Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin popularly known as Charlie Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, “The Tramp“, and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
Chaplin’s childhood in London was one of poverty and hardship, as his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, and he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19, he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, which took him to America. He was scouted for the film industry and began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios. He soon developed the Tramp persona and formed a large fan base.
In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the distribution company United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films. His first feature-length film was The Kid (1921), followed by A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928). He became increasingly political, and his first sound film was The Great Dictator (1940), which satirised Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, and his popularity declined rapidly. He was accused of communist sympathies, and some members of the press and public found his involvement in a paternity suit, and marriages to much younger women, scandalous. An FBI investigation was opened, and Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland.
The Great Dictator Speech – Charlie Chaplin
I have put together a bunch of quotes which I think can have a great impact on our lives.
Charlie Chaplin Quotes
“I don’t believe that the public knows what it wants; this is the conclusion that I have drawn from my career.”
“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!”
“My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.”
“A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.”
“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.”
“Perfect love is the most beautiful of all frustrations because it is more than one can express.”
“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.”
“What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning.”
“Words are cheap. The biggest thing you can say is ‘elephant’.”
“I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.”
“Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it. All it takes is courage, imagination … and a little dough.”
“I am at peace with God. My conflict is with Man.”
“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.”
“The mirror is my best friend because when I cry it never laughs.”
“I am for people. I can’t help it.”
“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.”
“Movies are a fad. Audiences really want to see live actors on a stage.”
“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.”
“Patriotism is too deep a feeling to depict in the posing for a photograph.”
“Why should poetry have to make sense?”
“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.”
“You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men!”
Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films. He was a perfectionist, and his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture. He received an Honorary Academy Award for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century” in 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work. He continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator often ranked on lists of the greatest films of all time.
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