The Real Charlie Chaplin



Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 45

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 11, 2021 at 04:14 PM


Jeff Rawle as Charlie Chaplin 1966
Pearl Mackie as Narrator
1.01 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by marktayloruk 9 / 10

Just saw it

Excellent and revealing documentary with things I'd never come across before. Especially the FBI allegation that he was a homosexual!

He was a genius who brought pleasure to the world . That more than.makes up for any faults he may have had offscreen.

Reviewed by ArmenPandolaITSJUSTAMOVIECOM 9 / 10

Chaplin, Very funny, very sad

Charles Chaplin was the greatest comic actor, writer, producer and director of his time - from the infancy of film to the collapse of the studio system in the 1950s. For a long period, he was the most famous person on earth. His creation, The Tramp, was so flexible that he could find himself in a factory, a circus, a boxing ring, a gold rush - the list is endless. And it never didn't work. Wherever the Tramp went, he found himself immersed in the business of being human. This documentary wants us to know the man behind the Tramp facade. In many ways, they were very similar. Chaplin came from dire poverty in the hovels of late Victorian London. In many respects, he never left there. His politics were never very precise except that he was always for the underdog, for the Tramp. During the shameful period of American history when the FBI spied on every prominent person (probably still do) and tried to ruin the careers of all those who were sympathetic to working people (again, they probably still do) Chaplin was forced to leave the US and prevented from returning. He never fully recovered from the shock.

Reviewed by Stan16mm 10 / 10

New Footage and Audio add to the incredible Chaplin Story

Over 700 books worldwide have been written about him, thousands of stories and articles, merchandise galore; anything and everything that could be marketed has been including hundreds of documentaries. With all this information at hand, why would it be necessary to produce another documentary on a man who was once considered to be the most famous person on the globe? You would think that everything that has been discussed about him has already been documented and its cache has been fully gleaned. The filmmakers of the new documentary on Charles Chaplin were faced with this daunting task before they ever started. They asked themselves if there could possibly be anything to add to the Chaplin story. With the help of an amazing researcher and the Chaplin Office, they not only found new elements to add to the story, they did it in a bravura style that sets a new high bar in documentary film making.

"The Real Charlie Chaplin" is not a history of the films of the great Chaplin so get that out of your head from the start. This is the story of the man who created brilliance in film, how he came to create and nurture his craft and what his genius cost him both in his professional and personal life.

If you are a big fan of his work and have a wealth of knowledge about his films, consider yourselves ahead of the curve. This is not a film by film in depth look at Charlie but an examination of his process and how he carefully chose his stories. There are abundant clips from his early works but hardly a title of those Keystone, Essanay, Mutual and First National films are uttered; only Sennett and Keystone are mentioned by name. Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Henry Bergman and other members of the Chaplin stock company are seen but never mentioned by name. Again, this film isn't about them. If you know all about these artisans, you go to the head of the class. Remain seated, however, as there is more to ingest.

From the start, the film tries to uncover who the real Charlie Chaplin is. We are introduced to a vast majority of Chaplin imitators; from the best remembered to simply fans. From Billy West, Billie Ritchie to Charlie Aplin and in between, we are invited on an expedition to discover who The Little Fellow is and who is the man who created him.

It is in the second half hour that we first get to see him in a fully developed sequence, albeit, slightly edited from "A Dog's Life" (1918). It all leads up to his work on "The Kid" (1921) and the similarities to his own upbringing at 3 Pownall Terrace in England. With each successive sequence from his films, we get to see how the real world and Charlie's world commingle and why his work was influenced by the happenings surrounding him. Through the use of footage of the England Charlie was raised in and by seeing the parallel in his own films, the evidence is overwhelming. As is the advise given to countless creators, write what you know about.

Directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney engaged researcher Erin Sayder to scour the world for film and audio elements, interviews and photographs and they couldn't have hired a better person for the job.

In my lifelong admiration for and archiving of everything Chaplin, I figured that I've seen virtually everything connected to his career that was available. Was I incorrect on that score. Sayder tracked down a hitherto thought to be forever lost complete recording of Chaplin's 1947 press conference at the Gotham Hotel in New York City. Only a scant clip was known to survive but Sayder discovered the original wire recording in a collection in San Francisco. It is one of the incredible revelations in this film. Using actors to recreate the press conference and by having them lip sync to the actual recording, you get the feeling that you are in the Gotham watching the press attack Chaplin as the Press conference became more of an inquisition.

The use of other audio recordings with recreations are included including Chaplin's childhood friend Effie Wisdom speaking to Kevin Brownlow (also recreated by an actor) and the 1966 audio recording of Chaplin himself during his Life Magazine interview offer new insight into this most complex man.

The film delves into the scandalous areas of his life with Joan Barry and Lita Grey Chaplin, letting us know that while Barry's daughter wasn't biologically Charlie's and that he never mentions Lita by name in his own autobiography, it was the cause of much concern in its day.

It's the rare film footage that frequently pops up throughout this 114 minute film that is a feast for fans.

The film takes the bold step to never become a "talking heads" documentary. Aside from the recreations, each voice heard is from someone who knew Charlie personally; Geraldine, Eugene, Jane and Michael Chaplin, Alastair Cooke, Georgia Hale, Virginia Cherrill (Lita Grey is seen in footage from a 1966 Merv Griffin Show and an interview with Kevin Brownlow). Fragments from private home movies from a few sources show Chaplin at work on "City Lights" (1931), at play and general clowning around for his own amusement. Footage of Charlie after he was knighted by the Queen, traveling all over the world, making speeches, outtakes from his early works all makes for exciting viewing. Among the rare audio is a snippet of Charlie delivering his final speech from "The Great Dictator" at FDR's third inauguration in 1941.

Newly shot footage at the former Chaplin home in Vevey, Switzerland, now the museum, Chaplin's World, is used as well as original footage shot in 1973 by Richard Patterson for his "The Gentleman Tramp" (1975) is bridged and offers another glimpse at the private Chaplin. Part of the recreation of the 1966 Life interview was filmed in the living room.

While the film is focused on the drama in Charlie's life (his daughter Jane laments that she longed to have one conversation with her father and her alone), there is joy to be found. His beloved Oona is eulogized by her daughter Geraldine in a loving manner, the reaffirmation of his standing in the film community as he is honored by the Motion Picture Academy and sprinkled throughout the film, we see the admiration of fans worldwide.

Richard Patterson's "The Gentleman Tramp, arguably the finest documentary ever made on Chaplin and with the approval of his wife is more for the person who wants to know about the man and his films with important information about his personal life. However, "The Real Charlie Chaplin" takes a bolder step by digging deeper into the darker areas. There are some who discount Lita Grey's account of her life as wife #2 but Chaplin relegated his biography without mentioning her by name and only referencing her in three sentences so he pretty much rolled out the red carpet for her in penning her version of life as a Chaplin. The Joan Barry paternity trial is also a matter of public record. Even though her daughter Carol Ann wasn't his child, they were in a relationship and he was ordered to provide for the child. It's tough medicine to swallow for a Chaplin fan and Middleton and Spinney don't spare the viewer the details. All of this as well as his speeches snowball into Chaplin's eventual blocking from returning to the United States in 1952.

You won't see his funeral (it's never mentioned), the grave robbing incident or those sad final photographs of Charlie in a wheelchair being pushed by his wife along Lake Geneva. That's not what this film is about. We all know Charlie died and the directors wisely chose to steer clear of that. In this film, Charlie is alive and that's as it should be. When archival footage does show him in a wheelchair, it's to augment a conversation Effie had with him in 1975 the last time they were to see each other. It's one of the precious moments included in this film.

The technique Middleton and Spinney use to tell this latest incarnation is top tier film making. Their choice of narrator, Pearl Mackie is as inspired as it is daring. Her delivery in the story sounds as if she is discovering what we are discovering at the same time. I was able to see this film in a theater and I'm very glad I did as the quality of much of the archival footage is crisp and clear. With the recreation sequences, it adds a cinematic touch that might become lost when viewed on a television. The music contained in the film is virtually all Chaplin and much of it has been re recorded by accomplished musicians. This is not one of those "quickie" documentaries relegated to public domain footage and audio.

The Chaplin family and their representatives were very much involved in this project and the final result is a film that will stand as an important addition to further understand the life of a remarkable man. Warts and all, Chaplin is clearly shown as one of the great creative forces of the last century, a benchmark in cinema, at his peak, the most popular individual who ever breathed oxygen but first and foremost, a man with human frailties and problems like all of us. We all have things in our lives we would like to forget. I know Chaplin did too but being Chaplin, a public figure, an "influencer" and a beloved figure of his time, it would be impossible to simply forget when your every word and movement is documented and brought back to haunt you. Before the internet and modern communication, Chaplin had a tough time avoiding his past as many public figures do today.

The most ardent Chaplin fans may object to classic sequences being trimmed but again, if you want to see full clips of Chaplin films, see "The Gentleman Tramp" or watch the complete films the sequences come from.

Here, we get the taste, the gist, the flavor. If anything, this film should whet the appetites of viewers who will want to seek out the treasures that await them. Charlie's story needs to be told and retold. When in the capable hands of Middleton and Spinney, In the case of "The Real Charlie Chaplin", you'll be glad they did.

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