Charlie Chaplin: A Movie Magic Master or a King of Comedy?

Charlie Chaplin, a comedic master, has been creating dozens of movies as early as 1915. He has ventured into other areas such as writing, music, and sports. Chaplin wrote all of his screenplays, he was also the author of four books and published a handful of songs. He died on Christmas day, 1977.

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  1. a quote by Charlie Chaplin: 
  2. Known mostly for his comedy screenplays, Chaplin had a love for entertainment and making people laugh. He made a name for himself in the United States as well as around the world. One of Chaplains' silent films is known as, The Immigrant" made in 1917.  It is a story of a young man and his voyage to America. In the beginning you find Chaplin on a rocking ship while watching the other ship mates get sea sick. We become introduced to a new character, a young woman, who is taking care of her sick mother. The two characters converse in the dining hall where Chaplin gives up his food for her. In the next scene you find him playing a game of poker with an angry shipmate. The shipmate, currently losing the game, steals money from the mother of the woman we were introduced to earlier in the movie. Chaplin and the shipmate play another round and Chaplin won the stolen money which he does not find out until later on. Chaplin runs across the woman from earlier who explains to him that her mothers money had been stolen. Without her noticing, he secretly slips the money  to the woman and is accused by an officer, who was watching them, of stealing. To the officer and the woman's surprise Chaplin was returning the stolen money. The next scene consisted of all the passengers of the ship being lined up to enter the "Land of Liberty" America. 3 months goes by and Chaplin is stuck on the streets of America, poor and hungry. To his luck he finds some money on the ground and goes to a nearby restaurant. There he recognizes the woman from the ship in which he took to America. They rekindled their friendship, it is stated that the woman's mother had died, and he offers to pay for her meal. Little did he know, the money he had found earlier had gone missing. He tries to find he way around paying when an artist across from the table from them joins them and offers to pay for the meal. Chaplin being modest misses his chance for the artist to pay and eventually finds his way around paying. In the end the woman gets a job from the artist as a model and Chaplin and her get married. 
  3. The Complete Film, "The Immigrant" Charlie Chaplin: 
  4. Charles Chaplin: The Immigrant (1917)
  5.  Chaplin used his comedy to interpret the griefs of immigration and  unfortunately "the humiliation of immigrants by the American public authorities" ( http://chaplin.bfi.org.uk/programme/essays/clown.html ).For example, in one scene as they were approaching America, Chaplin and the other immigrants were tied off like animals before being signed into the country. That scene showed how horrible they'd been treated even when entering the "Land of Liberty". For fun, Chaplin kicked one of the officers in the derriere, he was good at making serious scenes playful. 
  6. Watching Charlie Chaplin's "The Immigrant" , for it to be a silent film, it was surprisingly enjoyable. The comic relief was easy to understand and i could relate to the movie as well.For example there was a scene in the movie where Chaplin nevervously fidgeted when talking to the woman from the ship while at the restaurant. I felt like that scene was easy to relate to because of the emotion of talking to someone you like could be quite nerve wrecking.The smooth flow of the scenes and the dialogue, even though, it could not physically be heard, kept me interested. Chaplin stated that he wanted his films to have a "poetic feeling" (htp://www.philposner.com/imm2.htm) and him being able to get the girl in the end of the movie which is rare, did just that. 
  7. mise-en-scene consists of the decor, lighting, costume and  location of a film. It was demonstrated in Charlie Chaplin's "The Immigrant"  in many different ways. For Example, a scene where mise en scene was applied was the start of the movie "The Immigrant". You noticed that Chaplin, in the beginning, was on a ship because of the back and forth movement of the camera and the props used to display a ships form. 
  8. Another way in which Mise-en-scene was displayed in "The Immigrant" was the use of close ups. Chaplin was a pro at using close ups to intensify or grab your attention to a situation or scene. Close ups are one of the most commonly used techniques in modern films. Not only did he use close ups but, quick cuts & cross cutting was a frequently used technique. Slapstick was also common in Chaplin's films. Slapstick is basically comedy through exaggerating movements and wild actions. This technique is seen allot in "The Immigrant". In the scene where Chaplin and the waiter of the restaurant go back and forth when Chaplin is trying to retrieve his coin is a example of Slapstick.
  9. Mimicking the styles of Charlie Chaplin, below you'll find the movie "Psycho" by Alfred Hitchcock made in 1960s whose use of Fast Cuts and Close Ups made " Psycho" Hitchcock's most successful film: 
  10. Fast Cuts and Close Up shots in Psycho
  11. All in all Charlie Chaplin was a master songwriter, producer, author and much more. In a magazine article,  http://voices.yahoo.com/an-analysis-comedic-contributions-charlie-3286232.html  one critic believed the film to have "successfully chased the imps of pain with lashes of laughter" .In another article,  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/charlie-chaplin/about-the-actor/77/  the author states the following, "His rigor and concern for the processes of acting and directing made his films great and led the way to a new, more sophisticated, cinema". I believe he said it best, Chaplin paved the way and has made contributions that helped shape the film industry of today.
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