IMDb > Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003)

Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003) More at IMDbPro »


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Richard Schickel (a film by)
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Narrated by Sydney Pollack, film critic Richard Schickel's dazzling two-hour plus documentary to one of the towering figures in film: Charles Chaplin... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
For completists See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Charles Chaplin ... Himself (archive footage)

Sydney Pollack ... Narrated By

Bill Irwin ... Himself

Norman Lloyd ... Himself - Chaplin Friend / Actor
David Thomson ... Himself - Film Historian

Jeffrey Vance ... Himself - Chaplin Biographer

Andrew Sarris ... Himself - Film Critic and Historian

Robert Downey Jr. ... Himself - Actor / Star of 'Chaplin
David Robinson ... Himself - Chaplin Biographer
Jeanine Basinger ... Herself - Film Historian

Woody Allen ... Himself - Director / Writer / Actor

Johnny Depp ... Himself - Actor
Michael Chaplin ... Himself - Son of Charles Chaplin

Geraldine Chaplin ... Herself - Daughter of Charles Chaplin

Richard Attenborough ... Himself - Director of 'Chaplin'

Martin Scorsese ... Himself - Director

Milos Forman ... Himself - Director

Marcel Marceau ... Himself - Mime Artist

Sydney Chaplin ... Himself - Son of Charles Chaplin
David Raksin ... Himself - Music Arranger of 'Modern Times'

Claire Bloom ... Herself - Actress / Star of 'Limelight'
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Campbell ... Various Roles (archive footage) (uncredited)

Syd Chaplin ... Himself / Various Roles (archive footage) (uncredited)

Winston Churchill ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Charles Inslee ... Various Roles (archive footage) (uncredited)

Edna Purviance ... Various Roles (archive footage) (uncredited)

Mack Swain ... Various Roles (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Schickel 
Writing credits
Richard Schickel (a film by)

Produced by
Douglas Freeman .... producer (as Doug Freeman)
Bryan McKenzie .... producer
Richard Schickel .... producer
Cinematography by
Thomas Albrecht (director of photography)
Kris Denton (director of photography)
Simon Fanthorpe (director of photography)
Rob Goldie (director of photography)
John Halliday (director of photography)
Ross Keith (director of photography)
Graham Smith (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Bryan McKenzie 
Makeup Department
Roxanne Manzano .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Brian Hamblin .... post production supervisor
Brian Jamieson .... executive in charge of production
Sound Department
Glenn Bates .... sound recordist
Steve Bowden .... sound recordist
Steve Bryan .... sound recordist
Elliott Cowand .... sound recordist (as Elliot Cowand)
John Duvall .... sound recordist
Joseph R. Ekins .... sound recordist (as Joe Ekins)
Benedikt Fruttiger .... sound recordist (as Benedict Fruttiger)
Mark Linden .... re-recording mixer
Mark Linden .... sound editor
Danny McCullough .... sound recordist
Bryan McKenzie .... sound editor
Antony Meering .... sound recordist (as Tony Meering)
Tara A. Paul .... sound editor (as Tara Paul)
Carlos Ramirez .... sound re-recordist
Percy Urgena .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Arn Campero .... digital motion control
Dominik Trimborn .... project coordinator
Editorial Department
Joseph Alvarado .... edit assist
Guillermo Beltrán .... additional digital film restoration (as Guillermo Beltran)
Dirk Carlson .... additional digital film restoration
Jennifer Clatfelter .... telecine coordinator
Ron Feneis .... telecine colorist
Steve Kaufler .... telecine colorist
Scott S. Parker .... digital film restoration
Scott S. Parker .... on-line editor
Ed Rowin .... colorist
Music Department
Charles Chaplin .... music by
José Padilla .... music (uncredited)
Other crew
Jessica Berman Bogdan .... film research (as Jessica Berman-Bogdan)
Kevin Brownlow .... film consultant
Alexander Klippe .... laser film recording: ARRI
David Shepard .... film consultant
Sascha Stiller .... laser film recording: ARRI
Jeffrey Vance .... historical consultant
Manoah Bowman .... special thanks
Josephine Chaplin .... special thanks
Kate Guyonvarch .... special thanks
Marin Karmitz .... special thanks
Warren Lieberfarb .... special thanks
Samson Mucke .... special thanks
Wim Wenders .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
132 min | Hong Kong:127 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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5 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
For completists, 5 November 2009
Author: Ali_Catterall from London, England

"It's hard to believe, but once there was a world without Charlie Chaplin." So begins film historian Richard Schickel's documentary on silent comedy's most instantly recognisable icon, easily defined by no more than a silhouette.

Of course, history has not been kind to the lecherous old Tramp: for many contemporary - and especially British viewers and critics - it's equally hard to care one way or another. As Chaplin biographer David Robinson says: "I don't know any race in the world that are more cynical than the English and if you're cynical, you can't like Charlie. He's just unbearably sentimental."

While Schickel has confessed that he didn't have a great deal of admiration for his subject when he initially embarked on the project, conversely the end result doesn't feel much like the rapturous hymn of a Born Again-Chaplinist either, seeming neither to care about redressing the balance, unconcerned with bringing anything particularly new to an already creaking table.

A leaden, flat-footed hagiography, caught in its own airless vacuum, and eschewing any probing insight into a deeply flawed and damaged individual; Schickel's Chaplin is little more than a scratch-proof, amber-encased bowler hat, umbrella and moustache to be wheeled in and wheeled out again. Aside from a jagged run-through of already well-documented facts - four marriages, paternity suits, persecution by the FBI - we never once get an inkling of an inner life, or what made Charlie tick.

On the plus side, we do get a pile of classic clips from the performer-director's vast back catalogue, from City Lights ("his acknowledged masterpiece") to The Great Dictator (the non-Chaplin lover's fave) - along with fawning interviews with everyone from Chaplin actor Robert Downey Jr to (a vocal) Marcel Marceau, and a mini film class from the ever-ebullient Martin Scorsese.

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