The Kid (1921) The Little
Tramp unwillingly 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!
A Woman of Paris (1923)
Against the wishes of their tyrannical parents, Jean and Marie decide to elope to Paris. The sudden death of Jean’s father makes it impossible for him to meet her at the station, and Marie heads for Paris alone. A year later, Jean finds her in the arms of a rich and decadent playboy…and tragedy ensues. Highly acclaimed by filmmakers from Lubitsch to Scorsese, this brilliant yet subtle Parisian fresco reveals the dramatic genius of the King of Comedy.
The Gold Rush (1925) A
calm and content Little Tramp seeks his fortune in the hidden gold mines of the Klondike. All calm is quickly lost, however, when another prospector, just as famished as he is, begins mistaking him for a giant chicken. 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) Inspired by
notorious French serial killer Landru, Henri Verdoux lures wealthy women by promising them sweet happy-ever- afters. After the wedding bells chime, however, he murders them for their fortunes. 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!
Limelight (1952) 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 musical duet.
A King in New York
(1957) 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 musical duet.
A Countess from Hong Kong
(1966) A Russian countess illegally climbs aboard a luxury liner to reach America for a better life. She hides in the cab of a diplomat billionaire.
"Hannah, can you hear me?
Wherever you are, look up, Hannah. The clouds are lifting. The sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world, a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality. Look up, Hannah. The soul of man has been given wings, and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow — into the light of hope, into the future, the glorious future that belongs to you, to me, and to all of us. Look up, Hannah. Look up!"
Charlie Chaplin: The Legend In
the contemporary world, and ever since this man gained some ground beneath his feet, the words comedy and Charlie Chaplin have been synonymous. 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 them. His constant endeavours 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. The cutting-edge sentimentality and the brilliant portrayal of human emotions are the reason Chaplin rose to the position that he has in the hearts of people all over the world. On his 125rd birthday, here’s taking a walk down memory lane – some of the best films of the legend!