The Real Charlie Chaplin
- 1h 54m
A look at the life and work of Charlie Chaplin in his own words featuring an in-depth interview he gave to Life magazine in 1966.A look at the life and work of Charlie Chaplin in his own words featuring an in-depth interview he gave to Life magazine in 1966.A look at the life and work of Charlie Chaplin in his own words featuring an in-depth interview he gave to Life magazine in 1966.
Couple of comments: this documentary is co-directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney ("Notes On Blindness"). Here they reassess the man, the myth and the legacy of Charlie Chaplin. It appears that this film received the full cooperation of the Chaplin estate, as the film features tons of archive home footage. As is noted by several talking heads: Charlie Chaplin's the Tramp character is just that: a character, and not Charlie Chaplin himself. Chaplin the film maker was a genius. Chaplin the man was a deeply flawed person. Meanwhile the US doesn't come out great in this either, and that's a serious understatement. After years of a smear campaign led by the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover, to boot Chaplin and his family out of the country in 1952 at the height of McCarthyism was simply petty and vindictive (and unfounded I might add). The movie also contains a large segment as to the parallels between Chaplin and Hitler. None of it is "new" but to see it laid out as it is here, is startling nevertheless. One thing about the documentary that bothered me (perhaps more than it should) is the reenactment of various interviews that were audio-taped only, but shown here in full stage reenactments, as if these events were filmed (which they were not). It is completely unnecessary and frankly misleading. Aside from that stain, this documentary is a timely reminder of the genius and shortcomings at the same time that befell Charlie Chaplin.
"The Real Charlie Chaplin" recently premiered in Showtime, and is now available on SHO On Demand (where I caught it). If you have any interest in movie history or are simply a fan of Charlie Chapin, I'd readily suggest you check it out, and draw your own conclusion.
- Dec 30, 2021