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Biographical Books...

My Autobiography - Charlie Chaplin

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As a child Charlie was awed and inspired by the sight of glamourous vaudeville stars passing his home, and from then on he never lost his ambition to become an actor. Chaplin’s film career as the Little Tramp adored by the whole world is the stuff of legend, but this frank autobiography shows another side. He tells of his childhood of grinding poverty in the south London slums and early debut on the musical hall stage, his lucky break in America, the struggle to maintain artisitic control over his work, the string of failed marriages, and his eventual exile from Hollywood after persecution for his left-wing politics and personal scandals. «My Autobiography» is an evocative and compelling account of one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable lives.

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His Life and Art - David Robinson

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The greatest icon in the history of cinema, Charlie Chaplin lived one of the most dramatic rags to riches stories ever told. His life was marked by extraordinary contrasts: the child of London slums who became a multimillionaire; the on-screen clown who was a driven perfectionist behind the cameras; the adulated star who publicly fell from grace after personal and political scandal. This engrossing and definitive work, the only biography written with full access to Chaplin’s archives, tells the whole story of a brilliant, complex man.

Now fully updated with added pictures and an extended filmography, it includes revelatory new material on Chaplin’s marriages, his affair with movie star Louise Brooks, his persecution by the FBI during anti-communist witch hunts — exposing their role in the ’white slavery’ case against him — and the significance of Richard Attenborough’s film Chaplin.

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Chaplin Stage by Stage - A.J. Marriot

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Available on charliechaplininmusichall.com

If you believe that everything that could be written about Charlie Chaplin has been written - then prepare to be shocked! Admittedly, there are scores of books on Chaplin, plus hundreds, if not thousands of magazine articles, but just how many of these gives us the true facts about Chaplin? Maybe a handful! Never before has so much original research been done to establish just where, when, and with whom, Chaplin spent his time on the stage, before going into films. The book contains almost every single appearance Chaplin made in the UK and, for the first time ever, the ones he made in Vaudeville, during four years touring America with the Fred Karno Company of Comedians…

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Chaplin and Agee - John Wranovics

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“Chaplin and Agee” charts the friendship between James Agee, author of “Let us now Praise Pamous men” and the pulitzer prize - winning “A Death in the Family” and screenwriter for classic american films, including the “African Queen”, and Charles Chaplin, who starred in nearly a hundred films from 1914 - 1967. This friendship emerged in the midst of the tumult of the 40’s and 50’s, with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mac Carthysm , and blacklisting.

In print here for the first time is Agee’s amazing screenplay, “The Tramp’s New World”, lost until recently. The striking screenplay - a comedy “so dark it was without precedent” - was written in 1947 for Chaplin’s little tramp character and set in a post apocalyptic New York City. Chaplin and Agee also features many previously unpublished letters, and photographs. As the story moves between Hollywood and Greenwich Village - this... read more

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Chaplin: A Life - Stephen Weissman

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Born in London in 1889, Charlie Chaplin grew up in dire poverty. Both his parents were in show business, but severe alcoholism cut short his father’s flourishing career, and his beloved mother first lost her voice, then lost her mind to syphilis. Charlie at age seven was committed to the Hanwell School for Orphans and Destitute Children. How then did this poor, lonely child become such an extraordinary comedian, known and celebrated worldwide? Chaplin cut his teeth in British music halls, but it was America that made him. At age twenty-five, he was touring here with a vaudeville troupe when his talents caught the eye of entertainment entrepreneur Mack Sennett, who spirited him off to California and signed him to a film contract. Chaplin became Sennett’s star comedian, and by twenty-eight the actor had become a millionaire and the world’s greatest celebrity. Weissman traces Chaplin’s life and the sources of... read more

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Chaplin's Music Hall: The Chaplins and their Circle in the Limelight - Barry Anthony

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Charlie Chaplin grew up in and around the music hall. His parents, aunt, and their friends all earned their precarious livings on the stage and Chaplin himself started his career as a member of the Eight Lancashire Lads dance troupe. His experiences of the culture of the music hall were a significant influence, shaping his style of acting and the films he made.

Chaplin’s family and the circle of fellow performers whose life stories are told in this book were appearing at a time when music hall was in a state of transition, changing from an entertainment still reminiscent of its tavern-based origins to a complex, highly-financed industry seeking legitimacy with a far wider public. As venues grew larger, performers struggled to make connections with an increasingly remote audience.

This book tells the stories of Chaplin’s family and their music-hall circle – from “dashing” Eva Lester to the great Fred Karno... read more

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A Comedian Sees the World - Charlie Chaplin

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Re-issue of Charlie Chaplin’s “A Comedian Sees the World” with annotations and hyper-textual enhancements by Lisa Stein

A Legion d’honneur medal, “hate” mail from King George, a photo of a tanned and smiling Chaplin posing with Mahatma Ghandi and entourage, a pith helmet, an idea for a new “topless” male swimsuit, and evidence of a foiled assassination plot. These assorted souvenirs only begin to tell the story of Charlie Chaplin’s second world tour, conducted in 1931-2 a tour from which he returned a changed man, changed by the people he met, the places he visited and the ramifications of the Great Depression he witnessed. “A Comedian Sees the World” was Chaplin’s memoir of this tour, originally published in five installments in a popular American periodical known as The Woman’s Home Companion from September 1933 to January 1934. It was never available to Chaplin’s large world audience outside of the United... read more

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Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life (Ackroyd's Brief Lives) - Peter Ackroyd

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He was the very first icon of the silver screen and is one of the most recognizable of Hollywood faces, even a hundred years after his first film. But what of the man behind the moustache? Peter Ackroyd’s new biography turns the spotlight on Chaplin’s life as well as his work, from his humble theatrical beginnings in music halls to winning an honorary Academy Award. Everything is here, from the glamor of his golden age to the murky scandals of the 1940s and eventual exile to Switzerland. There are charming anecdotes along the way: playing the violin in a New York hotel room to mask the sound of Stan Laurel frying pork chops and long Hollywood lunches with Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. This masterful brief biography offers fresh revelations about one of the most familiar faces of the last century and brings the Little Tramp vividly to life.

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Syd Chaplin: A Biography - Lisa K. Stein

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This is the first study of the life and art of Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s brother, a person notable not only for his importance in establishing his brother’s career, but in several other early Hollywood enterprises, including the founding of United Artists and the Syd Chaplin Aircraft Corporation, America’s first domestic airline. Sydney also had a successful film career, beginning in 1914 with Keystone and culminating with a string of popular films for Warner Bros. in the 1920s. Sydney’s film career ended in 1929 because of an assault charge by an actress. This incident proved to be only the last in a string of scandals, each causing him to move to another place, another studio, or another business venture.

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Pictures Books...

Genius of the Cinema - Jeffrey Vance

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Noted film historian and silent comedy authority, Jeffrey Vance draws on exhaustive research and interviews with those who knew Chaplin to produce this definitive illustrated account describing in lively detail the atmosphere on Chaplin’s film sets and his relationships with the cast and crew, his first attempts at comedy sequences that later became famous, the development of his scenarios and characters, and the main themes and ideas that persist through the major Chaplin films.

Composed with full access to the Chaplin Family archives. Coincides with the DVD release of Chaplin’s Classic film through MK2 and Warner Home video.

Introduction by David Robinson
With an interview by Richard Meryman

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Taschen Icons: Chaplin - David Robinson, Paul Duncan

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“Charles Chaplin’s Little Tramp is the supreme icon of motion pictures—still recognized and loved throughout the world, more than 90 years since he first burst on the screen. The shabby little figure - with derby hat, too-tight jacket, oversized boots and pants, dandified bow tie, and swagger cane - seemed to symbolize the hopes and fears, defeats and optimism of all humanity. Chaplin’s own biography was a rags-to-riches story that saw the product of a destitute childhood in Victorian London become one of Hollywood’s first millionaires and the owner of his own studio before he was 30. His supreme gift was to transform his experience and knowledge of the human lot into comedy, for which his invention and skill have never been surpassed. […]”

  • Edited by TASCHEN
  • Editor: Duncan, Paul
  • Text: Robinson, David
  • Photos: Roy Export Company Establishment
  • Flexicover, 14 x 19.5 cm (5.5 x 7.7 in.), 192 pages Icon

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A Photo Diary - Michel Comte

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Several years ago Michel Comte discovered that the Chaplin office held an extensive photo archive, consisting of thousands of glass negatives, negatives and photographic prints.

Chaplin’s life and work was documented with passionate enthusiasm: private photographs taken by his friends, his family and his children had been collected and kept, as well as officals photographs made during shootings and work in Hollywood Studios. Many of this photographs have never been published. From this tremendous find Michel Comte has put together a sensitive album wich shows a hitherto unknown Charlie Chaplin. He has concentrated on Chaplin’s trips round the world, “snapshots” with artist colleagues and visiting dignitaries, with relatives, his children and grand children. This exceptionnal book begins in the 1909, and follows Chaplin’s life step by step, presenting an artist who “acted” throughout his life, and who was also “in the limelight” in his private life too.

Edited by Steidl

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The Charlie Chaplin Archives - Paul Duncan

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From Alaska to Zimbabwe, the bowler hat, cane, baggy trousers and outsized shoes of the Tramp is still the most recognized silhouette in the world, more than 100 years after Charlie Chaplin first created him. With The Charlie Chaplin Archives, TASCHEN presents the ultimate book on the making of Chaplin’s films, using the vast resources of the Chaplin archives.

Within a year of arriving in Hollywood in 1914, British-born Chaplin, playing the Tramp, had become the slapstick king of America. By the end of his second year on the silver screen, Chaplin’s fame had spread worldwide. He was the first international film star and, with a million dollar contract, became one of the richest men in the world. With his own studio and his stock company of close collaborators, Chaplin began making his greatest movies: The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931)... read more

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Charlie Chaplin: The Keystone Album: The Invention of the Tramp - Glenn Mitchell

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Charlie Chaplin: The Keystone Album brings together 794 images-technically photograms, printed directly from film frames-from 29 of Charlie Chaplin’s first 36 short films made with the Keystone Film Company in 1914. The strips trace the evolution of Chaplin’s iconic Tramp character as the actor developed his trademark gestures in his short films, before eventually immortalizing the character in the 1915 feature The Tramp. These images were found in a curious document, dubbed “The Keystone Album,” laid out almost like a comic book, with handwritten captions giving the titles of the films and their reconstituted scenarios. It was confirmed in 2014 that H.D. Waley, a former artistic director of the British Film Institute, compiled the extraordinary album in the 1940s in order to keep a record of the original versions of Chaplin’s first films, which were being restored at the time. This beautiful Japanese-bound volume reproduces The Keystone Album in... read more

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Charlie Chaplin: Footlights with The World of Limelight - Charlie Chaplin & D. Robinson

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Long before becoming one of the masterpieces of Charlie Chaplin’s artistic maturity, and even before existing as a screenplay, Limelight was conceived by its author as a 34,000-word novella. After remaining virtually unknown for more than 60 years after its completion, Footlights is now published by Cineteca di Bologna in this volume for the very first time. Chaplin’s vivid, idiosyncratic style, unadulterated by editors, moves freely from the baldly colloquial to moments of rich imagery and Dickensian description. For a setting, he looked back to London and the music halls of his first professional years, an enchanted period in which he had broken out of the deprivations of his childhood to discover, progressively, his unique gifts as entertainer and communicator. But this retrospect also recalled the painful insecurity of an uneducated, uncultured boy launched into the world of success.

David Robinson, Chaplin’s most eminent biographer, traces the long yet logical... read more

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Silent Traces - John Bengtson

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Edited by John Bengtson
Published by Santa Monica Press

Uncovering tidbits of the history of Los Angeles and the early film industry that are hidden within Charlie Chaplin’s timeless films, this stunning work of cinematic archeology combines Chaplin’s movie images with archival photographs, vintage maps, contemporary photographs, and scores of then-and-now comparison photographs to conjure up the silent-movie era from an entirely new perspective. Through his research of the locations used in such classic Chaplin films as The Kid, City Lights and Modern Times as well as Chaplin’s lesser known but equally brilliant short films and early work, the author illuminates both Chaplin’s genius and the evolving city that served as the backdrop of his art. Part time machine, part detective story, this title presents a truly unique look at Chaplin’s work, and a captivating glimpse into Hollywood’s most romantic era.

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Charlie Chaplin Movie Posters - Israel Perry

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The idea to publish a book on the posters advertising the movies of Charlie Chaplin, the artist we loved to watch in our childhood and our admiration towards him grew as we learned to understand his art of acting, came to our mind a few years ago. However it took seven years and great effort to assemble such a collection of original posters of Chaplin’s greatest movies under one roof.

In this book for the first time, the astonishing career of Charlie Chaplin is viewed through the posters used to advertise his movies. These posters were created by artists who tried and quite succesfully to convey to the mass, the story of the movie and the character played by Chaplin …

By Israel Perry and Jean Louis Capitaine
Book in English & French

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Essays Books...

Chaplin and American Culture - Charles J. Maland

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This is the first book focusing on the relationship between Chaplin and American public that was perhaps the stormiest in the History of American Stardom. Charles Maland traces the ups and downs of Chaplin’s star image from 1913 when he began his movie at Mac Sennett’s Keystone Studio to the 1980’s when his “Charlie” figure emerged in an advertisement campaign for personal computers. Examining the interplay between Chaplin’s reputation and the vicissitudes of the American political ans social climate, the book analyzes the cultural forces that led to the spectacular growth of his popularity, to the even more dramatic collapse of his reputation and his twenty year exile in Switzerland, and finally his restored prestige.

Who Fashioned the Chaplin “star image”? Maland shows that the film industry, the press, the public, and Chaplin himself created the complex and shifting set of meanings, attitudes, and mental pictures that represented not only... read more

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The Charlie Chaplin Walk - Stephen P Smith

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The Charlie Chaplin Walk is targeted at fans of Chaplin, those interested in film history, people with a connection to the Lambeth and Kennington areas of London, and anybody with an interest of the social history of London’s poor of the late Victorian and early Edwardian era. Explore the London streets of Charlie Chaplin’s childhood in a chronological tour that can be taken on foot or from the comfort of an armchair. This book concentrates on the story of Chaplin’s formative years and takes a fresh look at the influence they had upon his films.

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Modern Times - Tempi Moderni - Christian Delage, Cecilia Cenciarelli

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The book traces back the history of Modern Times from its planning stage to its distribution, through the analysis of more than a hundred pages from the Chaplin archive, here published for the very first time. The book starts off investigating the impact that the cultural and historical climate of the 20s and 30s (from the beginning of the Depression to the New Deal) had on intellectuals, writers, filmmakers.

A second part is devoted both to Chaplin’s ‘iconography of the machine age’ and the analysis of his stylistic development with the use of sound effects and eventually sound. Particular attention is also given to one of Chaplin’s best orchestral score, to issues such as censorship, changing distribution strategies, the film’s reception and revenues, press reviews. The book also includes a selection of more than a hundred photographs.

Documents and essays compiled by Christian Delage with the collaboration of Cecilia Cenciarelli.

... read more

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The Great Dictator - Il grande dittatore - Anna Fiaccarini, Cecilia Cenciarelli and Michela Zegna

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“I was beginning to have the impression that I’d been swept away by a political avalanche,” wrote Chaplin in his autobiography. “I began to wonder why: to what point was I stimulated by the actor within me and by the reactions of a flesh and blood audience? Would I have thrown myself into this quixotic adventure if I hadn’t made an anti-Nazi film? Was it the sublimation of all my furies and all my dislike of sound pictures? I imagine that all these elements had a part in it, but the strongest was still my hate and contempt for the Fascist regime”.

This book, created by the Cineteca di Bologna, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and by Le Mani in co-operation with BIM distribuzione, starts off the series of “Quaderni” for the Chaplin Project.

The book contains a selection of original documents reconstructing the preparatory phases from the first... read more

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Chaplin: The Dictator and the Tramp - David Robinson, Eric James, & more

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The Dictator and the Tramp is a collection of essays about Charles Chaplin (1889-1977) written by some of the world’s leading authorities on chaplin and early film comedy. The primary focus of the volume is Chaplin’s 1940 film satire on Nazi Germany, “The Great Dictator”. This film has recently attracted intense interest during its wide international theatrical and DVD re-release. “The Great Dictator” is also the subject of a remarkable documentary, The Tramp and the Dictator, by the distinguished historian and film maker Kevin Brownlow, who serves as adviser to this publication, and has made available research material and interviews gathered in the course of the production.

Other advisers and contributors are David Robinson, Chaplin’s principal biographer as well as the first Research Foundation, Eric James, Chaplin’s long-time music associate, Glenn Mitchell, author of the Chaplin Encyclopaedia, Bonnie McCourt, Dan Kamin and Bo Berglund.

The essays have been assembled and... read more

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Chaplin Facing History - Christian Delage

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This book shows how in the “Great Dictator” Chaplin exposes his personal world to the pressure of world events. Chaplin’s “real history” was not just the one he was facing up to, but also the one he himself was recounting by combining the characters of the Tramp and the jewish barber in the image of the “pariah”. The analysis presented here is articulated through historical archives, photographs, poetry and fiction. It attempts to recapture the spirit of one of Jorge Luis Borges last books, Atlas, which he presented as being “neither a series of texts illustrated with photos nor a series of photographs explained by epigraphs. Each title encapsulates a whole, made up of image and words.” This “whole” comes to light in the movement that goes from exploration of the archives to the works of ordering and interpretation. Why not build this experience of editing and researching into the... read more

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The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion - Dan Kamin

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h3. Editorial Review

This excursion into the enchanted comic world of Charlie Chaplin will appeal not just to Chaplin fans but to anyone who loves comedy. Dan Kamin brings a unique insider’s perspective to the subject. An internationally acclaimed comic performing artist himself, he trained Robert Downey, Jr. for his Oscar-nominated portrayal in Chaplin, and created Johnny Depp’s physical comedy scenes in Benny and Joon. The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion reveals the inner workings of Chaplin’s mesmerizing art as never before. Kamin illuminates the comedian’s incredibly sophisticated visual comedy in disarmingly direct prose, providing new insights into how Chaplin achieved his legendary rapport with audiences and demonstrating why comedy created nearly a century ago remains fresh today. He then presents provocative new interpretations of each of the comedian’s sound films, showing how Chaplin remained true to his silent comedy roots even as he kept reinventing... read more

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The Tramp's Odyssey - Simon Louvish

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An Everyman who expressed the defiant spirit of freedom, Charlie Chaplin was first lauded and later reviled by the audience that made him Hollywood’s richest man. He was a figure of multiple paradoxes, and Chaplin looks afresh at this classic comedian and his most recognizable character: The Tramp. Louvish charts the tale of the Tramp himself through his films—from the early Mack Sennett shorts through the major features (The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator) and weighs the relationship between the Tramp, his creator, and his worldwide fans. Chaplin is an epic journey, summing up the roots of Comedy and its appeal to audiences everywhere, who revelled in Chaplin’s raw energy, his ceaseless struggle against adver sity, and his capacity to represent our own fears, foibles, dreams, inner demons and hopes.

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Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World - Sid Fleischman

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See him? That little tramp twitching a postage stamp of a mustache, politely lifting his bowler hat, and leaning on a bamboo cane with the confidence of a gentleman? A slapstick comedian, he blazed forth as the brightest movie star in the Hollywood heavens.

Everyone knew Charlie—Charlie Chaplin. When he was five years old he was pulled onstage for the first time, and he didn’t step off again for almost three-quarters of a century. Escaping the London slums of his tragic childhood, he took Hollywood like a conquistador with a Cockney accent. With his gift for pantomime in films that had not yet acquired vocal cords, he was soon rubbing elbows with royalty and dining on gold plates in his own Beverly Hills mansion. He was the most famous man on earth—and he was regarded as the funniest.

Still is. . . . He comes to life in these pages... read more

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Chaplin and American Culture - Charles J. Maland

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Title : Chaplin and American Culture
Author : Charles J. Maland
PublicationDate : 1991-02-01
Publisher : Princeton University Press
NumberOfPages : 464

Charles Maland focuses on the cultural sources of the on-and-off, love-hate affair between Chaplin and the American public that was perhaps the stormiest in American stardom.


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Here We Stand: Politics, Performers and Performance: Paul Robeson, Charlie Chaplin, Isadora Duncan - Colin Chambers

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Title : Here We Stand: Politics, Performers and Performance: Paul Robeson, Charlie Chaplin, Isadora Duncan
Author : Colin Chambers
PublicationDate : 2007-04-01
Publisher : Nick Hern Books
NumberOfPages : 256

Paul Robeson, Isadora Duncan, and Charlie Chaplin: three famous performers who all suffered personally and professionally for their political stand. Here We Stand looks at their very different careers and how their artistic work was affected by their determined stand for what they believed was right, from Robeson’s outspoken criticism of racism, to Duncan’s Soviet sympathies and Chaplin’s antiwar stance, which led to his expulsion from the United States.


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Charlie Chaplin: Interviews - Kevin J. Hayes

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In late 1914, Charlie Chaplin’s name first began appearing on marquees. By the end of the following year, moviegoers couldn’t get enough of him and his iconic persona, the Little Tramp. Perpetually outfitted with baggy pants, a limp cane, and a dusty bowler hat, the character became so beloved that Chaplin was mobbed by fans, journalists, and critics at every turn.

Although he never particularly liked giving interviews, he accepted the demands of his stardom, giving detailed responses about his methods of making movies. He quickly progressed from making two-reel shorts to feature-length masterpieces such as The Gold Rush, City Lights, and Modern Times.

Charlie Chaplin: Interviews offers a complex portrait of perhaps the world’s greatest cinematic comedian and a man who is considered to be one of the most influential screen artists in movie history. The interviews he granted, performances in and of themselves, are often... read more

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Chaplin’s Limelight and the music hall tradition - Hooman Mehran (Editor), Dan Kamin (Associate Editor) Frank Scheide (Editor)

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“Charles Spencer Chaplin was a stage performer before he was a filmmaker, and it was in English music hall that he learned the rudiments of his art. The last film he made in the United States, “Limelight”:/en/articles/7 was a tribute to the music hall days of his youth. As a parallel to Chaplin’s past, the film was set in 1914, the year he left the stage for a Hollywood career.

This collection of essays examines “Limelight”:/en/articles/7 and the history of English music hall. Featuring contributions from the world’s top Chaplin and music hall historians, as well as previously unpublished interviews with collaborators who worked on “Limelight”:/en/articles/7 the book offers new insight into one of Chaplin’s most important pictures and the British form of entertainment that inspired it. Essays consider how and why Chaplin made “Limelight”:/en/articles/7 other artists who came out of English music hall, and the film’s international appeal, among... read more

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The Gold Rush (BFI Film Classics) - Matthew Solomon

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One of the biggest hits of the silent era, The Gold Rush (1925) was famously described by Charlie Chaplin – the star, writer and director of the film – as ‘the picture I want to be remembered by’. Enjoying popular and critical success not once but twice, the film was given a new lease of life with sound in 1942 after Chaplin added his own narration and music.

Matthew Solomon provides an in-depth discussion of the film’s genesis within the Northern genre, its production and reception history, and its subsequent canonisation. Considering both unauthorised and authorised versions of the film, he places them in the context of the turn-of-the-century Alaska Klondike Gold Rush and analyses their narrative and formal features. In tracing the
stories of these multiple versions, Solomon shows how The Gold Rush problematises commonly accepted ideas about the singularity, authenticity and originality of an individual film.</div>


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Silent Comedy - Paul Merton

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“The tiresomely idiotic debate on Keaton versus Chaplin is, in my experience, overwhelmingly used by proponents of Buster to attempt to rubbish Charlie…” It’s an appealing mind-set for some people, who say: “We’ve all heard that Charlie Chaplin was meant to be the greatest comedian in the world, but my preference for Buster keaton demonstrates my ability to think for myself. Chaplin was overly sentimental, but Keaton’s coolness and cynical eye chime exactly with our Modern Times.

Well, the good news is that they are both fantastic. There’s no need to choose between them. Enjoy them both ! That’s one of the main aims in my book. I shall examine the films of Charlie Chaplin and Buster keaton, not in isolation, as has been the usual practice, but showing how they influenced each other in a creative rivalry that also featured Harold Lloyd (the man hanging off the clock). This... read more

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The Search for Charlie Chaplin - Kevin Brownlow

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Account of how Kevin Brownlow and David Gill found the incredible outtakes that enabled them to put together their unparallelled three-part documentary series UNKNOWN CHAPLIN, and of the other adventures they had during the making of the documentary film.

The book comes with a DVD of UNKNOWN CHAPLIN

Volume in English and Italian, 2005
Published under the direction of the Cineteca di Bologna

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Limelight - Documents and essays - Anna Fiaccarini, Peter von Bagh, Cecilia Cenciarelli, Roberto Benigni

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The original archive material, only available to a few film historians up to now, published and reproduced for the first time in a series of monographic volumes.

The critical comments by film critics and historians of the unpublished papers, allow us to trace the crucial stages around the origins of the films, their creation, the unused versions, the censorship and distribution issues.

“That little man we see is the same one who, minutes before, wanted to kill all women in the world. It’s really him. And now he’s doing all he can, and he despairs, hoping that one of them may come back to life. Limelight” is powerful, geometric, troubled and deceitful, in which beauty, like sun upon mirrors, goes glittering away. There is Buster Keaton. A sphinx-like appearence just a few seconds long, wherefore the heart almost loses itself in fear. Together. As if Michelango, when sculpting his David... read more

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Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp in America, 1947-77 - Lisa Stein Haven

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This book focuses on the re-invigoration of Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp persona in America from the point at which Chaplin reached the acme of his disfavor in the States, promoted by the media, through his departure from America forever in 1952, and ending with his death in Switzerland in 1977. By considering factions of America as diverse as 8mm film collectors, Beat poets and writers and readers of Chaplin biographies, this cultural study determines conclusively that Chaplin’s Little Tramp never died, but in fact experienced a resurgence, which began slowly even before 1950 and was wholly in effect by 1965 and then confirmed by 1972, the year in which Chaplin returned to the United States for the final time, to receive accolades in both New York and Los Angeles, where he received an Oscar for a lifetime of achievement in film.

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The Freak - Chaplin's Last Film - Pierre Smolik

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What would The Freak, Chaplin’s last film, have been like if it had been made? Pierre Smolik guides us through the process of preparing this project to which the “master of masters”, as Renoir called him, devoted his last years, and whose beauty lies in its incompletion. Chaplin left the film nearly ready for shooting, since everything is there: script, preparatory notes, development, music, drawings and even some filmed rehearsals that constitute the last production by this giant of the cinema.

These heretofore unpublished documents pull the reader into a universe that blends aspects of the fantastic tale, dreams, poetry, myth and tragedy—a universe where humour is not left out: “Offering an egg to a bird—how very tactless!”

It was during a meal in the 1960s that Chaplin told his family the story of a strange creature—a bird woman who falls, injured, onto the roof of a professor-writer’s house in... read more

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Misc Books...