The constant popularity and interest in some of our greatest cultural icons remains an ever-growing phenomenon which has delighted audiences for generations. What originated as unadulterated nostalgia for people of a certain age has now become a genre in its own right. Such a fascination has since carried forward into these figures and the manner in which they died. Indeed it could be argued that someone’s death could actually be indicative of the way they died and the fascination with such a figure will continue for generations after they pass on. Embracing this theme, writer Simon Philips set out to explore this phenomenon with death in a black comedy fit for the modern age.
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Stealing Chaplin tells the real life story of brothers Cal and Terry and their theft of Charlie Chaplin’s coffin from its rural Swiss resting place in 1978. This sparked an international campaign to restore Chaplin’s body to its rightful resting place and dominated all news outlets throughout America. Eventually through a series of extraordinary events, sanity was restored and so was Chaplin to his requested grave in the Swiss countryside. This is a remarkable story which very few have ever heard but ifs sentiment and purpose throws up many issues surrounding popular culture which the world is still facing today. In the days before social media, expected interaction with a star was virtually non-existent. Therefore this was seen as the ultimate intrusion on the death of an international icon and deserving of severe arrest. Yet Stealing Chaplin plays on the comedy elements of this devilish act and the jeopardy which takes place as a result.
Thankfully this is just the first incarnation in the film trilogy and if you listen carefully to the end of the podcast you might even be able to establish the next deceased figure to go missing. In the meantime, it was a great pleasure to interview the cast of Stealing Chaplin and wish it the best of success.
Available on Amazon Prime here; https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/video/detail/amzn1.dv.gti.e848acc6-8b14-401c-958e-581f0dbbdeca?autoplay=1&ref_=atv_cf_strg_wb