Thursday, September 1, 1927
It is unknown whether Pepito Perez was in the cast, or perhaps it was the crew, of this Syd Chaplin picture at Warner Brothers, but in a 1931 interview, Pepito mentioned having been involved with the film. According to the Turner Classic Movies website, “The Missing Link” is not available on home video at this time.
Pepito could have been involved in one or several ways in this “jungle picture.” He owned lions which he rented out for use in films, he was a character actor, and he was an accomplished artist in the areas of scenery backdrops and stage makeup.
Another Chaplin link to Pepito was that Pepito performed in the Ballyhoo stage show that preceded each showing of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus” at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. You can see Pepito in the Ballyhoo video clip here.
I speculate that Pepito got the ballyhoo job from Charlie Chaplin in 1928, by first working for his brother Syd Chaplin in 1927 on “The Missing Link.”
The first biography of the life of Syd Chaplin is in the process of being written by Lisa Stein, an Assistant Professor of English at Ohio University-Zaneville, where she specializes in 20th century British and American literature and silent film. She has created a website about Syd Chaplin at www.sydchaplin.com. She also blogs about her progress on her book at sydchaplin.blogspot.com. All in all, I look up to Ms. Stein because she is doing what I am trying to do: collect all the information possible on a deceased entertainer, travel to film archives to view rare old films, interview people who knew a man who died decades ago, put it all in order, create a website about the man, blog about the process, and write a book. According to Lisa Stein’s blog entry of May 30, 2010, her manuscript is completed and has been submitted to the publisher. The title will be simple and straightforward: Syd Chaplin: A Biography. Lisa Stein, I send you my best wishes!
— Melani Carty
REVIEW: The talented Syd Chaplin once again proves that he was much, much more than merely Charlie Chaplin‘s brother in The Missing Link. This time Syd plays Arthur Wells, the valet to famed scientist-explorer Lord Dryden (Crauford Kent). Terribly shy around women, Dryden trades places with Arthur for social purposes. As a result, our hero, who’s deathly afraid of animals, is called upon to head an expedition into darkest Africa in search of “the missing link.” Though the “African” settings are patently phony, Syd Chaplin‘s buffoonery more than compensates for any production shortcomings. Original prints of The Missing Link were outfitted with a Vitaphone musical score, arranged by the extremely busy Erno Rapee. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Sidney Chaplin – Arthur Wells
Ruth Hiatt – Beatrice Braden
Tom McGuire – Colonel Braden
Crauford Kent – Lord Dryden
Charles “Chuck” Riesner – Director
Darryl F. Zanuck – Screenwriter, Screen Story
Devereaux Jennings – Cinematographer