CHAPLIN Charlie — English

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One of the greatest and most meaningful film creators in the history of cinema.

1889 -  1977


Brought up in poverty in London by an ailing mother, he started going on stage at the age of 9 encouraged by his mother, herself a former singer, dancer and composer. He moved from vaudeville to actor when a Hoolywood company recognised his stage talent. He quickly became film writer, director, producer and music composer of silent films in which he played the "tramp" with exceptional acrobatic abilities.

His most extraordinary film, the Great Dictator, a parody of Hitler and the dangers of hate-mongering dictatorship, ends with an ode to peace and humaneness. Full text here.

In 1954, he was awarded the World Peace Council Prize, a communist regime inspired peace organization, as have Picasso, Neruda, Paul Eluard, Dimitri Shostakovich and Bela Bartok, to name a few. This, his support for two peace conferences and his anti-war positions pushed the US FBI to set up various unwarranted accusations of Unamerican activities. His reply was that he was a "peacemonger". The Great Dictator film indeed demonstrates this. He finally left the US to live peacefully in Switzerland, far from the hate speech of the Cold War years.



Films directed by Chaplin:

The Kid (1921)
A Woman of Paris (1923)
The Gold Rush (1925)
The Circus (1928)
City Lights (1931)
Modern Times (1936)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Limelight (1952)
A King in New York (1957)
A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)

Human beings are like that

I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white, we all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another."

Llberty will never perish

The hate of men will pass and dictators die. And the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish."

Machine men with machine minds

Soldiers, don’t don’t give yourselves to brutes. Men who despise you, enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel. Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourself to these unnatural men, machine men with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate."

  • Quote

More than machinery, we need humanity

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The soldier's humanity

Soldiers ! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you ; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel ! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder !