Charles Chaplin

"Besides being the most celebrated silent slapstick comedy director, Sir Charles Chaplin was also a composer, early cinema's top star, and cofounder in 1919 of United Artists… Chaplin lowered his work rhythm to one film every few years, and his carefully choreographed gags, emotional tactfulness, and awareness for detail guaranteed brilliance." - Ernest Mathijs (501 Movie Directors, 2007)

Charles Chaplin

Director / Screenwriter / Actor / Producer / Editor / Composer
(1889-1977) Born April 16, Walworth, London, England
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Comedy, Slapstick, Short Films, Melodrama, Comedy Drama, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Urban Comedy, Satire, Romantic Drama
Key Collaborators: Roland Totheroh (Cinematographer), Edna Purviance (Leading Character Actress), Henry Bergman (Leading Character Actor), Albert Austin (Character Actor), Charles D. Hall (Production Designer), John Rand (Character Actor), Eric Campbell (Leading Character Actor), Vincent Bryan (Screenwriter), Maverick Terrell (Screenwriter), Henry P. Caulfield (Producer), Allan Garcia (Character Actor), Syd Chaplin (Leading Actor)

"Prior to Chaplin, no one had demonstrated that physical comedy could be simultaneously hilariously funny, emotionally passionate, and pointedly intellectual. While his cinema technique tended to be invisible—emphasizing the actor and his actions—he gradually evolved a principle of cinema based on framing: finding the exact way to frame a shot to reveal its motion and meaning completely, thus avoiding disturbing cuts." - Gerald Mast (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"The sophisticated intelligence and skills he brought to slapstick comedy forced intellectuals to recognise that art could reside in a wholly popular entertainment, and not just in those self-consciously 'artistic' products with which the cinema first tried to court respectability. In the 1910s and 20s Chaplin's Tramp, combating a hostile and unrewarding world with cheek and gallantry, afforded a talisman and champion to the underprivileged millions who were the cinema's first mass audience." - David Robinson (The Oxford History of World Cinema, 1999)
"Best known as the 'the little tramp', he drew on his childhood experiences of poverty and loss to depict a quintessential underdog, a rather exquisite, sentimentalised version of the Common Man eternally at odds with the strong and the rich, the powerful and unjust... In 1972 he received an honorary Oscar, followed three years later by a knighthood. While the awards were in recognition of his genius, he should be remembered less as a great film-maker than as the man who was the first real icon of cinema. Chaplin's importance lies in the way he embodied the movies' power to touch the world." - Geoff Andrew (The Film Handbook, 1989)
"Chaplin, British-born, and raised and Hollywood-sharpened, offered the world an image - and was its own best salesman. As an actual film director, he was not of the first rank, but as an ideas man and a showcaser of his own talents, he was almost without peer." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)
"The apparent simplicity of Chaplin's art should never be confused with lack of technique. For Chaplin, his other self on the screen has always been the supreme object of contemplation, and the style that logically followed from this assumption represents the antithesis to Eisenstein's early formulations on montage." - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)
"Despite being a brilliant comic actor, Chaplin directed with a simple, sometimes awkward style. Yet his career is loaded with classics which are often as sentimental as they are funny. Chaplin's social conscience, first revealed in the pathetic wanderings of the Little Tramp, blossomed in the 1930s and 40s." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"All my pictures are built around the idea of getting in trouble and so giving me the chance to be desperately serious in my attempt to appear as a normal little gentleman." - Charles Chaplin
"I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose." - Charles Chaplin
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
The Circus (1928) , Modern Times (1936) , The Great Dictator (1940) , Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Recommended
Easy Street (1917), The Immigrant (1917), The Kid (1921) , The Pilgrim (1923), A Woman of Paris (1923) , The Gold Rush (1925) , City Lights (1931)
Worth a Look
One A.M. (1916), The Pawnshop (1916), The Rink (1916), The Cure (1917), Shoulder Arms (1918), A Dog's Life (1918), The Idle Class (1921), Limelight (1952) , A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)
Approach with Caution
His New Job (1915), The Champion (1915), A King in New York (1957)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Modern Times
    comments powered by Disqus