There is something about Chaplin
Some fascinating trivia about the greatest entertainer & his films. Charlie Chaplin
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on April 16th, 1889 in London to Charles and Hannah Chaplin. By 1917 he built his own studio in just 3 months. It was called ‘Charlie Chaplin Studio’, it resembled an English village with a series of gray, colonial clapboard cottages and orderly green landscaping. Some of his best silent films were filmed here such as ‘The Gold Rush’, ‘City Lights’ and ‘Modern Times’. He was also one of the co-founders of United Artists Corporation.
Charlie was the first actor to appear on the cover of TIME magazine- July 6th, 1925 issue. He was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on March 4th, 1975, just before his 86th birthday.
The movie ‘Limelight’ won the Oscar for the Best Music and Original Dramatic Score.
‘The Great Dictator’ was nominated in the categories: Best Actor, Best Picture and Screenplay. ‘Monsieur Verdoux’ was nominated for Best Writing and Original Screenplay. He also received 2 Honorary Oscars- 1929 & 1972.
‘Making a Living’ (1914), was the first film in which Charlie appeared. He portrayed the character Edgar English, a swindler who takes the job as a newspaper reporter. His next film ‘Kid Auto Races at Venice’ featured the earliest version of his ‘Tramp’ character.
Chaplin’s first full length film, 1921 classic ‘The Kid’, launched the career of child star Jackie Coogan. He was fantastic as the title character in this emotionally wrenching film. Coogan went on to star in dozens of films, and later sued his mother and stepfather over his film earnings and provoked California to enact the first known legal protection for the child performers, the California Child Actors Bill, widely known as ‘Coogan Act’.
The film ‘The Great Dictator’ was banned in Germany but supposedly viewed by Hitler in private many times. It is the story of Adenoid Hynkel, Dictator of Tomania, who persecutes Jewish residents of his country. Clearly, this film was meant to mock the rise of Hitler and the policies of the Nazi party. No records of Hitler’s opinion of the movie.
Albert Einstein took a break from his busy schedule to attend the premier of ‘City Lights’. Like many others, Einstein was a fan and indeed a close friend. At the London premier Chaplin was joined by legendary playwright George Bernard Shaw.
Actress Edna Purviance appeared in over 30 films with this great actor and director, including her final one ‘The Pilgrim’. You watch her in some of Chaplin’s greatest early films, most notably ‘A Dog’s Life’ and ‘The Kid’.
Charlie directed and starred in the film ‘A King in New York’, but this was not his final effort. In 1967, the elderly Chaplin directed and made a brief cameo appearance in the movie ‘A Countess from Hong Kong’, which starred Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren.
He was exiled from the USA in 1953 because he refused US citizenship. He spent his remaining years in Switzerland. He died in his home of natural causes on December 25th, 1977. He was 88 years old.
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