Charles Chaplin - Rotten Tomatoes

Charles Chaplin



The first great screen comedian, Charles Chaplin was also one of the most gifted directors in history, in addition to being a formidable talent as a writer and composer. The son of music hall performers from England, he began working on the stage at age five. He was a popular child dancer and got work on the London stage, eventually moving up to acting roles. It was while touring America in 1912 that Chaplin was spotted by Mack Sennett, the head of Keystone Studios, and he was signed to them a year later. After a disappointing, relatively non-descript debut, Chaplin began evolving the persona that would emerge as his most famous screen portrayal, The Little Tramp, and after his first 11 movies, Chaplin began to manifest a desire to direct. By his 13th film, he had shifted into the director's chair, and also emerged as a writer.



Chaplin's 35 movies at Keystone established him as a major film comedian and afforded him the chance to adapt his stage routines to the screen. He next moved on to Essanay Studios, where he had virtually complete creative freedom, and The Little Tramp became an established big-screen star. In 1916, Chaplin went to Mutual, earning an astronomical 10,000 dollars per week under a contract that gave him absolute control of his films -- the Mutual titles, most notably The Immigrant and Easy Street, are still counted among the greatest comedies ever made. These modestly proportioned two-reelers were followed by Chaplin's move to First National Studios, where he made lengthier, more ambitious, but fewer films, including the comedy The Kid, which was the second highest grossing silent film after D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, and made an overnight sensation of his co-star, Jackie Coogan. By this time, Chaplin had become an international celebrity of a status that modern audiences can only imagine because he achieved his success through comedy. With three other screen giants, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and D.W. Griffith, he founded United Artists, the first modern production and distribution company, and achieved further renown as a director with A Woman of Paris two years later. In 1925, he made what is generally considered his magnum opus, The Gold Rush.



Chaplin's success continued into the sound era, although he resisted using sound until Modern Times in 1936. He had his first failure in 1940 with the anti-Hitler political satire The Great Dictator at about the same time that his personal life -- he had been involved in several awkward problems with various women, including a paternity suit filed against him by aspiring actress Joan Barry -- began to catch up with him. Chaplin's career during the immediate post-World War II period was marred by continuing problems, as his pacifism and alleged anti-American views led to investigations. He also made the black comedy Monsieur Verdoux, which failed at the box office. It was followed, however, by the best of his sound comedies, Limelight, which, because of his legal difficulties, didn't open in Los Angeles until two decades later -- when its score, written by Chaplin, received an Oscar. A King in New York, in 1957, and The Countess From Hong Kong, made nine years later, closed out his career on a lackluster note.

After D.W. Griffith, Chaplin was the most important filmmaker of the silent film era. Through his clear understanding of film and its capabilities, and his constant experimentation -- he frequently ran through hundreds of takes to get just the right shot and effect he wanted -- he set most of the rules for screen comedy that are still being followed, and his onscreen image remains one of the most familiar.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Il Monello vs. Sherlock Jr.
  • Director
2016
No Score Yet The Mack Sennett Collection: Volume One
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Charlie Chaplin Cavalcade
  • Actor
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
2012
No Score Yet The Count
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Les Burlesques Americains
  • Director
2011
No Score Yet Adrenaline of Love
  • Director
2010
86% Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Les Ennemis du Cinema
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet The Forgotten Films of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Unknown Chaplin - The Master At Work
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Charlie Chaplin: The Forgotten Years
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Celebrity Icons
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Vintage Classics - Hollywood Legends - 8 DVD Pack
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Triggermen
  • Producer
2002
No Score Yet Chaplin Today: Monsieur Verdoux
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Chaplin Today: Modern Times
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Chaplin Today: Limelight
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Chaplin Today: City Lights
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Chaplin Today: A King In New York
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Chaplin Today: The Kid
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet In the Park (Charlie in the Park) (Charlie on the Spree)
  • Director
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet The Serpent's Kiss
  • Director
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Killer Barbys
  • Director
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet Police (Charlie in the Police) (Charlie the Burglar) (Housebreaker)
  • Actor
  • Director
1995
No Score Yet Unknown Chaplin
  • Actor
1983
60% A Countess from Hong Kong
  • Producer
  • Old Steward
  • Executive Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1967
No Score Yet Chaplin's Art of Comedy
  • Actor
1966
No Score Yet A Night in the Show (A Night at the Show ) (Charlie at the Show)
  • Actor
  • Director
1964
No Score Yet When Comedy Was King
  • Actor
1960
80% A King in New York
  • Screenwriter
  • King Shahdov
  • Producer
  • Director
1957
97% Limelight
  • Producer
  • Calvero
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1952
97% Monsieur Verdoux
  • Henri Verdoux
  • Director
  • Producer
1947
92% The Great Dictator
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Hynkel/Barber
1940
No Score Yet Der Ewige Jude
  • Himself
1940
100% Modern Times
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • A Worker
  • Producer
1936
98% City Lights
  • Little Tramp
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1931
No Score Yet Laughter Allowed
  • Actor
1930
No Score Yet Slapstick
  • Actor
1930
100% The Circus
  • Producer
  • Tramp
  • Director
1928
100% The Gold Rush
  • The Lone Prospector
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1925
No Score Yet The Pilgrim
  • Director
  • Lefty Lombard/Slippery Elm/Rev. Philip Pim
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1923
91% A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate
  • Producer
  • Director
1923
No Score Yet Pay Day
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Laborer
1922
No Score Yet Seeing Stars
  • Actor
1922
No Score Yet The Idle Class
  • Screenwriter
  • Tramp, Husband
  • Director
1921
100% The Kid
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • A Tramp
1921
No Score Yet A Day's Pleasure
  • Screenwriter
  • Father
  • Director
  • Producer
1919
No Score Yet Sunnyside
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Farm handyman
  • Director
1919
No Score Yet Shoulder Arms
  • Doughboy
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1918
No Score Yet The Bond
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Himself
1918
No Score Yet Triple Trouble
  • Director
1918
No Score Yet A Dog's Life
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Tramp
1918
No Score Yet Chaplin Review
  • Director
  • Actor
1918
No Score Yet The Adventurer
  • The Convict
  • Producer
  • Director
1917
No Score Yet The Immigrant
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Immigrant
1917
No Score Yet The Cure (The Water Cure)
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1917
No Score Yet Chaplin at Mutual Studios 1
  • Actor
1917
No Score Yet The Rink
  • Producer
  • A Waiter. Posing as Sir Cecil Seltzer
  • Director
1916
No Score Yet Behind the Screen
  • Director
1916
No Score Yet The Pawnshop
  • Director
  • Producer
1916
No Score Yet The Count
  • Tailor's
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1916
No Score Yet One A.M. (Solo)
  • Director
  • Drunk
  • Screenwriter
1916
No Score Yet The Vagabond
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Saloon Violinist
1916
No Score Yet The Fireman
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Fireman
1916
No Score Yet Chaplin: Special Edition
  • Actor
1916
No Score Yet Charlie Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen
  • Director
  • Darn Hosiery
1916
No Score Yet Chaplin at Mutual Studios 3
  • Actor
1916
No Score Yet Chaplin at Mutual Studios 2
  • Actor
1916
No Score Yet American Slapstick
  • Actor
1915
No Score Yet The Bank
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Charlie, the Janitor
1915
No Score Yet Work (Charlie at Work) (Charlie the Decorator)
  • Director
  • Actor
1915
No Score Yet By the Sea (Charlie by the Sea) (Charlie's Day Out)
  • Stroller
  • Director
1915
No Score Yet The Tramp
  • Director
  • The Tramp
1915
No Score Yet The Champion
  • Director
  • Challenger
  • Screenwriter
1915
No Score Yet A Night Out (Champagne Charlie) (Charlie's Drunken Daze) (His Night Out)
  • Director
  • Reveler
  • Screenwriter
1915
No Score Yet His New Job (Charlie's New Job)
  • Film Extra
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1915
No Score Yet Work and Police
  • Director
  • Actor
1915
No Score Yet Chaplin at Essanay Studios 1
  • Actor
1915
No Score Yet Rare Chaplin
  • Director
  • Actor
1915
No Score Yet Chaplin at Essanay Studios 2
  • Actor
1915
No Score Yet His Prehistoric Past, (A Dream), (King Charlie )
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1914
No Score Yet A Fair Exchange
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Spouse
1914
No Score Yet His Trysting Place
  • Director
  • Husband
1914
No Score Yet Musical Tramps
  • Director
  • Piano Mover
1914
No Score Yet Gentlemen of Nerve
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Mr. Wow-Woe
1914
No Score Yet Dough and Dynamite
  • Pierre
  • Director
1914
No Score Yet The New Janitor
  • Director
  • Janitor
1914
No Score Yet The Rounders
  • The Reveller
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1914
No Score Yet The Good for Nothing
  • Charlie
  • Director
1914
No Score Yet The Masquerader
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Film Actor
1914
No Score Yet Recreation
  • Tramp
  • Director
1914
No Score Yet The Property Man (Charlie on the Boards ) (Getting His Goat ) (Hits of the Past)
  • Director
  • The Property Man
1914
No Score Yet Mabel's Married Life
  • Husband
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1914
No Score Yet Mabel's Busy Day
  • Tipsy Nuisance
1914
No Score Yet The Knockout
  • Referee
1914
No Score Yet Laughing Gas
  • Dentist's Assistant
  • Director
1914
No Score Yet Her Friend the Bandit
  • Director
  • Bandit
1914
No Score Yet The Fatal Mallet
  • Suitor
1914
No Score Yet Caught in the Rain
  • Director
  • Tipsy Hotel Guest
1914
No Score Yet Caught in a Cabaret
  • Waiter
1914
No Score Yet Twenty Minutes of Love
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Pickpocket
1914
No Score Yet Cruel, Cruel Love
  • Lord Helpus
1914
No Score Yet His Favorite Pastime
  • Drinker
1914
No Score Yet Tango Tangles
  • Tipsy Dancer
1914
No Score Yet Between Showers
  • Masher
1914
No Score Yet Mabel's Strange Predicament
  • Tramp
1914
No Score Yet Kid Auto Races at Venice
  • Tramp
1914
No Score Yet Making a Living
  • Swindler
1914
83% Tillie's Punctured Romance
  • Charlie
1914
No Score Yet Chaplin at Keystone Studios
  • Actor
1914
No Score Yet Knockout
  • Director
  • Actor
1914
No Score Yet Chaplin Lost and Found - Keystone
  • Actor
No Score Yet Chaplin Essanay Book 1
  • Actor
No Score Yet Kulturnatten: Stumfilm med levande musik
  • Actor

Quotes from Charles Chaplin's Characters