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Countess from Hong Kong, A

‘Flowers are smiling bright/Smiling for our delight…’ An ailing Charles ‘Charlie’ Chaplin takes an abysmal lurch into colour, directing Marlon Brando as he romances displaced Russian aristo Sophia Loren on a Pacific cruise. Patrick Cargill, Margaret Rutherford, Carol Cleveland and Marianne Stone help spark a bit of interest for the seasoned Brit cameo spotter.



  1. George White

    May 5, 2023 at 9:55 pm

    Despite Chaplin, Brando and Loren, feels likea typical 60s Britcom, almost sub-Carry On Cruising (there’s also an unconvincing setbound Hawaii). Chaplin’s cameo feels like (an unusually absent) Stringer Davis was unavailable.

  2. Sidney Balmoral James

    May 6, 2023 at 8:25 am

    Brando was famously horrified by how Chaplin bullied his son Sydney on set. It does have an old hat feel to it for 1967 – the same year that Bonnie and Clyde came out!

  3. Richardpd

    May 6, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    This is yet another film with an eccentric cast list, with the likes of Patrick Cargill, Michael Medwin, Margaret Rutherford & Dilys Laye at the Creamy end of the spectrum to contrast with Tippi Hendren.

    I never knew the lyrics to This Is My Song were written by Charlie Chaplin especially for this film.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    May 7, 2023 at 4:20 pm

    Chaplin’s career really should have ended with his last classic film, The Great Dictators, and this film was directed by a man most people would associate with silent comedy, where he excelled, or his send up of fascism in The Great Dictators. However, worth a look due to that actress who never appeared more than half way up the cast list, Marianne Stone.

  5. Richardpd

    May 8, 2023 at 11:15 am

    Apparently Chaplin started developing this during the 1930s, which explains it dated feel.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    May 8, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Chaplin’s glory days were in the 1920s and 1930s and he seemed to struggle after The Great Dictators as he was typecast as either a master of silent comedy or someone who could mock Hitler. Similarly another huge 1930s star, Shirley Temple, was typecast as this cute kid that everyone loved, but as soon as she reached adolesence, she found her acting career dried up and she struggled to find work.

  7. Richardpd

    May 8, 2023 at 10:08 pm

    It’s common with child stars to lose their star power once they grow up, Shirley Temple also married someone who was a gold digger & managed to spoil her reputation.

    • Glenn Aylett

      May 10, 2023 at 6:32 pm

      @ Richardpd, Shirley Temple did appear in a decent western, Fort Apache, when she was in her early twenties, but few people could take her seriously as an adult star. She later went into politics, though with no desire to reach the White House like another actor from the 1930s, and ended up as an ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

  8. Droogie

    May 9, 2023 at 1:49 am

    Limelight by Chaplin from 1952 has its moments. It’s a bit schmaltzy, but the scene where he and Buster Keaton perform together as old music hall partners is magical.

  9. Sidney Balmoral James

    May 9, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    Incredibly, Chaplin was refused permission to re-enter the US when making Limelight, because of his perceived anti-America views, and his moral turpitude. The Academy, in a move of perhaps unrivaled bitchiness, gave an honorary Oscar to Harold Lloyd, for being a good citizen, which was designed to compare him favorably with Chaplin. Ironic in the extreme, as Lloyd was notorious for his womanising and according to Hal Roach had a number of illegitimate children. He also spent his retirement taking pictures – thousands of them – of women in various states of undress. Chaplin was also, along with Noel Coward, P. G. Wodehouse and Max Beerbohm, one of that select group of world-famous British cultural icons, who didn’t get their knighthood until virtually on their deathbeds due to living abroad (and supposedly in tax exile). Wodehouse of course also blotted his copybook in the war, but no serious person ever thought he was guilty of anything other than bad judgment.

    • Glenn Aylett

      July 8, 2023 at 3:29 pm

      The Inland Revenue was something top British actors had to be wary of from the 1940s onwards, as the top rate of tax hit 97% in 1945 and stayed above 80% until 1979. Michael Caine, Richard Burton, Rex harrison, Noel Coward, Sean Connery and Roger Moore were the best known examples of actors who escaped the supertax, and Michael Caine is always keen to remind people of how he was sympathetic to the Labour Party as he came from a poor background until they wanted to take most of his money away and make him poor again.

      • Richardpd

        July 8, 2023 at 11:01 pm

        Robert Shaw seemingly moved to the USA to avoid the supertax, but then ran afoul of the tax authorises there as well. Supposedly when he wasn’t required for scenes in Jaws he flew to Canada to keep his days in the USA down to a minimum.

  10. Richardpd

    May 9, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    Supposedly, Chaplin was quite a ladies man & not above using the casting couch on some upcoming starlets.

    He was originally considered for a knighthood in the 1930s, but the American government pulled enough strings to get it blocked!

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