Director: Richard Attenborough
Entertainment grade: C+
History grade: B+
Charlie Chaplin was a British comedian who became one of the earliest and greatest stars of Hollywood cinema.
The film begins with Chaplin's grim childhood in Victorian London, complete with an absentee father, a mentally ill mother (played by Geraldine Chaplin, the granddaughter of the real thing) and a stint in the workhouse. One night, when his mother sings in a music-hall show, her voice fails. Five-year-old Charlie is brought on to replace her. His precociously adorable performance brings the house down. Much though this rise-to-fame story sounds too good to be true, it is what Chaplin described in his autobiography.
- Alex von Tunzelmann
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