In Hong Kong, the wealthy Ogden Mears is traveling in a transatlantic and is near to be assigned Saudi Arabia Ambassador and is divorcing from his wife Martha. His friend Harvey and he are ... See full summary »
Three Chaplin silent comedies "A Dog's Life", "Shoulder Arms", and "The Pilgrim" are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin provides new music, narration, and a small... See full summary »
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>
The first film that Charles Chaplin made in the UK after his exile from America, and his last leading role in a movie. See more »
When Shahdov and the lawyer get into the taxi to get to the hearing, the fire hose is shown trailing behind the car. When the taxi arrives at the destination, the fire hose is entirely within the car. See more »
[after being told that the political turmoil in America is just a "passing phase."]
Quite so. In the meantime, I'll sit it out in Europe.
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it's a bit more biting in its view of people (specifically Americans and capitalism), but it's still very funny
Charlie Chaplin's A King in New York is a fine film to see when it's a laid-back afternoon and it comes on TV, as it's a bit of a surprise to come upon. It's a later Chaplin film, where he's no longer the iconic Tramp, yet in a way the logic of one of those films in terms of the society at large is still being toyed with. This time, instead of being on poverty row with holes in his shoes and a sweet and enduring love for a street girl, he plays a king whose country has gone to war and without many prospects financially comes to America to do commercials for products that he would surely rather not be pushing on the public. As life does imitate art (as far as the stereotype goes it does have a ring of constant truth), Chaplin at the time was an exile, kicked out of America for being a supposed communist, and with his non-prolific career going a little bit on the slide, he made the film as a quasi-light attack on American consumerism, of the vanity and stupidity that can come out of prosperity.
But at the same time, there is still the sensibility that Chaplin loves life and individuals, if not certain groups. This can be seen in the child character- one of Chaplin's own sons- who through his very intelligent but arrogant manner is one of the nicer and funniest characters in the film. While a lot of the humor, sometimes rather dry, is in seeing Chaplin's King and his assistant/butler talk of money problems and in the observations of the 'other', the best scenes come in showing what levels King Shadhov has to sink to in trying to pay his expensive hotel bills and stay afloat in a strange land. My favorite scenes where Shadhov's botched plastic surgery debacle, where it's funnier seeing the King trying not to laugh at a slapstick spectacle than the actual spectacle itself, and the scenes of the King trying to shill the items, often to the dissatisfied directors (I'm reminded of Lost in Translation, and in fact Chaplin's scenes are probably more successful than Coppola's).
Although the film is preachy at times- it's best when Chaplin goes for the more succinct jabs as opposed to the grandstanding, ironic since it worked perfectly at the end of the Great Dictator- the overall high-spirited and serenely theatrical direction makes this a worthwhile effort. Far from being the controversial film it got a reputation as following a non-release in the 50s in the US, it's only a cunning satire, with moments light and foreboding, and it deserves to be seen just as much as Chaplin's classics (if only by his fans, who might be apprehensive at the filmmaker making too many 'statements').
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