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Chaplin (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  8 January 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 40,114 users  
Reviews: 132 user | 59 critic

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


(book), (book), 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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


The biography of Charlie Chaplin, filmmaker extraordinaire. From his formative years in England to his highest successes in America, Charlie'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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everyone has a wild side. Even a legend. See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

8 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Чaплин  »

Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)


$9,493,259 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was originally to be distributed by Universal, but the studio wanted a bigger name in the starring role than Robert Downey Jr., preferring Dustin Hoffman or Billy Crystal. When Richard Attenborough refused to comply, the movie was put into turnaround and a new producer had to be found. Mario Kassar agreed to take the reigns, but demanded that the film include the latter part of Chaplin's life in Switzerland. William Goldman was then brought in to write these new sequences. See more »


When Douglas Fairbanks swings down on the rope to meet Charlie, his foot is inside a loop at the end of the rope when he starts the swing in the wide shot, but when he lands in the tight shot, his foot is nowhere near the loop. Also the momentum created by the swing would have carried him much further than it actually did, i.e he wouldn't have stopped where Charlie was standing. 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 The Immigrant (1917) See more »


Music from 'CITY LIGHTS'
Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)
See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic Performance By Downey As Chaplin
24 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, this is one of the finest acting jobs I have seen as Robert Downey Jr. portrays the famous Charlie Chaplin. His performance includes some of Chaplin's famous slapstick moves and Downey is tremendous at executing them.

To the film's credit ,it does show both the good and bad sides to this famous man. But it's definitely biased. Just check out how they portray J. Edgar Hoover, a man Hollywood loves to hate (along with any Conservative or Republican). Hoover is pictured as mean-spirited and nasty throughout, and is even blasted in the ending credits! His first speech at a dinner table, intended to show him in a negative actually shows him to be prophetic whether Tinseltown ever admits it or not.

Regarding Chaplin, if the film was the truth (that's always a big "if"), then it WAS a real miscarriage of justice to kick him out of the country for having a baby he didn't produce. Nevertheless, most of the film centers around his career and his wives, most of whom were very pretty with great figures.....but too young, most of them being teenagers!

Also shown nicely in the film are Chaplin's talent, his obsession with work, his great friendship with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (Kevin Kline), the great films he produced and the sympathy he had with the American poor. On the other side, in addition to his pedophile instincts, one wonders why Chaplin never became an American citizen? They certainly did not help his cause.

The movie sports a big-name cast, with Kline probably providing the most likable role next to Downey. The women were very interesting: from Geraldine Chaplin playing Charlie's insane, pathetically-sad mother to beauties like Milla Jovovich, Diane Lane and Moria Kelly, the latter playing Chaplin's final and devoted wife "Oona."

Also in here are some big names: Anthony Hopkins, Dan Ackroyd, Penelope Ann Miller, Marissa Tomei, James Woods, Nancy Travis and Paul Rhys. They all help make this a memorable biography. It's beautifully filmed with a number of stunning scenes and also has a classy soundtrack. The ending is manipulative, but it works. It always brings a tear to my eye.

I liked what they did at the end with the small biographies of all the leading characters and visually showing who played each one. I wish all films did that.

32 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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