Woman ‘on mobile’ in Chaplin film becomes internet hit

28 Oct 2010

Irish filmmaker George Clarke stumbled upon footage of a woman who looks to be speaking on a mobile phone during the 1928 movie The Circus, starring Charlie Chaplin.

The clip has been viewed more than 1 million times in less than a week. Clarke discovered the clip while watching the DVD extras of the movie.

Many are convinced the woman in the film is a time traveller, as mobile phones weren’t around in 1928. Time magazine said, “It can’t be a cellphone – or at least our version of one. The time-travelling woman must have been from further into the future than we are, because her phone seems to work without the help of satellites or towers.”

The device could also have been a hearing aid, the New York Daily News suggested, whereas the Washington Post came to the conclusion, after having watched the footage several times, that the woman was only adjusting her hat or gesturing to her face.