Pryor Center Presents: Discovering a Lost Film Among Charlie Chaplin's Outtakes

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The David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences resumes its 2018-19 signature lecture series at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, with "Pryor Center Presents: Discovering a Lost Film among Charlie Chaplin's Outtakes" featuring Frank Scheide, professor in the Department of Communication.

In 1999 the British Film Institute in London invited Frank Scheide to catalog a collection of 423 cans of 35mm film outtakes which had been featured in Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's documentary series about Charlie Chaplin entitled Unknown Chaplin. On the first day of cataloging, Scheide discovered outtakes from a lost and forgotten feature film entitled King, Queen, Joker, which had been produced by Charlie Chaplin's brother, Sydney, to fulfill his 1919 million-dollar contract with Paramount. Based upon the outtakes and a surviving synopsis, Scheide determined that Sydney Chaplin's King, Queen, Joker was a prototype for Charlie Chaplin's 1940 anti-Hitler film classic The Great Dictator — a connection scholars had not previously made.

In this presentation, Scheide will discuss why the Chaplin outtakes are important to scholars, share his research on King, Queen, Joker and describe how he reconstructed this historically significant, lost Sydney Chaplin feature from its outtakes. Additional information on this BFI collection can be found at the Chaplin Outtakes Collection.

The Pryor Center is located at 1 East Center Street, Suite 120, and parking is available on the Fayetteville Square. The event is free and open to the public.

Scheide is a professor of communication at the University of Arkansas, where he teaches film history and criticism. He is one of the world's foremost authorities on Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Scheide's doctoral dissertation focused upon the early life and music hall career of Charlie Chaplin. His discussion of the outtakes from Chaplin's 1916 Mutual film The Count is a special feature in the 2005 DVD release of Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's 1983 groundbreaking documentary series, Unknown Chaplin, which won an Emmy and a Peabody in 1987, after being broadcast as part of the PBS series American Masters. Scheide has also produced several documentaries on the Cherokees. In 2017 Scheide was the recipient of the prestigious endowed faculty award, the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Faculty Award, which was created to "promote the study and teaching of peace and nonviolence in accordance with the insights of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator J. William Fulbright."

About the The David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual HistoryThe David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History is an oral history program with the mission to document the history of Arkansas through the collection of spoken memories and visual records, preserve the collection in perpetuity, and connect Arkansans and the world to the collection through the Internet, TV broadcasts, educational programs, and other means. The Pryor Center records audio and video interviews about Arkansas history and culture, collects other organizations' recordings, organizes these recordings into an archive, and provides public access to the archive, primarily through the website at pryorcenter.uark.edu. The Pryor Center is the state's only oral and visual history program with a statewide, 75-county mission to collect, preserve, and share audio and moving image recordings of Arkansas history.

About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with three schools, 16 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

William A. Schwab, executive director
Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History
479-575-5181, bschwab@uark.edu

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu

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