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Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 a?? 25 December 1977) was an English actor, comedian, and filmmaker, who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death at age 88, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
Chaplin's childhood in London was defined by poverty and hardship. As his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19 he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, which took him to America. Chaplin was scouted for the film industry, and made his first appearance in Keystone Studios's Making a Living (1914). He soon developed the Tramp persona and formed a large fan base. Chaplin directed his films from an early stage, and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay, Mutual, and First National corporations. By 1918, he was one of the best known figures in the world.
In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the distribution company United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films. His first feature-length was The Kid (1921), followed by A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928). He refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue. Chaplin became increasingly political and his next film, The Great Dictator (1940), satirised Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, and his popularity declined rapidly. He was accused of communist sympathies, while his involvement in a paternity suit and marria

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Twelve Movies About American Demagoguery to Watch This Weekend (Guest Voice)

For our purposes we haven’t included films about authoritarians overseas, such as Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator or The Last King of Scotland, with Forest Whitaker’s remarkable performance as Uganda’s Idi Amin. No, for now we’re putting ...
Posted: January 20, 2017, 8:13 am

Canada history: Jan.17, 1880 – The Canadian who invented American slapstick film

He was known for many years throughout the U.S. as “the King of Comedy”, except, he was Canadian. Charlie Chaplin, W.C Fields, Harold Lloyd, Gloria Swanson, and so many more built their careers through work with him. A whole series of slapstick comedy ...
Posted: January 17, 2017, 8:09 am

From Chaplin to Chinatown: Doc Curators Present Winter Lineup

Doc Films’ winter lineup is brimming with classics and new films alike, from Charlie Chaplin to La La Land to Icelandic film. Hear it from the programmers themselves, plus a few hand-picked highlights. Like all of the programmers, Tien-Tien Jong ...
Posted: January 17, 2017, 6:37 am
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