Shoulder Arms

Charlie Chaplin (director, screenwriter, starring, subject)
Upton Sinclair, Rob Wagner (subjects)

N.p. N.p., 1918. Vintage borderless vernacular photograph of actor Charlie Chaplin, writer Upton Sinclair, and editor and publisher Rob Wagner on the set of the 1918 silent film. Annotations in manuscript ink on the verso identifying subjects.

Wagner was the editor and publisher of "Script," a left-leaning, weekly literary film magazine published in Beverly Hills between 1929 and 1949. A lifelong Socialist and advocate for progressive causes, Wagner used "Script" to give a voice to blacklisted screenwriters (including Dalton Trumbo and Gordon Kahn) and prominent leftists, including Sinclair, Max Eastman, and William C. deMille.

Wagner served as something of a father figure to Chaplin (who was about 17 years Wagner's junior) after the two men met sometime in the mid-1910s. The pair formed a close friendship, with Wagner serving as Chaplin's part-time secretary for a period, and accompanying the actor on his Third Liberty Loan tour through the American south in 1918. Wagner introduced Chaplin to Sinclair and Max Eastman, and together the three writers exerted a strong influence over Chaplin's political world view. Chaplin would go on to co-found the Motion Picture Relief Fund (which later became the Motion Picture and Television Fund) with Wagner in 1929.

Approximately 5 x 4 inches. About Near Fine, lightly age toned.

[Book #158606]