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June 13, 2021

Photos of Sophia Loren During the Filming of ‘A Countess From Hong Kong’ (1967)

A Countess from Hong Kong is a 1967 British romantic comedy film scored, written, and directed by Charlie Chaplin and starring Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Sydney Chaplin (Chaplin’s third son), Tippi Hedren, Patrick Cargill and Margaret Rutherford.

It was the last film directed, written, produced and scored by Chaplin, and one of two films Chaplin directed in which he did not play a major role (the other was 1923’s A Woman of Paris), as well as his only color film. Chaplin’s cameo marked his final screen appearance.

The story is based loosely on the life of a woman Chaplin met in France, named Moussia Sodskaya, or “Skaya”, as he calls her in his 1922 book My Trip Abroad. She was a Russian singer and dancer who “was a stateless person marooned in France without a passport”.

It was originally started as a film called Stowaway in the 1930s, planned for Paulette Goddard, but production was never completed. This resulting film, created nearly 30 years after its inception, was a critical failure and grossed US$2 million from a US$3.5-million budget. However, it did prove to be extremely successful in Europe and Japan. In addition, the success of the music score was able to cover the budget.

Critics such as Tim Hunter and Andrew Sarris, as well as poet John Betjeman and director François Truffaut, viewed the film as being among Chaplin’s best works. The film’s theme song, "This Is My Song", written by Chaplin and performed by Petula Clark, became a worldwide success, topping the charts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium, while reaching number three in the United States and number four in Canada.

These vintage photos captured portrait of Sophia Loren during the filming of A Countess from Hong Kong in 1967.


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