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When Charlie Chaplin was a little boy, a sheep escaped on its way to a
slaughterhouse near where he lived. Charlie and other youngsters chased the sheep around, laughing and having fun. But when it was taken away, Charlie realized the sad finality of death and cried to his mother. That incident paved the way for the theme of Charlie’s future filmmaking career. Comedy mixed with pathos made perfect sense to him. He was also an everyman character, a lost soul, a wanderer - he embodied the American soul. He could be anyone. Chaplin was born Sir Charles Chaplin after his father on April sixteenth, 1989. His mother, Hannah Chaplin, was often put in mental houses and his brother Sydney and him were put into children’s workhouses. His father whom he almost never saw died of alcoholism. Charlie’s childhooCharlie directed and produced it. Its length is six reels, roughly an hour long. The Kid expertly showed Charlie’s use of pathos in his work, if perhaps too much pathos this time
The Gold Rush. This 1925 film was a favorite of Chaplin’s. Charlie plays a lone prospector on a gold seeking quest in the Sierra Nevadas. Seeing shelter, he stumbles into a cabin where the villainous Black Larson lives. Black Larson doesn’t like this new guest and tells him to leave, rifle in hand. Charlie tries to leave, but a hilarious wind keeps blowing him back into the cabin. During this escapade in blows another luckier prospector, Big Jim McKay. Jim and Larson fight, and Larson goes off to find food for the trio. Meanwhile, the starving Charlie and Jim have the trademark meal of Charlie’s cooked boot. In this scene, Charlie eats the boot like it were a fine meal at a fine restaurant, twirling the laces around a fork like spaghetti. Later on they bid farewell, and Charlie finds a town with a love interest of his, Georgia. He invites her to a New Years Eve dinner, which she doesn’t come to. At the dinner, we see Charlie dozed off at the table, and he dreams that the Georgia came. Here is another trademark scene, the dance of the dinner rolls. Charlie spears two dinner rolls with his fork, and bowing his head down over them, he makes them dance and twirl. Big Jim shows up at the town now, and sees Charlie, telling him if he they find Black Larson’s cabin, they will find gold and be rich.
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Modern Times. The opening shot of this film is of sheep being herded along, followed by men running off a subway train to get to work. It is a 1936 film about the tensions of America in the thirties. It has a lighter air to it than previous films, having a happy ending and a spirited leading lady, Paulette Goddard. Charlie plays a factory worker who tightens bolts on and endless number of plates on a conveyor belt. This scene turns into a lively battle as Charlie tries to keep up with machinery that’s chugging along at a breakneck speed. Next, Charlie is chosen to test a new machine that feeds workers as they work. The machine goes out of control, causing food to
spew all over Charlie before finally breaking apart. After this, he spots a secretary and chases after her with his arms moving in a twistlike motion, unable to stop. His intent to twist the buttons on her dress is ended as he is captured by police. He released, only to be arrested as a communist leader. He is let out and meets a Gamine (Goddard). The rest of the film is the two of them trying to find jobs as they are both pursued by the police. One after the d was full of misery and poverty. His brother and him acted frequently in theatre, comedy and dance. At the age of sixteen Charlie went into Fred Karno’s music hall revue, appearing in many shows. During a tour of The United States, Charlie was signed by Mack Sennett, producer at Keystone Studios. Later on after making numerous films, he left Keystone to work on his own
thing. This was due to salary arguments and differences in the way Chaplin and
Sennett viewed comedy. He then signed with Essanay studios for a short while, and had the first million-dollar contract with First National. In 1919, Chaplin formed United Artists with friends and stars Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and director D.W.Griffith. He married Lita Grey November 24th, 1924. She was a young star of sixteen in his film The Gold Rush. She turned out to be a temptation to him and became pregnant, forced to marry Chaplin and lose her role in his film. He was said to have married Lita so he wouldn’t go to jail and because of pressure from her mother, and in his autobiography he barely mentioned her. Charlie had many young girls in his life, but his one true love was Oona O’Neil. He was fifty-four, she was eighteen. They had eight chilren together, and never divorced. He died in their home
on December 25th, 1977.
Charles Chaplin made many contributions to cinema. He introduced natural framing, filming objects in the shot a certain way so they framed the character. He also introduced repitition of a gag. He would repeat a funny sequence so that it would be more hilarious, because after seeing it once, the brain doesn’t have to explain it and can just laugh. His film style was slower than the comedies of the time. The film was released in 1921, and other they are caught and released, caught and released. At the end of the film, having to go on the run again, they look at one another and cheer up, clasp hands, and say "We’ll get along." This ending was a happy one because Charlie got his girl. This message of the film has long been debated, some seeing it as plain entertainment, others as a ridicule of the industial system. Chaplin himself said of it: "There are those who attach social significance to
my work. It has none. I leave such subjects for the lecture platform. To entertain is my first consideration." This was Chaplin’s last stand against sound film, and his character, the little tramp, appears for the last time.
Charles Chaplin was a great film maker and comedian. His little tramp
character was a pathetic, yet funny and innocent character that many people could relate to. He used music and sound effects in a brilliant way. If actors today could pantomime as remarkably as Charlie did, sound would become obsolete. His comedies were different than all others produced at the time, giving his films a uniqueness that is strived for.