The biography of Charles Chaplin, filmmaker extraordinaire. From his formative years in England to his highest successes in America, Chaplin's life, work, and loves are followed. While his screen characters were extremely hilarious, the man behind 'The Little Tramp' was constantly haunted by a sense of loss.Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the scene when Charles Chaplin is at work on Shoulder Arms (1918), he asks his cameraman, Roland Totheroh, how the light is. Totheroh (and the rest of the crew) replies, "Better down at Barney's bar." This was the signal for production to end for the day, the "light," to which Chaplin was referring, was the light beer served at Barney Oldfield's bar, which was the favorite drink and hangout for the crew after filming. See more »
During the scene after the paddle boat is tied to the dock, Sidney and the boat operator open bottles of beer with screw off caps, something not made until the late 1970s. See more »
Ha ha ha ha ha. Come on Charlie stop messing about, we really have to get down to it now. I just hope our friendship survives the day, that's all.
Ha George, don't be so melodramatic.
Well, it's your autobiography Charlie. And as your editor I have to tell you that parts of the manuscript are pretty vague, to say the least. I mean for instance, your mother. Now when did she first lose control? We need to know those facts.
It's hard to say. She could be so wonderful, on good days...
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Thankyou to Richard Attenborough for this film. I watched it many a time and enjoyed both the biographical aspect and the comedic one but it has also increased my interest in silent comics of this great era.
The film begins by exploring the early life of Charlie, his Brother Sid and his Mother as they try to scrape a living. Thankfully Attenborough doesn't concentrate too much on this deprived part of Chaplin's life. However it does reveal interesting facts about Charlie that he never forgot during his rise to superstardom.
Although Chaplin is played by younger actors at the begining it is the arrival of Robert Downey Jnr which Chaplin fans will anticipate the most. He puts in an amazing performance, his London accent is excellent and ability to do slapstick even better he also really makes you believe that the great man is alive and on the screen again.
The film rightly concentrates on the private life of Chaplin and the development of the cinema. Whilst others may want to see the film concentrate on Chaplin's great pictures e.g The Kid, Gold Rush, and the Great dictator Attenborough blends the creation of these films into specific turning points in Charlie's life. For example Modern times is used to show Chaplin's sympathy towards victims of the wall street crash, as he knew what it was like to be extremely poor. His Jewish connections are also highlighted by the Great dictator, which shows his sensitivities to the European Jews were more at heart than just a making a heap of cash by having a laugh at Hitler's moustache and goose stepping troops.
The film doesn't get bogged down by Chaplin's hectic love life, as Dickie explores Charlie's political beliefs and how J Edgar Hoover was convinced of he was a communist party member. By doing so it shows how Hoover was one of the most twisted individuals to hold public office, with a dangerous obsession on peoples private lives and background.
The film does a good job in showing how important silent stars were and how we should not forget that they were the true greats when films were developing all the time from shorts to feature length, from silent to sound.
58 of 67 people found this review helpful.
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