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Robert Z. Leonard
Harry L. Rattenberry
Due to a revolution in his country, King Shahdov comes to New York - almost broke. To get some money he goes to TV, making commercials and meets the child from communist parents. Due to this he is suddenly a suspected as a communist himself and has to face one of McCarthy's hearings. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Shot for only 12 weeks, the shortest of all Chaplin films. See more »
While the movie is supposed to take place in New York City, while hailing a taxi the London car dealership of Jack Barclay is visible in the background. See more »
[Rupert is haranguing the King]
Monopoly is the menace of free enterprise. As I look back, sixty years ago...
Where were you sixty years ago?
He was a glint in his great-grandfather's eye!
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It's not only one of Chaplin's best films, but one of the most important films about America ever made. Thrown out of the US for his liberal views, Chaplin became very irate at America. This is his response, a bare-knuckle boxing match with Uncle Sam - and this tramp doesn't pull punches. He doesn't leave a stone unturned, movies, music, high culture, television, education, fame, and especially the communist witch hunts. Best of all, he still exhibits his comic brilliance, and almost all the jokes land. Chaplin's son Michael is very good as a young boy who espouses communist ideals without the slightest provocation. The film ends without resolution, as this dark period of American history was still going strong. Only the hope that it is only a phase is expressed, but otherwise, the darkness is left to brood. People have accused the film of not being subtle, but it is far more so than the infinitely more popular The Great Dictator, and also more so than his other two talkies, Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight. All of those films are great, but they all end up with Chaplin telling us directly what he wants us to walk away with. A King of New York is, even if it has its clunky moments, an exceptional achievement. It's about time that it was rediscovered. 10/10.
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