Charlie Chaplin: The Legend
Chaplin’s work has spanned some seven decades since his birth in 1889 till
his death in 1977. Born Charles Spencer ‘Charlie’ Chaplin, this man played
with the boundaries of comedy, pushed them far, and shaped and re-shaped
His constant endeavors with the genre of comedy have been proved time
and again on the silver screen, and his movies have received the much-coveted
pedestal of classics.
On his 125th birthday, here’s taking a walk down memory lane – some of
the best films of the legend!
The Kid (1921)
The Little Tramp takes in an
abandoned baby. He quickly
softens up to the boy and after a
few years, they make their living
together as a team.
One day, the child falls ill and
social services try to take him
away… Though this was Charlie
Chaplin’s first full-length movie,
it was already a masterpiece!
The Gold Rush (1925)
The Little Tramp seeks his fortune in
the gold mines of the Klondike.
In this world where shoe laces become
spaghetti and bread rolls become ballet
shoes, Chaplin, the alchemist, turns
gold into poetry.
The Circus (1928)
The Little Tramp is hired by a
circus and soon becomes the main
attraction when his comedic
blunders drive the crowd wild.
Having fallen in love with the
ringmaster’s daughter, he doesn’t
even realize he’s the show’s main
feature. In this high-flying comedy,
we are quickly caught up in
Chaplin’s whirlwind of gags,
where even the acrobats and
clowns watch his show-stopping
stunts from the sidelines.
City Lights (1931)
Wandering the city streets, the Little
Tramp happens upon a blind flower
girl who mistakes him for a rich man.
The Tramp later saves a drunken
millionaire who is attempting to
drown himself in the river. The
millionaire becomes his best friend.
That is, until he sobers up and no
longer recognizes the Tramp… In
City Lights, friendship and social
ranking are not always as they seem.
We enter a world of a disenchanted
bourgeoisie, where a tramp is king
and a blind girl, queen.
Modern Times (1936)
Subjected to the infernal production rate of the factory, a model worker suddenly has
a nervous breakdown and goes mad. From hospital, to prison, to unemployment, the
Little Tramp gets caught up in the sprockets and cogs of modern industrialization.
That is, until he comes across a beautiful orphaned gamine, whom he helps escape
from the police. How to break free from the constraints of modern life? Chaplin
provides a critical look at productivity in the early 20th century… and well beyond!
The Great Dictator (1940)
A barber wounded during the First World War returns home after 20 years within
hospital walls. His shop has grown full of cobwebs and dust, but it is the hateful
graffiti on his shop window that takes him totally by surprise. Hynkel, the tyrannical
dictator, and his henchmen persecute the barber, as well as the rest of the Jewish
community, including the beautiful Hannah… A visionary satire that marked history,
just as history itself left its mark on the film.
Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Henri Verdoux lures wealthy women by
promising them a happy life. After the
wedding bells however, he murders
them for their money. In this particularly
dark comedy, Chaplin questions our
perception of evil: Isn’t this refined
criminal a mere amateur compared to
weapons suppliers and dictators? We
stand ready to condemn a murderer, but
when war victims are counted in
millions, we celebrate a hero!
Calvero, once a famous Music Hall
star, now a washed-up old man, saves a
neighbor from suicide. He nurtures the
young ballerina with paralyzed legs
back to health, and helps her regain her
self-esteem, so that she may return to
the stage. In this film Chaplin
intimately and poignantly explores the
twilight years of glory: what it means
to be forgotten, to despair, and how to
gather the strength to overcome.
Chaplin also offers Buster Keaton a
highly memorable appearance in their