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Added by johanlefourbe on 25 Jan 2013 02:38
1264 Views 6 Comments
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A Complete Review of Charles Chaplin's work

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People who added this item 104 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.1


Cast : Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Tippi Hedren

What was it about?
Natascha, a White Russian countess, stows away on a luxury liner at Hong Kong, determined to seek a new life in America. Natascha hides in the cabin of Ogden Mears, a millionaire diplomat, thereby causing an endless stream of misunderstandings and complications.

My two cents:
According to Quentin Tarantino, most of the great directors have messed up their 3 or 4 last movies. When watching Chaplin's last directing feature, I would tend to agree with this statement. After 10 long years, Charles Chaplin finally came up with a new movie, his first and only movie in color. This time, he was working with one of the greatest actors that ever lived so you could expect something amazing with those two. Unfortunately, they didn't get along and the movie was a critical and financial failure leading Chaplin to a deep depression. Honestly, this movie was indeed really weak. Indeed, it is just a really boring romantic comedy, the jokes were not really funny and there was absolutely no chemistry between Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren (who didn't get along either). Eventually, it is a real shame that one of the greatest directors would end such a prestigious career with such a disappointing feature.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 134 Average listal rating (101 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1


Cast : Charles Chaplin

What was it about?
A recently-deposed European monarch seeks shelter in New York City, where he becomes an accidental television celebrity and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist.

My two cents:
It has been many years since I saw this flick and, back then, I wasn't really impressed. If I recall it correctly, I saw it as a teenager at school and I was rather disappointed because, as a kid, I grew up with his hilarious older movies starring the Tramp so I was expecting something really funny to happen but I barely laughed during the whole thing. Back in those days, I didn't know that Chaplin had been basically thrown out from the USA because he was supposedly communist, so there was some irony which I missed concerning the fact the main character was almost facing the same faith in this feature. Eventually, I have re-watched it recently and it was actually slightly better than I remembered. Indeed, the story is actually rather weak and the main character is not really interesting whatsoever but, this time, I thought there were many hilarious bits. To conclude, even though it is far from his best work, it is worth a look.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 391 Average listal rating (237 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.1
Limelight (1952)


Cast : Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton

What was it about?
A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.

My two cents:
Many consider this movie as his last masterpiece and there was also a huge fuss about the fact that Buster Keaton and Charles Chaplin were finally both on screen but, honestly, even though they were pretty good together, Keaton had a rather small part. In my opinion, it was not as great as his previous work. Here, Chaplin has got older and his movie doesn't have the energy of his earlier flicks and it tends to be more dramatic and contemplative but it was not necessarily a bad thing. I don't know, I basically grew up watching his funny movie with the Tramp and I really had a hard time switching from genre with him. On the other hand, the more I think about this movie, the more I believe that the whole thing was actually really subtle and thoughtful so I think I will have to re-watch it someday to make up my mind for good.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 365 Average listal rating (216 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 7.9


Cast : Charles Chaplin

What was it about?
A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

My two cents:
Apparently, the film was originally meant to be directed by Orson Welles and starring Charles Chaplin, but Chaplin backed out at the last moment, saying that he had never had anyone direct him before and didn't want to start. Can you imagine this combination?!? Eventually, Chaplin directed the thing himself and regarded the film as the cleverest and most brilliant film of his career. Unfortunately for him, it was a huge flop when it was released which was not really surprising when you think about it. Indeed, Chaplin was beloved for playing the same character year and year and, suddenly, he decided to do something entirely different and, a usual, the ruthless audience wouldn't have it. Personally, even though I didn't enjoy it as much as his previous movies, I still think it was pretty good and it is now highly regarded. You can't deny that it was way ahead of its time, some kind of lugubrious dark comedy.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1496 Average listal rating (959 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.4


Cast : Charles Chaplin

What was it about?
Dictator Adenoid Hynkel has a doppelganger, a poor but kind Jewish barber living in the slums, who one day is mistaken for Hynkel.

My two cents:
Ok, I might have been bitching about his later movies but you won't hear me complaining about this amazing and timeless masterpiece. Where should I start? Even though it was released 13 years after the end of the silent era, this was Charles Chaplin's first all-talking, all-sound film so, in the contrary to some of his contemporaries, he didn't have much trouble with sound, that's for sure. But that's just a technicality, the damned thing is almost 80 years old (!) but it is still bright and shining. I mean, the guy made this right in the middle of the WWII, making a parody of Hitler when the guy was still out there bringing his terror throughout Europe. Even the great Kubrick who made some of the most amazing features didn't ever do something similar. Basically, it has everything you could ask, let me correct this, it has everything you should ask from a blockbuster, it is funny, heartbreaking, poetic, relevant and really thoughtfull. It is an amazing movie, the proof that cinema is an Art and one of the greatest.

My rating: 09/10

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People who added this item 1837 Average listal rating (1180 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.5
Modern Times (1936)



Cast : Charles Chaplin

What was it about?
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

My two cents:
Even though I really love 'The Great Dictator', this movie remains hands down my favorite Chaplin feature. Indeed, even as a kid, I saw it many times and I thought it was completely marvelous. Indeed, in my opinion, Chaplin managed to find the perfect balance between the funny bits with his awesome slapstick, the poetry and also the social relevancy. Back then, sound had already been invented for a while but Chaplin was still perfecting his own brand of movie, using sound only sporadically but the end-result was just tremendous, completely entertaining and spellbinding to watch. Like I said before, I was very young when I watched it the first time, I really loved it and I think it is a great way to introduce movies to children, instead of the usual animated features.

My rating: 09/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1309 Average listal rating (819 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.5
City Lights (1931)


Cast : Charles Chaplin

What was it about?
The Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with.

My two cents:
According to Imdb, it is his best movie but I personally prefer 'Modern Times' and 'The Great Dictator' because they are socially and historically more relevant than this movie which is merely a romantic comedy. Back then, Chaplin faced extreme pressure to make the film as a talkie, but such was his popularity and power in Hollywood that he was able to complete and release the film as a silent (with recorded music though) at a time when the rest of the American motion picture industry had converted to sound. Just a moment ago, I mentioned that it was merely a romantic comedy but I should add that it also might be one of the very best in its genre. Indeed, it is funny, beautiful and really poetic. I have to admit, like most of the movies on this list, it has been many years since I have seen this flick and I seriously need to check it out again.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 478 Average listal rating (318 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1


Cast : Charles Chaplin

What was it about?
The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

My two cents:
It is Charles Chaplin's final film of the silent era and it is yet another one I have seen many times when I was a kid. Personally, I tend to prefer this one over 'City Lights' but it is pure nostalgia I guess. Anyway, even though the plot was rather simple, the whole thing is still a complete riot. Indeed, even though I'm usually a tough customer concerning comedies, I thought this one was just downright hilarious and completely entertaining from the beginning until the end.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 960 Average listal rating (619 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
The Gold Rush (1925)


Cast : Charles Chaplin

What was it about?
The Tramp goes the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

My two cents:
I know, it might sound repetitive at this point, but what can I do? It is pure and simply another impressive piece of cinema, probably even better than 'The Circus' which I also loved. I have actually a nice anecdote about this flick. About 7 years ago, I showed it to my step-children because I thought it was important for their education. Back then, Nick, my step-son was only 8 years old but, suddenly, out of nowhere, now 15 years old, during one of our endless conversations about movies, Nick started to precisely described in details the famous scene when the Tramp eats his shoe. It was quite something and it shows the huge impact of this movie (but it could be said about anything done by this guy). Even though it is almost 90 years old(!), it hasn't aged a bit and I seriously urge you to show it to your kids, they will probably never forget it.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 122 Average listal rating (77 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7


What was it about?
Marie St. Clair believes she has been jilted by her artist fiance Jean when he fails to meet her at the railway station. She goes off to Paris alone. A year later, mistress of wealthy Pierre Revel, she meets Jean again. Misinterpreting events she bounces back and forth between apparent security and true love.

My two cents:
It is probably the most obscure movie he has made and it was a major departure for him since it was a drama starring someone else with himself only appearing in a cameo. Unfortunately for Chaplin, it would be his first major failure. Honestly, I have to admit, even though I have most respect for this great master, this movie was not great at all. I can understand that he wanted to prove to the world and to himself that he was able to direct a drama and the end result was actually not that bad at all but still, in my opinion, it was rather average and, honestly, a little bit boring. Personally, I would rather watch again one of his legendary comedies.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 982 Average listal rating (646 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
The Kid (1921)


Cast : Charles Chaplin

What was it about?
The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

My two cents:
It was Chaplin's first full length feature and, of course, it was a tremendous success. Back then, he was already a big player thanks to the success of this marvelous short movies but with this new long format, he was clearly displaying his ambition to reach some new creative heights. In my opinion, back then, Charles Chaplin was still experimenting how far he could go with the Tramp so I don't think it is as good as his latter work such as 'Modern Times' or 'The Great Dictator' but it doesn't change the fact that it is yet another enchanting movie with some hilarious bits but also with some social consciousness.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

The 14th list in this serie wil focus on Charles Chaplin. I will focus on the feature films he has directed and even though he hasn't made many of them, most of those were quite amazing. Enjoy!

Added to

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A Complete Review of various directors' s work (64 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 9 years, 4 months ago 8 comments



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