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Chaplin (1992)

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A film about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charles Chaplin.


(book), (book) | 4 more credits »
2,826 ( 331)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Lita Grey (as Deborah Maria Moore)


The biography of Charles Chaplin, filmmaker extraordinaire. From his formative years in England to his highest successes in America, Chaplin's life, work, and loves are followed. While his screen characters were extremely hilarious, the man behind 'The Little Tramp' was constantly haunted by a sense of loss. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He made the whole world laugh and cry. He will again. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

8 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Чaплин  »


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$84,669, 27 December 1992, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,493,259, 31 December 1993
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sir Richard Attenborough cast Marisa Tomei in the role of Mabel Normand, after seeing her performance in Oscar (1991) on a transatlantic flight. See more »


While Chaplin is incorrectly depicted playing the violin right-handed (he was a left-handed musician), Chaplin wrote with his right hand. See more »


[first lines]
George Hayden: Ha ha ha ha ha. Come on Charlie stop messing about, we really have to get down to it now. I just hope our friendship survives the day, that's all.
Charlie Chaplin: Ha George, don't be so melodramatic.
George Hayden: Well, it's your autobiography Charlie. And as your editor I have to tell you that parts of the manuscript are pretty vague, to say the least. I mean for instance, your mother. Now when did she first lose control? We need to know those facts.
Charlie Chaplin: It's hard to say. She could be so wonderful, on good days...
See more »


References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

More cinema, less data...
5 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

The IMDb trivia for Attenborough states regarding his cinematic thinking states that: "Philosophies include believing in content as opposed to style and sincerity rather than intelligence."

Sometimes these things work in his films, but the fact is that in art, sincerity is almost always obtained through intelligence, and honesty has little to do with truth. Chaplin knew it, so none of his films are "true" in a strict sense of the word, but all of them are above all honest. This why, all and all, i don't quite enjoyed this film: because it failed to reach the "content" of Chaplin's work. Attenborough is, nevertheless, very competent, and so is his camera work, many times quite interesting (though in these concerns, as well as editing, watch his bright A bridge too far), and that very aspect makes this partially worth the time.

"-what do we do? -We smile"

For me, Chaplin is one of the synonyms for emotion in cinema. Films become part of people's lives. Many get into those lives bended by context, which means, the ones people had the opportunity (good or bad luck) to watch. Chaplin got into my life quite early and, for a long time, i never understood exactly what he did, i don't remember in my childhood watching a full film of his, but many excerpts are part of my visual memories (chaplin for children). Growing up and understanding how all the drama, all the emotion (beyond the "funny") exists in his cinema was a true revelation to me and a gate into cinema as an art. the "clown effect", the tramp always smiling is always capable of showing the beautiful and the horrible, the dark and the shiny, dark in what it shows, shiny in what it comes to provoke. This is humanism in cinema, in my personal thoughts. From what I know, Chaplin is at the top of those who (tried to) master this.

In the particular film, emotion is left to the end; which is nevertheless fully made after cinema paradiso. But its strenght is there because it simply displays Chaplin's films. The most successful option here, to my view, would have been to bring out "content" instead of "facts". So, back to the citation from IMDb's trivia, what i find here is a different notion of "content" (different than my own) which, for Attenborough, ended up as a collection (that i would call a little bit dull) of facts, making cinema secondary. In the movie Chaplin says "if you want to know me, watch my movies". That would be the key

Nevertheless, Downey Jr is very very strong here and his physical acting is truly remarkable.

Meanwhile, as a biographical movie", my personal choice still goes to the very recent and relatively unknown "life and death of Peter Sellers" for it reaches much more into the soul of the artist.

My evaluation: 2/5 overall a failure, even though it's not bad to watch (mainly due to Downey's Jr acting and some camera work)


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