Unknown Chaplin (1983)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Documentary | Comedy
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Reviews: 9 user | 6 critic

A documentary series examining the film making methods and techniques of Charles Chaplin.

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Title: Unknown Chaplin (1983– )

Unknown Chaplin (1983– ) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »


Series cast summary:
 Narrator / ... (3 episodes, 1983)
 Himself & In Out-Takes / ... (3 episodes, 1983)
 Herself & In Out-Takes / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
Albert Austin ...
 Himself & In Out-Takes / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
John Rand ...
 Himself & In Out-Takes / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
Harry Crocker ...
 Himself - Assistant / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
 Himself (2 episodes, 1983)


A documentary from silent film historians Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. Featuring never before seen out-takes from Chaplin's films, and other rare footage, Unknown Chaplin gives a valuable insight into the creation of Chaplin's films. Also included are interviews with people who knew and worked with Chaplin. The documentary is in three parts: My Happiest Years; Hidden Treasures; and The Great Director. Accompanied by excellent music by Carl Davis, some adapted from Chaplin's own music. Written by Sean Blake <seanpb@eagle.cc.ukans.edu>

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Release Date:

14 July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Unknown Chaplin  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Those actors not marked uncredited were credited by the narrator or by subtitles. See more »


Referenced in Chaplin Today: The Circus (2003) See more »


Title Theme
from The Kid (1921)
Written by Charles Chaplin
See more »

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User Reviews

a testament to Chaplin's genius
28 July 2005 | by (Lexington, KY) – See all my reviews

Charles Chaplin was truly the first independent filmmaker - with the exception perhaps of Georges Melies. Chaplin wrote, directed, starred in and scored nearly all of his films. No one understood the craft of film-making (silent or otherwise) better than Chaplin. He never compromised his artistic vision, perfectionism, or his integrity. Charlie literally made his films up as he went along, rehearsing on film and discarding whatever didn't work. Such techniques would prove too costly and time consuming today. This documentary consists of some of Chaplin's best experiments - some of which he re-shot and much of which he ordered burned. Like many a magician, Chaplin didn't want his secrets getting out. Luckily, many of his best tricks are revealed here for posterity. It's all lovingly narrated by James Mason. And the scenes that were cut from THE CIRCUS, CITY LIGHTS and MODERN TIMES are as good as anything that ended up in the final releases. I wish this was available on DVD, as my tapes are beginning to wear out.

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