Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Before CHUCK McCANN left for Hollywood to co-star alongside ALAN ARKIN in THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, he made an amazing film here in New York City called THE PROJECTIONIST. Chuck played a lonely fella who literally escapes into the films he unspools. The incorporation of Chuck into different, pre-existing period films was way ahead of it's time (at least since Buster Keaton!) Filmed in the late 60's but released in 1971, it co-starred INA BALIN, and also marked RODNEY DANGERFIELD's film debut.
Try and find a copy of THE PROJECTIONIST, and you'll enjoy a remarkable film by a remarkable talent.
Here are three scenes:


Chuck, working the projection booth, does dead-on impressions of his filmic heroes, back when stars had faces with voices to go along with them. . .

A legend in his own mind, the Projectionist imagines himself arriving at his own movie premiere, where he has to cut-out, in order to roll the film.
My friend Paul Rubin and I were with Chuck for several days, and one night they were going to shoot the "premiere" scene. The director, Harry Hurwitz, wanted "Chucks people" all around him, so he positioned me in front and said "be in awe when you see him." So, if you watch the left side of your screen at about :31, you'll see 15 year old . . .me.

Here's a really good write-up about the film:


  1. Dear Craig,

    I remember those scenes from "The Projectionist"..I enjoyed the premire

    scene that Chuck did.And I also enjoyed that parody of old movie serials that he did as his super heroe alter ego"Capt.Flash".

    But? My favroite scene is inside of The Projection booth..where Chuck

    is ending his work for the night..and he is doing impressions of Bogart,

    Sid Greenstreet,Wallace Berry,John Wayne,Jimmy Stewart,Thomas Mitchell,Clark Gable,Butterfly McQueen and..of course Stan and Ollie.

    A classic one of show biz' most creative,talented and caring


    Thanks for sharing these scenes from Chuck and Harry's"The Projectionist",


  2. Dear Craig,

    The interior of the movie theater..where Chuck does his scenes

    with Mr.Hurwitz,Mr.Dangerfield and Mr.Kohaout(He plays Norman

    the candy stand attendent and the old scientist/inventor)was filmed

    inside of a real movie house in Asbury Park,N.J. and the exterior of

    the theater was on W.99th St. in NYC.

    Sadly,both theaters are long gone.