IMDb > "Unknown Chaplin" (1983)
"Unknown Chaplin"
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"Unknown Chaplin" (1983) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1983-

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User Rating:
8.7/10   373 votes »
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Release Date:
14 July 1986 (USA) See more »
Using in part rare out-take footage, the film-making methods and techniques of Charles Chaplin are explored. Full summary »
Won Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A must-see for Chaplin fans and movie historians See more (9 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 1 of 4)

James Mason ... Narrator / ... (3 episodes, 1983)

Series Directed by
Kevin Brownlow (1 episode, 1983)
David Gill (1 episode, 1983)
Series Writing credits
Kevin Brownlow (3 episodes, 1983)
David Gill (3 episodes, 1983)

Series Produced by
Kevin Brownlow .... producer (3 episodes, 1983)
David Gill .... producer (3 episodes, 1983)
Series Original Music by
Carl Davis (2 episodes, 1983)

José Padilla (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Trevor Waite (2 episodes, 1983)
Series Art Department
Barry O'Riordan .... graphic designer (3 episodes, 1983)
Series Sound Department
Freddie Slade .... dubbing mixer (3 episodes, 1983)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Goodwin .... animation camera / animation camera operator (3 episodes, 1983)
Series Editorial Department
Thomas Kavanagh .... editor: video / video tape editor (2 episodes, 1983)

Terry Badham .... editor: video (unknown episodes)
Grant Goodwin .... editor: video (unknown episodes)
Series Music Department
Dick Bradford .... music recordist (3 episodes, 1983)
Carl Davis .... music arranger / composer: additional music (3 episodes, 1983)
Charles Chaplin .... composer: title theme from 'The Kid' / title theme music: "The Kid" (2 episodes, 1983)
Series Other crew
Shirley McAuley .... production secretary (3 episodes, 1983)
Janice Brackenridge .... production assistant (2 episodes, 1983)
Jacqueline French .... research (2 episodes, 1983)
Kate Knowles .... research (2 episodes, 1983)
Ian Lewis .... film research (2 episodes, 1983)
Raymond Rohauer .... program consultant (2 episodes, 1983)
Series Thanks
Oona Chaplin .... acknowledgment: Thames Television wishes to express its warmest appreciation for her co-operation and all her assistance / warmest appreciation to (3 episodes, 1983)
Karl H. Klein .... thanks / warmest appreciation to (2 episodes, 1983)

Steve Totheroh .... appreciation: stills (unknown episodes)
Marc Wanamaker .... appreciation: stills (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:156 min | 60 min (3 parts) (including commercials)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Edited from The Professor (1919)See more »
Title ThemeSee more »


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A must-see for Chaplin fans and movie historians, 21 June 2007
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

I picked up a DVD of this British series from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and it's fitting that a filmmaker be featured prominently in an art gallery--especially since this film isn't a biography of Chaplin, but a step-by-step analysis of his working style. They did this by collecting outtakes that had been saved by Mutual Studios as well as through photos and even home movies. At first, I thought this all sounded very dry but as the film continued I realized what a great treasure this is. What I liked in particular was how they took two of his earlier non-Keystone comedies and analyzed the many, many changes the film underwent thanks to Chaplin's obsessive-compulsive film style. Considering what a gift he had for making films, this lengthy style of constructing films is forgivable and even understandable.

In addition to analyzing his shorts, the documentary also chooses to analyze CITY LIGHTS as well as THE GOLD RUSH and provides many behind the scenes insights. I really liked this, since GOLD RUSH might just be my very favorite silent film (though it's hard to say for sure, considering some of the great films of Lloyd and Keaton).

All-in-all, this is an absolute must for serious film students, historians and lovers of silent comedy. Considering all the pain and trouble they went to in making this film, it's no surprise that it earns a 10 of 10.

FYI--Fortunately, while this is a nearly perfect film about Chaplin, there are also two wonderful similar documentaries about Harold Lloyd ("American Masters", Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius) and Buster Keaton (Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow)--both written by the same two writers who made this wonderful film. See them all if you get a chance!!

Also FYI--On the DVD is a 12 minute segment on how they assembled all the footage for the documentaries. It's worth a look to give you insight into this very laborious process.

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If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
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Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin "Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow" "Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood" "Hollywood" "Silent Clowns"
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