Search Results for: 12 days of chaplin

The 12 Days of Chaplin – Day 12: A King in New York (1957)

The one thing you could never say about Charlie Chaplin is that he shied away from controversy.   A King in New York was Chaplin’s penultimate film, the first film he made as an exile and the first film to examine the paranoia of the Communist witch hunts in America during the 1940s and 50s. Chaplin plays the exiled King Igor Shahdov who has moved to New York City after a revolution in his home country (from the fictional European country of Estrovia).   Right after he arrives, he finds out that his Prime Minster has ran off with...

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The 12 Days of Chaplin – Day 11: Limelight (1952)

Limelight was, in many ways, a reaction to the commercial failure of Charlie Chaplin’s previous film, the politically driven Monsieur Verdoux . In response to this, he tried to avoid controversy by creating a film that proved to be his most autobiographical. In his 60s now, Chaplin’s days of being the famous Tramp were long over and he created this film like it might be his last. What we have as a result is a very personal story about love, death and what it means to be a performer. Of all the later Chaplin films, Limelight remains his strongest...

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The 12 Days of Chaplin – Day 10: Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

No other film in Chaplin’s career was more controversial than Monsieur Verdoux . It was with this film Chaplin’s career as a filmmaker in America virtually ended and for many it marked the beginning of his creative decline. Charlie Chaplin plays Henri Verdoux, an unemployed banker that has gone into the business of killing rich widows that he marries to make a living for his real wife and child. He manages to do a balancing act of having wives all over France, in very stages of seduction, until a few bad breaks find the law finally closing in on...

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The 12 Days of Chaplin – Day 9: The Great Dictator (1940)

In 1939, Charlie Chaplin was the most famous man in the world, so he must have felt a sense of responsibility having to be able to touch so many people at once. Due to Chaplin’s filming methods, which always took a considerable amount of time, The Great Dictator started shooting in 1938, when the world hadn’t broken out in war yet. At the time shooting began, the film was a plea to stop the insanity of the coming war, but by the time it was released in 1940, it was plea to end it. Chaplin had retired The Tramp...

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The 12 Days of Chaplin – Day 8: Modern Times (1936)

Modern Times was the last film to feature Charlie Chaplin’s character known well know as The Tramp. He would continue to do a few more films with “tramp-like” characters, but this was final bow for one of the most famous fictional characters to come out of the 20th Century. For this last film, Chaplin goes out on a bold note makes a stirring social commentary on the dehumanization of machinery on man. Chaplin plays a factory worker who has a nervous breakdown and is fired from his job. On the street he meets up with a young homeless “gamy”...

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The 12 Days of Chaplin – Day 7: City Lights (1931)

It has become a pretty common sentiment that if there was only one Charlie Chaplin film to survive the ages then it should be City Lights . The film is consistently on most critics “best” lists of not only Chaplin’s work but of great classic cinema as well. It should come as no surprise then, that it was listed on TIFF’s Essential 100 list at #29 and is featured in the Chaplin Holiday retrospective. The story begins with The Tramp meeting a blind girl (Virginia Cherrill) selling flowers on the street of a large city. He is enamored with...

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The 12 Days of Chaplin – Day 6: The Circus (1928)

The downside of a filmmaker of Charlie Chaplin’s skill is that by making so many masterpieces, a few very good films can be lost in the shadow of the others. The best example of this is The Circus . If you were to name the first two Chaplin films that come to mind right away, you will likely answer The Gold Rush and City Lights . The Circus was made between those two classics and is largely forgotten today, which is shame because this is a film that deserves a second look. The Circus was actually a fantastic success...

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