Chaplin (1992)




Director:    Richard Attenborough.

Starring:    Robert Downey Jr. (Charlie Chaplin), Geraldine Chaplin (Hannah Chaplin), Paul Rhys (Sydney Chaplin), John Thaw (Fred Karno), Moira Kelly (Hetty Kelly/Oona O'Neill), Anthony Hopkins (George Hayden), Dan Aykroyd (Mack Sennett), Marisa Tomei (Mabel Normand), Penelope Ann Miller (Edna Purviance), Kevin Kline (Douglas Fairbanks), Milla Jovovich (Mildred Harris), Kevin Dunn (J. Edgar Hoover), Diane Lane (Paulette Goddard), Nancy Travis (Joan Barry), James Woods (Lawyer Scott).

Life and times of famous actor Charles Chaplin.





Historical Background:


1889  --  born Charles Chaplin in London, England to music hall entertainers.  His parents separated shortly afterwards.

1894  -- debuts in the music hall singing to substitute for his hoarse mother. 

1896 --  he and his brother have to go to Lambeth Workhouse and then Hanwell School for Orphans and Destitute Children.

1898  -- his mother has a mental breakdown and he lives with his father and his mistresss for a while.  

1901  --  his father dies.

1903-1906 --  bit part in Sherlock Holmes.

1906-1907 --  star in the Casey's Court Circus.

1907-1910 -- works with the Karno Pantomime Troupe.

1910-1912 --  first tour of USA/Canada with Karno Troupe.

1912-1913 --  second tour of USA/Canada with Karno Troupe.

1913 --  in May accepts an offer from Adam Kessel of the parent organization for Mack Sennett's Keystone Comedy Company. In December he signs with Keystone.

1914 -- his first film: Making a Living. Makes Keystone films.  His second film, Tillie's Punctured Romance, is considered the first feature-length comedy.  He makes 35 films this year. Later signs with Essanay to make 14 films during 1915

1915  -- start of his real rise to fame with the character in The Tramp.

1916  --  signs with Mutual Film Corporation.

1917 --  appearance of Easy Street, his best Mutual film. Signs with First National Exhibitor's Circuit.

1918 --  appearance of A Dog's Life, followed by Shoulder Arms. Marries Marries Mildred Harris.

1919  --  With Douglas Fairbanks, D. W. Griffith, and Mary Pickford founds United Artists. Appearance of Sunnyside and A Day's Pleasure.

1920  --  Mildred Harris divorces him.

1921  --  directs The Kid. Gives his mother a home in California.

1922  -- Pay Day.

1923  --  The Pilgrim. Appearance of his first United Artists production -- A Woman of Paris, which he wrote and directed.

1924  --  marries Lita Grey.

1925  --  his most acclaimed film, the Gold Rush.

1927  -- Lita Grey divorces him under the glare of huge publicity.

1929  --  at the first Academy Award ceremony, he is honored with an Oscar for The Circus.

1931  --  the silent film City Lights.  

1935  --  secretly marries Paulette Goddard.

1936  --  another silent, Modern Times.

1940  --   The Great Dictator, a big hit, but a controversial parody of Hitler because some see it as Communist propaganda.  Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics, but he declines.

1942  --  gives a Second Front speech at an American Committee for Russian War Relief rally in San Francisco. Paulette Goddard divorces him.  Joan Barry begins a big scandal when she claims he is the father of her baby.

1943  --  marries Oona O'Neill.

1947  --  controversial Monsieur Verdoux. Has to face a witch-hunt mascarading as a press conference.

1952  --  takes his family abroad. The Feds cancel his U.S. reentry permit. Limelight, his last great film. Conservative groups boycott the film, but it still is one of best films of the year according to the New York Times.

1953  --  lives in Switzerland. Limelight selected as the best film of the year by the Foreign Language Press Film Critics poll.

1957 -- last starring role in A King in New York.

1964  --  he publishes his autobiography.

1965  -- his daughter Geraldine stars in Doctor Zhivago.

1966  --  his final film: A Countess from Hong Kong.

1972  --  Chaplin returns to Hollywood in triumph and is awarded a special honorary Oscar for his impact on films.  

1975  --  knighted by Elizabeth II, Queen of England.

1977  --  dies at his estate in Switzerland.


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