It might seem odd to claim that one of the most universally popular entertainers in the world is underrated. But Charlie Chaplin is. Not necessarily as a comedian, actor or director, but as a composer. Most people know the themes Smile, Eternally, and This Is My Song, but they probably don’t know that Chaplin wrote them – for Modern Times, Limelight and A Countess from Hong Kong, respectively. Film buffs might know that from 1931’s City Lights onwards, he composed the scores for all of his films, and that as an old man he wrote new music for his earlier films. Yet he is never mentioned in talk of the great film composers, and in a recent Radio Times poll of top film themes, Chaplin’s name was nowhere to be seen.
Uschi Digard always seemed to be larger than life.
She was an indestructible, formidable pin up beauty who was emblematic of the sexual revolution in California. From the late 1960s through to the early 1980s, she was in hundreds of magazine spreads, had many issues dedicated to her, and appeared in countless softcore films.
Her Amazonian features and natural good looks meant that she was always in demand as she proved popular with fans.
Or in the words of director Russ Meyer, her close friend and frequent collaborator, she was a buxom cantilevered barracuda who was a Trojan at work.
Improvising legend. Filmmaking maverick. Comedy savant. Screenwriting secret weapon. Elaine May is one the most important people in American pop cultural history. Why isn’t she more celebrated? That’s exactly how she wants it.