation of Naples. Much of the lavish production was filmed on giant sets built at the once-rural Universal Studios backlot, where the Monte Carlo casino set from Foolish Wives (1922) and the cathedral set from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) would later stand. But other scenes staged at the nobleman’s palace had a familiar look. It turns out Charlie Chaplin and Marie Dressler had filmed there two years earlier in Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914), Hollywood’s first feature-length comedy..."

See frame grabs, aerial shots, and side-by-side comparisons, plus read more here