Charlie Chaplin: from best to worst

by guisreis | created - 11 Feb 2015 | updated - 19 Feb 2018 | Public

I have not watched all his short movies. Other films will be included to this list as I watch them.

Other characters played by Chaplin besides the tramp: Adenoid Hynkel (The great dictator) Jewish barber (The great dictator) Calvero (Limelight) Henri Verdoux (Monsieur Verdoux) King Igor Shahdov (A king in New York) Darn Hosiery (Burlesque on Carmen) Upper-class drunkard (The idle class; The rounders; One A.M.; and possibly Mabel's married life) The middle class alcoholic (The cure) An actor (the Tramp is a character of him!) (The masquerader) The swindler (Making a living) Professor Bosco (The professor) Mr. Pest (A night in the show) Mr. Rowdy (A night in the show) Upper-class brawler Charlie with no mustache (Recreation) The painter? (The Face on the Barroom Floor) - read the "P.S." below.

Jobs for the Tramp: Plant blue-collar (Modern Times), Gold Prospector (The Gold Rush), Boxer (City Lights; The Champion), Boxing Referee (The Knockout), Sailor (Shanghaied), Policeman (Easy Street), Fireman (The Fireman), Robber (Police), Street Musician (The Vagabond), Actor (His New Job), Circus Artist (The Circus), Theater Employee (The property man), Janitor (Triple-Trouble), Piano Mover (His Musical Career), Tailor's Assistant (The Count), Pawnbroker’s Assistant (The Pawnshop), Dentist's Assistant (Laughing Gas)

P.S.: As we see in The Face on the Barroom Floor (if we seek any continuity among the films, which are supposed to be independent to each other), we could interpretate that the tramp had been previously a rich painter (although the tramp seems to be much more solitary), perhaps being the upper-class drunk man from other short movies. Though, it would hardly be the case, as he was clearly a working class man without etiquette knowledge, as it is clear in "The Count". Therefore, perhaps the painter (a character taken from a poem) is a different character both from the drunk rich guy, although he also has drunk a lot after losing his muse, and from the little tramp. Though, that drunk rich character may also be the Trump after the gold rush, which would happen after 1917 short film The immigrant. Therefore, some stories with the poor Trump would happen before his rich and drunk life, and others would happen afterwards.

I have not watched all his movies yet (The circus is the most important still missing). Others will be included to this list as I watch them.

Other characters played by Chaplin besides the tramp: Adenoid Hynkel (The great dictator) Jewish barber (The great dictator) Calvero (Limelight) Henri Verdoux (Monsieur Verdoux) King Igor Shahdov (A king in New York) Darn Hosiery (Burlesque on Carmen) Upper-class drunkard (The idle class; The rounders; One A.M.; and possibly Mabel's married life) The middle class alcoholic (The cure) An actor (the Tramp is a character of him!) (The masquerader) The swindler (Making a living) Professor Bosco (The professor) Mr. Pest (A night in the show) Mr. Rowdy (A night in the show) Upper-class brawler Charlie with no mustache (Recreation) The painter? (The Face on the Barroom Floor) - read the "P.S." below.

Jobs for the Tramp: Plant blue-collar (Modern Times), Gold Prospector (The Gold Rush), Boxer (City Lights; The Champion), Boxing Referee (The Knockout), Sailor (Shanghaied), Policeman (Easy Street), Fireman (The Fireman), Robber (Police), Street Musician (The Vagabond), Actor (His New Job), Circus Artist (The Circus), Theater Employee (The property man), Janitor (Triple-Trouble), Piano Mover (His Musical Career), Tailor's Assistant (The Count), Pawnbroker’s Assistant (The Pawnshop), Dentist's Assistant (Laughing Gas)

P.S.: As we see in The Face on the Barroom Floor (if we seek any continuity among the films, which are supposed to be independent to each other), we could interpretate that the tramp had been previously a rich painter (although the tramp seems to be much more solitary), perhaps being the upper-class drunk man from other short movies. Though, it would hardly be the case, as he was clearly a working class man without etiquette knowledge, as it is clear in "The Count". Therefore, perhaps the painter (a character taken from a poem) is a different character both from the drunk rich guy, although he also has drunk a lot after losing his muse, and from the little tramp. Though, that drunk rich character may also be the Trump after the gold rush, which would happen after 1917 short film The immigrant. Therefore, some stories with the poor Trump would happen before his rich and drunk life, and others would happen afterwards.

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1. Modern Times (1936)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

96 Metascore

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford

Votes: 191,802 | Gross: $0.16M

2. The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 181,737

3. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 148,227 | Gross: $0.02M

4. Limelight (1952)

G | 137 min | Drama, Music, Romance

A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce, Buster Keaton

Votes: 16,189 | Gross: $1.00M

Possibly the best cinematography in Chaplin's films, with a brilliant usage of light.

5. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Passed | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan, Robert Lewis

Votes: 14,146 | Gross: $0.33M

6. The Circus (1928)

G | 72 min | Comedy, Romance

90 Metascore

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Al Ernest Garcia, Harry Crocker

Votes: 22,979

7. Easy Street (1917)

Unrated | 24 min | Short, Comedy

A reformed tramp becomes a police constable who must fight a huge thug who dominates an inner city street.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Albert Austin

Votes: 4,311

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLF-aLPwfrg

8. The Gold Rush (1925)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman

Votes: 89,666 | Gross: $5.45M

There are many great moments. Though, they are sometimes confusingly connected in an irregular pace. It is obviously a quite nice film, but I don't think it is one of Chaplin's top feature-length movies.

9. A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)

G | 120 min | Comedy, Romance

In Hong Kong, the ambassador returning to America meets the Russian countess, a refugee without a passport, who decides to hide in his cabin.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Sydney Chaplin, Tippi Hedren

Votes: 4,808

10. A King in New York (1957)

G | 105 min | Comedy, Drama

A recently-deposed European monarch seeks shelter in New York City, where he becomes an accidental television celebrity and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Maxine Audley, Jerry Desmonde, Oliver Johnston

Votes: 6,540

https://youtu.be/eHplJrjx9TY

11. A Dog's Life (1918)

Not Rated | 33 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

The Little Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Dave Anderson, Bert Appling

Votes: 6,452

https://youtu.be/E44enI4900g

12. The Count (1916)

Unrated | 24 min | Short, Comedy

Charlie burns a count's trousers while ironing them and is fired. The tailor finds an invitation to dinner at Miss Moneybags and goes in place of the count. Charlie goes to the kitchen of ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Albert Austin

Votes: 1,742

https://youtu.be/DWl_9aM4oq0

13. A Burlesque on Carmen (1915)

Passed | 31 min | Short, Comedy

A gypsy seductress is sent to sway a goofy officer to allow a smuggling run.

Directors: Charles Chaplin, Leo White | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Ben Turpin, Peter Sellers

Votes: 1,253

https://youtu.be/YXIRkXrLvH4

14. The Kid (1921)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller

Votes: 98,073 | Gross: $5.45M

https://youtu.be/-975mtgPzxQ

15. The Masquerader (I) (1914)

Not Rated | 9 min | Short, Comedy

Charlie is an actor in a film studio. He messes up several scenes and is tossed out. Returning dressed as a lady, he charms the director. Even so, Charlie never makes it into film, winding up at the bottom of a well.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Chester Conklin, Charles Murray

Votes: 1,068

https://youtu.be/NwKJuBeYFcE

16. The Immigrant (1917)

Unrated | 30 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Albert Austin

Votes: 6,618

https://youtu.be/mlHr3ZrLOKU

17. The Fireman (1916)

TV-G | 24 min | Short, Comedy

Charlie is a fireman who always does everything wrong. A man talks the Fire Chief into ignoring his burning home (he wants the insurance money) unaware that his daughter (the love of the ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Lloyd Bacon, Eric Campbell

Votes: 2,045

https://youtu.be/kbk6tqbJmY4

18. The Idle Class (1921)

TV-G | 32 min | Short, Comedy

A tramp sneaks into a upper class golf resort. The tramp meets a rich woman who is having an argument with her drunken husband. Complications arise when she mistakes the tramp for her husband.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Charles Aber, Joe Anderson

Votes: 2,866

https://youtu.be/sXTPFy4qO00

19. A Night in the Show (1915)

Not Rated | 24 min | Comedy, Short

Mr. Pest tries several theatre seats before winding up in front in a fight with the conductor. He is thrown out. In the lobby he pushes a fat lady into a fountain and returns to sit down by... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Lloyd Bacon, Lawrence A. Bowes

Votes: 1,451

https://youtu.be/Qnp1RM6ixq8

20. Making a Living (1914)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Comedy

An out-of-work swindler takes a job as a reporter. After witnessing a car go over cliff, he grabs a rival reporter's camera and races to the newspaper office to enter the photo as his own. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Lehrman | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Emma Clifton, Chester Conklin, Alice Davenport

Votes: 1,597

https://archive.org/details/CC_1914_02_02_MakingALiving

21. The Cure (1917)

Unrated | 24 min | Short, Comedy

An alcoholic checks into a health spa and his antics promptly throw the establishment into chaos.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Henry Bergman

Votes: 2,823

https://youtu.be/vKN1A_USaJA

22. Police (1916)

34 min | Comedy, Short

Charles Chaplin, a convict, is given $5.00 and released from prison after having served his term. He meets a man of the church who makes him weep for his sins and while he is weeping takes ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Wesley Ruggles, John Rand

Votes: 1,357

https://youtu.be/u0IU8uQniX8

23. The Vagabond (1916)

34 min | Short, Comedy, Romance

Charlie, the emotional violinist, flees to a gipsy camp, only to find himself playing for an abducted girl. Soon, a unique birthmark will pave the way for an unexpected rescue and a marvellous new life. But, will she forget him so easily?

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Leo White

Votes: 2,275

https://youtu.be/L277pNm3Y4w

24. His Musical Career (1914)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Comedy

Charlie and his partner are to deliver a piano to 666 Prospect St. and repossess one from 999 Prospect St. They confuse the addresses. The difficulties of delivering the piano by mule cart,... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Fritz Schade, Cecile Arnold

Votes: 759

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FWaT_dmfxo

25. Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)

Not Rated | 11 min | Short, Comedy

The Tramp wanders into and disrupts the filming of a go-kart race.

Director: Henry Lehrman | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Henry Lehrman, Gordon Griffith

Votes: 2,396

https://youtu.be/Pr7wOBgvmnM

26. The Professor (1919)

7 min | Comedy, Short

Professor Bosco, a poor flea trainer, rents a bed in a flophouse. Before going to bed, he rallies his troops and once he has made sure his beloved fleas are settled for the night, the ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Albert Austin, Henry Bergman, Loyal Underwood

Votes: 487

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7Yrp-uPoWg

27. His Prehistoric Past (1914)

Not Rated | 22 min | Short, Comedy

Charlie dreams he is in the stone age. There King Low-Brow rules a harem of wives. Charlie, in skins and a bowler, falls in love with the king's favorite wife, Sum-Babee. During a hunting ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, May Wallace, Gene Marsh

Votes: 666

https://youtu.be/MgE8gfRD5q0

28. The Champion (1915)

31 min | Short, Comedy, Sport

Walking along with his bulldog, Charlie finds a "good luck" horseshoe just as he passes a training camp advertising for a boxing partner "who can take a beating." After watching others lose... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Bud Jamison, Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, Billy Armstrong

Votes: 1,847

https://youtu.be/Std2keLFwA0

29. Mabel's Married Life (1914)

Not Rated | 17 min | Short, Comedy

Accosted by a masher in the park and unable to motivate husband Charlie into taking action, Mabel gets him a boxing mannequin to sharpen his fighting skills.

Director: Mack Sennett | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain, Eva Nelson

Votes: 984

https://youtu.be/NxOsdRRs0IE

30. The Rounders (1914)

Unrated | 16 min | Comedy, Short

Two drunks live in the same hotel. One beats his wife, the other is beaten by his. They go off and get drunk together. They try to sleep in a restaurant using tables as beds and are thrown ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Phyllis Allen, Minta Durfee

Votes: 1,270

https://youtu.be/Cp02bbO4xVw

31. Triple Trouble (1918)

Not Rated | 23 min | Comedy, Short

As Colonel Nutt is experimenting with explosives, a new janitor is joining his household. The inept janitor proceeds to make life difficult for the rest of staff. Meanwhile, a foreign agent... See full summary »

Directors: Charles Chaplin, Leo White | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Billy Armstrong, Albert Austin

Votes: 839

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaSSD6ga1zw

32. The Face on the Barroom Floor (1914)

Not Rated | 14 min | Short, Comedy

The plot is a satire derived from Hugh Antoine D'Arcy's poem of the same title. The painter courts Madeleine but loses to the wealthy client who sits for his portrait. The despairing artist... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Cecile Arnold, Jess Dandy, Vivian Edwards

Votes: 811

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIAqWTXD2Ps

33. The Knockout (1914)

TV-G | 27 min | Short, Comedy

To show his girl how brave he is Fatty challenges the champion to a fight. Charlie referees, trying to avoid contact with the two monsters.

Director: Mack Sennett | Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Edgar Kennedy, Charles Chaplin, Dan Albert

Votes: 1,006

https://youtu.be/oGUAOA0UNMo

34. A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate (1923)

Passed | 82 min | Drama, Romance

A kept woman runs into her former fiancé and finds herself torn between love and comfort.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Edna Purviance, Clarence Geldart, Carl Miller, Lydia Knott

Votes: 4,331 | Gross: $0.39M

https://youtu.be/4cR65POYeAM

Cinematography is excellent, but what a bad and boring story!

35. Laughing Gas (1914)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Comedy

Charlie pretends to be a dentist though he is only his assistant. When a patient can't stop laughing from the anesthesia Charlie knocks him out with a club. He is sent to the drug store, ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Fritz Schade, Alice Howell, Slim Summerville

Votes: 1,137

https://youtu.be/DNQjiniaAyg

36. Between Showers (1914)

Not Rated | 15 min | Short, Comedy

Charlie and another man compete in trying to help a young lady cross a muddy street. The rival finds a wooden plank which Charlie takes from him. They fight over an umbrella belonging to ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Lehrman | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin, Edward Nolan

Votes: 1,261

https://youtu.be/4qqmDiep3eY

37. Recreation (1914)

Not Rated | 7 min | Comedy, Short

Charlie is walking in the park. A girl leaves a seaman on one bench and joins Charlie on another. The seaman wakes up. He and Charlie stage a brick fight. Policemen get hit and arrest both ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Charles Bennett, Helen Carruthers, Edwin Frazee

Votes: 841

https://youtu.be/IOs_SagSh0M

38. His Regeneration (1915)

TV-G | 15 min | Short, Western

An unrepentant crook enters a dance hall and gets in a fight over a girl. As he, unknowingly, breaks into her house, another bloody mess stains the residence's thick carpets. Can a simple act of kindness pave the way for his regeneration?

Director: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson | Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, Lee Willard, Marguerite Clayton, Hazel Applegate

Votes: 553

https://youtu.be/HVhfV3jfy9Y



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