8.0/10
1,241
4 user 11 critic

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

Narrated by Sydney Pollack, film critic Richard Schickel's dazzling two-hour plus documentary to one of the towering figures in film: Charles Chaplin. Hardcore Chaplin fans may not find ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

(a film by)

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A look at the parallel lives of Charles Chaplin and Adolf Hitler and how they crossed with the creation of The Great Dictator (1940).

Directors: Kevin Brownlow, Michael Kloft
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Sydney Chaplin, Walter Bernstein
The Pilgrim (1923)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Tramp is an escaped convict who is mistaken as a pastor in a small town church.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Syd Chaplin
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A filmed record of Pablo Picasso painting numerous canvases for the camera, allowing us to see his creative process at work.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stars: Pablo Picasso, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Claude Renoir
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of Ingmar Bergman's parents. In 1909, poor, idealistic theology student Henrik Bergman falls in love with Anna Åkerbloom, the intelligent, educated daughter of a rich family in ... See full summary »

Director: Bille August
Stars: Samuel Fröler, Pernilla August, Max von Sydow
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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
Limelight (1952)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man and a woman meet by accident on a Sunday evening at their children's boarding school. Slowly the widower and widow reveal themselves to each other, with each revelation hidden by a ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Lelouch
Stars: Anouk Aimée, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pierre Barouh
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A documentary that utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brando recorded over the course of his life to tell the screen legend's story.

Director: Stevan Riley
Stars: Marlon Brando, Stella Adler, Bernardo Bertolucci
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Himself (archive footage)
... Narrated By
... Himself
... Himself - Chaplin Friend / Actor
David Thomson ... Himself - Film Historian
... Himself - Chaplin Biographer
... Himself - Film Critic and Historian
... Himself - Actor / Star of 'Chaplin
David Robinson ... Himself - Chaplin Biographer
Jeanine Basinger ... Herself - Film Historian
... Himself - Director / Writer / Actor
... Himself - Actor
... Himself - Son of Charles Chaplin
... Herself - Daughter of Charles Chaplin
... Himself - Director of 'Chaplin'
Edit

Storyline

Narrated by Sydney Pollack, film critic Richard Schickel's dazzling two-hour plus documentary to one of the towering figures in film: Charles Chaplin. Hardcore Chaplin fans may not find much new material here, but more unfamiliar admirers will gain some valuable information about one of the most famous personalities of the 20th century. Schickel has constructed the documentary as a chronological survey of Chaplin's work, starting with his most significant shorts and covering all of his features. Schickel supports his narration with testimony from artists familiar with Chaplin's work and family members who offer personal insights into the comedian's life. The documentary plays down but doesn't ignore the controversies that swirled around Chaplin's private life. But the main focus is on the films. They include some of the best-loved movies of all time. Clips from "Kid Auto Races at Venice," the 1914 Keystone short in which Chaplin first used his Tramp costume, reveal a startlingly ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie: Charles Chaplin élete és művészete  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features The Masquerader (1914) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
For completists
5 November 2009 | by See all my reviews

"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.


5 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial