Popular Films You Can Learn about at the Chaplin Film Festival
On April 16, 2021, Charlie Chaplin could be celebrating his 132nd birthday.
Chaplin was a successful director, writer, performer, and producer, despite being a silent movie comedian. Many other funny filmmakers such as Albert Brooks and Woody Allen followed in his footsteps.
Chaplin was born in 1889 in London, England. His first production was the Little Tramp, a film that was showcased at Keystone Studios. “The Kid” (1921) was his first feature.
The films Chaplin produced showcased a mix of pathos, slapstick, and sight gags, making viewers cry, laugh and gasp in a single session. Although the emergence of sound almost ended his career, he produced “The Great Dictator” in 1940, making it his first sound feature.
The film was against the rise of fascism in Europe and Adolf Hitler. It won five Oscar nominations despite leading to his accusation of being a communist and a McCarthyism target.
Chaplin left the country in 1952 and returned in 1972 when he received an Honorary Oscar. He also won an award for his “Limelight” film and “The Circus” (1928).
The Chaplin Film Festival was founded to celebrate this successful filmmaker and pay tribute to other popular filmmakers in the industry. Some films produced by Chaplin that you can watch at the festival include:
The City Lights (1931)
The City Lights stars Virginia Cherrill, Al Ernest Garcia, Charlie Chaplin, Harry Myers, and Florence Lee.
Produced when sound pictures had just been invented, the Little Tramp falls in love with a blind flower girl, a role that Virginia Cherrill perfectly stars. Tramp works hard to get her through surgery so she can see again.
Although tramps fears she might abandon him upon seeing his real self, the opposite happens; the film ends in one of the most emotional ways ever seen in cinema.
Apart from the message of acceptance and love that draws people back to this film, a boxing match, and encounters with a drunken millionaire are some of its hilarious scenes.
The Great Dictator (1940)
The film stars Paulette Goddard, Reginald Gardiner, Charlie Chaplin, Maurice Moscovich, Henry Daniell, Billy Gilbert, and Jack Oakie.
Adolph Hitler wasn’t yet seen as a monster when this film was being produced. However, Chaplin used bravery and foresight to showcase the authoritarianism satire in his film. The message in the film is still relevant in modern society.
Chaplin stars in the film as the vile comical dictator known as Adenoid Hynkel. He also plays the role of a Jewish barber who’s later mistaken for him in the film.
One hilarious scene in the film is the game between Hynkel and a Mussolini clone (another dictator and a role played by Jack Oakie).
The film won five Oscar nominations for:
- Supporting Actor
Water: The Great Mystery
Water is the most amazing substance worldwide yet the least studied. This documentary showcases that water has memory, with its major element being hydrogen.
Created about 100-1,000 seconds post the big bang, hydrogen makes up 75% of the mass in the entire universe.
The fascinating movie on water teaches various things about this natural substance. It also covers an arranged list of various water softeners used to treat hard well water. You’ll learn that premium water softener brands such as Nuvo are risk-free to ensure you end up with safe water.
You can watch this documentary and others at the Chaplin Film Festival.
Today, this film is among Chaplin’s most moving and personal efforts in the film industry. However, in his time, the film was tagged extremely sentimental and overlong.
He features in the film as a washed-up alcoholic vaudevillian. The character’s life changes when he rescues Claire Bloom, a young ballerina trying to commit suicide.
Calvero’s partner, Buster Keaton, then shows up onscreen, making this the only time that movie legends are seen together on screen.
The film was produced in 1952 before Chaplin went into exile and released in 1972 when he returned to the U.S. The film later won Best Original Score, Chaplin’s only competitive film prize.
The film stars:
- Claire Bloom
- Wheeler Dryden
- Charlie Chaplin
- Buster Keaton
- Norman Lloyd
- Sydney Earl Chaplin
- Nigel Bruce.
The Kid (1921)
The film stars Jackie Coogan, Charlie
Chaplin, and Edna Purviance.
This was Chaplin’s first feature film that brought out his mastery of using pathos and comedy in his plays. The Little Tramp takes in the baby (Jackie Coogan) he finds in a trash can to raise as his own.
Jackie Coogan naturally becomes a star playing the role of the child. Popularly known as a tearjerker, this is Chaplin’s most hilarious film with some of his best bits in comedy.
Viewers are left to shed tears when the kid is taken away from the Tramp and when they reunite again.
The Gold Rush (1925)
The film features the Little Tramp traveling to strike the fortunes of the Yukon. Instead, the frozen tundra almost engulfs him.
It showcases Chaplin’s ability to blend poignancy with comedy through the love story between a dance hall gall (played by Georgia Hale) and the Tramp.
A cabin teetering off a cliff, a dance of dinner rolls, and eating of a boiled shoe are some hilarious scenes in the film. Chaplin re-edited the film with new narration and music and released it in 1942.
The film stars:
- Georgia Hale
- Charlie Chaplin
- Malcolm Waite
- Tom Murray
- Mack Swain.
You can watch these films and more at the Chaplin Film Festival. Explore different films or read play reviews to help you choose what to watch at the event.