Director: Richard Attenborough
Entertainment grade: C+
History grade: B+
Charlie Chaplin was a British comedian who became one of the earliest and greatest stars of Hollywood cinema.
The film begins with Chaplin's grim childhood in Victorian London, complete with an absentee father, a mentally ill mother (played by Geraldine Chaplin, the granddaughter of the real thing) and a stint in the workhouse. One night, when his mother sings in a music-hall show, her voice fails. Five-year-old Charlie is brought on to replace her. His precociously adorable performance brings the house down. Much though this rise-to-fame story sounds too good to be true, it is what Chaplin described in his autobiography.
In adulthood, Chaplin is played by Robert Downey Jr. The film makes a big deal of the 19-year-old
A recent headline in the Birmingham Mail read: "Charlie Chaplin may have been from Birmingham." It reports on a letter found by Chaplin's daughter Victoria, after her father's death, that suggests south London's most famous son may have been a Gypsy born in Smethwick. We may never know the truth: Chaplin's birth certificate has never been discovered. But we do know that his parents worked in the music halls, and that he worked in the entertainment industry for more than 75 years, and that many of his 11 children became actors: the Chaplin family story is as complex, sad and delightful as one of his finest slapstick routines. He wrote in My Autobiography (1964): "To gauge the morals of our family by commonplace standards would be as erroneous as putting a thermometer in boiling water."
Chaplin's father, Charles Chaplin Sr,
Once more, Woody Allen's genius has brought forth a poignant liaison between a dour but lovable greybeard and a naive but discerning tootsie. Or, to put it another way, a peevish old goat manages to cop off yet again with a complaisant babe.
If you've seen Manhattan, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy and Mighty Aphrodite, you won't be surprised by the scenario on which Whatever Works relies. But Woody's aren't the only movies in which an older guy gets lucky.
You may have heard tell of To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, An American in Paris, How to Marry a Millionaire, Gigi, High Society, Love in the Afternoon, South Pacific, Rio Bravo, The Sound of Music, Last Tango in Paris,
Blond³: Diane, Anna and Cathy
1832 Louisa May Alcott wrote the oft-adapted Little Women
1895 Busby Berkeley, legendary choreographer/director. What would the early musicals have been without him?
1898 C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia which were made into unfortunately generic movies. He also wrote The Screwtape Letters which I personally pray will never see the silver screen despite Hollywood's efforts. Some books just deserve the undiluted perfection of their original form. Sir Anthony Hopkins played him in the weepy bio Shadowlands (1993)
1901 Mildred Harris, silent film actress and Mrs Charlie Chaplin (for a few years)
1918 Madeleine L'Engle prolific author, most famous for Wrinkle in Time
1931 Shintarô Katsu the original blind swordsman Zatoichi
1932 Diane Ladd, if you don't love her Oscar nom'ed performances in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Rambling Rose and Wild at Heart, well... what's wrong with you?
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.