Toth Database  - Cinema

Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin)

London, 16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977 – Corsier sur Vevey



Chaplin was born in Walworth English suburb. His parents were Charles Chaplin senior, actor of variety and Hannah Harriette Hill, actress known as Lily Harley. While Charles was little, her mother Hannah was discovered to commit adultery with a singer (Leo Dryden), the relationship will be born a son, Wheeler Dreyden, the half-brother of which Chaplin will knowledge much later. Betrayal causes the end of marriage.Because of the precarious financial condition, Charles and his brother Sidney spent two years between colleges and institutes for orphans to Lamberth. Charlie was fatherless at the age of twelve. The story of the childhood did not prevent the small Chaplin to learn just by her mother the art of singing and acting. The first steps on stage with her moves them at the tender age of seven. In 1896 during a play in a theatre of varieties, Hannah was soundly booed and forced to leave the stage, replacing the adapter was sent on young Charlie, cha obtained some success singing a popular song of the era. In 1898 he moved to Manchester, near Belle Vue. 

Here he attended school for three years. Thanks to some acquaintances of his father, became part of a real company, formed all from enfants prodigy (Prodigy), under the leadership of Shirley Jackson. Hannah's mother was hospitalized for depression. In 1903 Charles obtained a small part in Jim the Romance of Cockney, which gained its first favorable review in print; shortly thereafter he had the first regular role in theatre; the newsboy Billy in Sherlock Holmes (directed by Quentin McPherson). Meanwhile his brother had returned to London and began also to work in the theater: thanks to the improved financial position, they managed to get discharged from the hospital, Hannah, although shortly after he had a relapse. The mother spent the last seven years of his life in a villa, given to her by children, in California, where he died in 1928. Between 1906 and 1907 Chaplin worked in circus of Casey mixture of variety and circus numbers. The experience allowed him to become familiar with the world of circus and to enter the company of Fred Karno, also thanks to his brother Sidney, who already worked there. The pay was about 3 pounds a week and debut occurred in 1906 with The soccer match, where Charles played the part of an individual without scruples that try to dope the opposing goalkeeper before the meeting. His older brother devised the pantomime and Charlie had to interpret: so Chaplin learned the art of expressing themselves without words. In 1900 the company Karno started the tour abroad, first to Paris and, two years later, in the United States. Chaplin was the first comic in A Night in an English Music Hall, pantomime Act. Chaplin was noticed by producer Mack Sennett, who in November of 1913 placed it under contract to the Studio Keystone. It was the first contract of Chaplin for a film company. The compensation was about $175 a week. In 1914 Chaplin made his debut with the short film Charlot Journalist, this movie was not wearing the clothes of "tramp". In 1915, Chaplin starred in the short film the vagabondChaplin signs a contract with Mutual film for twelve courts, from time to time, he was a waiter, millionaire, bricklayer, idle. The audience was estimated for the vast man that oozed through his stories, full of love and pitfalls. In 1916 Charlie Chaplin was already an actor from 600,000 dollars a year, a figure never seen an artist until then when signed the 19-year-old Edna Purviance, making his leading lady in 35 films between 1916 and 1923. Chaplin had his own studio with its staff, a Hall for projections, offices and housing for the actors. The two also lived an intense and troubled emotional bond, which remained in friendship even after the end of the passion (1918) and her career (accelerated by the excesses of alcohol): Chaplin will continue to correspond with Edna until his death In addition to passing a actress. Chaplin was not never no gags, much less the script. He could bear in mind an entire movie and then explain it to the actors on the set as it turned. In 1918 he decided to start his own and passed the First National, with whom he made ten films, until 1923. It was the First National, thanks to the efforts of his brother Sydney, his attorney, to pay him the fabulous engagement of one million dollars, cachet ever earned before by an actor. In 1919 Chaplin along with some colleagues founded United Artists Corporation, from now on will alone every stage of his production company, surrounded by a group of loyalists how precious and competent employees between as Alfred Reeves, formerly manager of the company KarnoChaplin married the young Mildred Harris that gave birth to a baby boy, severely deformed, who lived only three days. They divorced in 1920. In 1921 Chaplin worked to a film that established him as a star. After many travails, which ruined the filming and post production in January 1921, took place the first official screening de Il Monello, which Chaplin directed and starred in and where he debuted the big movie actor Jackie Coogan. From 1923 to 1952 Chaplin worked constantly to the United Artist and swung eight films, among the most important of his career. The first job was a woman of Paris in 1923, the first movie in which not was featured as an interpreter but she cut a small appearance in the role of Porter. In 1925 turns the gold considered one of his works. The production of the next movie, the circus, he was troubled because of problems in private life; During that time he divorced his second wife, actress Lita Grey, who had married in 1924. The couple had two sons: Charlie Chaplin Jr. and Sydney. Sound's statement took on the counterattack Chaplin, who had designed and built the tramp just for silent films. Chaplin decided to move forward by proposing his character. In 1929, the assignment of its first Academy Award for career established him as the first star to win that prize (still the youngest Director to have won). In 1929 Charlie began work on new film city lights, the sound had become indispensable to any Director of the era. Sydney, brother and manager of Charlot, I do not hesitate to propose the idea of a dubbed film, but Charlie was very skeptical towards the new invention and tried in every way to keep the pantomime that had made him famous. 

Chaplin filmed in 1931 city lights, silent film accompanied by music. Was the first film to Chaplin with sound and music synchronized. 

This time the female lead would be Virginia Cherrill, the pretty blond 22-year-old would have portrayed a blind flower girl. Chaplin told to meet at a boxing match in 1928 and I immediately booked her for her upcoming work. Various ups and downs involved Charlie during the making of the city lightsOne of the most important: the flower girl would have to exchange the little tramp for a millionaire but Chaplin did not know how to get that result. Before finding this solution rearranged the scene several times. Albert Einstein went to the premiere of the film in the United States in the company of the same Chaplin: when viewers saw them, rose to their feet applaudendoli warmly. Then it seems that Chaplin had murmured to Einstein: 

See, applaud me because I understand it all; they applaud her because she doesn't understand anybody".  

In 1932 he met the actress Paulette Goddard, who had already had some marginal experience in cinema in minor parts. The two fall in love and Paulette starred with Charles in modern times, the latest film in which it appears the tramp. They married in 1936 and divorced in 1942. However, even today, there are doubts whether there was an actual wedding between the two: both refused to grant declarations in this regard and the Goddard, vying to get the role of Scarlett O'Hara in gone with the wind, lost by a narrow margin against Vivien Leigh because it was unable to demonstrate to producers that they really married to Chaplin. The great dictator was Chaplin's first talkie, filmed and released in the United States shortly before World War II. In the film, Chaplin plays two characters: Adenoid Hynkel, the dictator of Tomainia, explicitly inspired by Adolf Hitler, and a Jewish Barber persecuted by the Nazis. After the war, when the internment and extermination of the Jews were known, Chaplin stated that he would have made the film if he could only imagine what happened in the concentration camps. The film had two Oscar nominations, for best actor and best screenplay, but didn't win any statuette. It was the last appearance of "tramp". The film was a challenge to the most powerful dictator at the time, Adolf Hitler, from which Chaplin was divided chronologically from just four days. 

The caricatural imitation stressed tones and attitudes of the führer, as in his speech to the crowd, completely improvised and turned in a single scene. Memorable, as well as highly representative, the scene where the dictator dance with the globe about music of the prelude of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner. The choice of the place of presentation of the film to the public was considered. He headed for New York, less affected by the climate in which even the United States had to face right. The making of the film was accompanied by the wasting away of the relationship between Chaplin and Paulette Goddard, about to file for divorce. During processing, in December 1939, Chaplin was also reached by communication from the sudden death of his friend Douglas Fairbanks, which only a month earlier he had paid a visit to the set. He was upset and the loss of the only real friend I've ever had," said Chaplin, remains a deep wound for the actor. After this film, Chaplin interrupted his film work for seven years. Charlie Chaplin died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, on Christmas eve of 1977 and was buried there. Three months after his death, the 1° March 1978, his body was stolen in an extortion attempt against his family. The plan however failed, the gangsters demanded 600,000 Swiss francs. Chaplin's wife, Oona O'Neill, defended by the family lawyer Jean-Felix Paschoud, refused to deal with the grave robbers; the thieves had stolen the body of Chaplin because he needed money to start a garage. They were captured and his body was found near Lake Geneva.




Gold Fever

The Great Dictator

Monsieur Verdoux


A King in New York

The Countess of Hong Kong