'Perfectionist' Charlie Chaplin demanded 342 takes for one movie scene

Updated 7:50 AM ET, Tue December 10, 2013
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Charlie Chaplin performs in 1931 film "City Lights." New behind-the-scenes footage reveals the actor and director made his co-star, Virginia Cherrill, re-do one scene 342 times. Courtesy United Artists
While Chaplin is perhaps best known as his loveable "Tramp" persona, he was also a prolific director, writer, and producer. "As a director, he just wanted his actors to completely mimic exactly what he was doing -- he didn't want their interpretation," said historian Hooman Mehran. Keystone/Getty Images
Virginia Cherrill only needed to say two lines in the scene which Chaplin made her re-do hundreds of times: "Flower sir?" But his determination appeared to pay off -- "City Lights" was a box office hit, despite being a silent film in a new era of sound. Fox Photos/Getty Images/File
Here, Chaplin appears as the iconic "Tramp" in 1918 film "A Dog's Life." From humble beginnings growing up in an impoverished home and orphanages in London, Chaplin became one of the most famous film stars in the world. Hulton Archive/Getty Images/File
A huge crowd mobs Chaplin during a visit to London in 1917. "He was phenomenally successful," said Mehran. Hulton Archive/Getty Images/File
After leaving the U.S. in the 1950s and moving to Switzerland with wife Oona O'Neill (pictured), Chaplin ordered many of his outtakes to be destroyed. The couple remained married until his death in 1977 and had eight children. Hulton Archive/Getty Images/File