November 10, 1964: Ingmar Bergman and Charlie Chaplin enjoy a long conversation about movies and other subjects in Chaplin’s room at the Stockholm Grand Hotel. Chaplin was in the Swedish capital in connection with the publication of his autobiography in Scandinavia.
Ingmar Bergman’s account of their meeting from The Magic Lantern:
“During the 1960s, Charlie Chaplin was on a visit to Stockholm to publicize his recent autobiography. Lasse Bergström, his publisher, asked me if I would like to meet the great man at the Grand Hotel, and indeed I would. One morning at ten o’clock, we knocked on the door, and it was immediately opened by Chaplin himself, impeccably dressed in a dark well-tailored suit, the Legion of Honour’s little button in his lapel. That hoarse multi-toned voice politely welcomed us, and his wife, Oona, and two young daughters, as lovely as gazelles, came out of the inner room.
We at once started talking about his book. I asked him when he had found out for the first time that he caused laughter, that people laughed at him in particular. He nodded eagerly and willingly told me.
He had been employed by Keystone in a group of artists who went under the name of the Keystone Kops. They did hazardous numbers before a static camera, like a variety show on a stage. One day they were told to chase a huge bearded villain who was made-up white. It was, you might say, a routine assignment. After a great deal of running and falling about, by the afternoon that had managed to catch the villain and he was seated on the ground surrounded by policemen hitting him on the head with their truncheons. Chaplin had the idea of not banging repeatedly with his truncheon as he had been told. Instead he made sure he was in a visible place in the circle. There he spent a long time carefully aiming his truncheon. He started on the penultimate blow several times, but always stopped at the last moment. When, gradually and after careful preparation, he let the blow fall, he missed and fell over. The film was shown at a Nickelodeon. He went to see the results.
The movie audience, seeing the blow miss its target, laughed for the first time at Charlie Chaplin.”