Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2004)

Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

American film historian and author Richard Schickel directs the documentary Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin. Schickel offers an exploration into Chaplin's life, from his childhood in London until his death in 1977. The film also contains insight on his multifaceted film career and much-publicized private life. Includes archive footage, film clips, and narration by Sydney Pollack. Interwoven with the vintage bits are contemporary interviews with Hollywood personas such as Woody … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Television, Classics, Comedy, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Richard Schickel
In Theaters:
Warner Bros.

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Critic Reviews for Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8)

I urge everyone to see it.

Full Review… | February 26, 2004
New York Observer
Top Critic

It is crammed to the gills with a fine selection of the beloved comic's best work, with talking-head commentary serving to deepen and enrich the enjoyment.

February 13, 2004
New York Post
Top Critic

It whets the appetite to experience again Chaplin's luminous body of work.

Full Review… | February 13, 2004
New York Daily News
Top Critic

A well-organized, informative and inevitably entertaining portrait of the man who revolutionized screen comedy and who arguably became the first mass-market, commercialized media figure.

February 13, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Richard Schickel, a noted film critic and historian, has used the familiar techniques of historical documentary to construct a critical biography of one of the dominant figures in 20th-century popular culture.

Full Review… | February 12, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Made with enormous affection; the Chaplinesque sentimentality, which so many silent fans cite when voicing a preference for Keaton or Harold Lloyd, is employed here, not exploited.

Full Review… | February 12, 2004
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin

A wonderful, touching, informative, well-done and heartbreaking documentary of the greatest comedic talent of all time. Great interviews with Chaplin's children, Martin Scorsese, Johnny Depp and Robert Downey jr, not to mention numerous film critics and Chaplin biographers. This documentary also features many many great clips of his work. This is definitely a great watch but it also makes me feel like an idiot for not seeing more than half a dozen of Chaplin's films.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer


Wonderful documentary on the tramp

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


An interesting documentary on Chaplin that focuses mainly on his art and achievements. His personal life is examined somewhat in depth from the time he began making movies to the ban on his re-entry to the United States. However, it was disappointing for me because I would have liked there to be more focus on his early life in London, including his love for Hetty Kelly (who was not even mentioned) and especially the FBI file on him and the workings behind his ban to the US, which is only touched upon in this documentary. And indeed, after discussions on LIMELIGHT, this documentary falls a little flat and does not go into the analytical depth of A KING IN NEW YORK and A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG that was persistant for the rest of his work. True, these may be weaker Chaplin films, but they deserve more than mere mention that they were disappointments at the box office.

It's very good as an introduction for those who don't know Chaplin's work and life all that well, but for fans (like me), it's certainly lacking.

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