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chaplin the kid - Newest pictures
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Charlie Chaplin

Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr., KBE. (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977), better known as Charlie Chaplin, was an English comedy actor. Chaplin became one of the most famous actors as well as a notable director and musician in the early to mid Hollywood cinema era. He is considered to be one of the finest mimes and clowns ever caught on film and has greatly influenced performers in this field.

He acted in, directed, scripted, produced, and eventually scored his own films. Chaplin was also one of the most creative and influential personalities in the silent-film era. His working life in entertainment spanned over 65 years, from the Victorian stage and music hall in the United Kingdom as a child performer, almost until his death at the age of eighty-eight. Chaplin's high-profile public and private life encompassed highs and lows with both adulation and controversy.

His principal character was "The Tramp" (known as "Charlot" in France and the French-speaking world, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey, and as "Carlitos" in Brazil). "The Tramp" is a vagrant with the refined manners and dignity of a gentleman. The character wears a tight coat, oversized trousers and shoes, and a derby; carries a bamboo cane; and has a signature toothbrush mustache.

Charlie Chaplin was born on 16 April 1889, in East Street, Walworth, London. His parents were both entertainers in the Music Hall tradition; they separated before Charlie was three. He learned singing from his parents. The 1891 census shows that his mother, the actress Lily Harvey (Hannah Harriet Hill), lived with Charlie and his older brother Sydney on Barlow Street, Walworth. As a child Charlie also lived with his mother in various addresses in and around Kennington Road in Lambeth, including 3 Pownall Terrace, Chester Street, and 46 Methley Street. His maternal grandmother was half-Roma, a fact he was very proud of[2], but also described as "the skeleton in our family cupboard"[3]. Chaplin's father was an alcoholic and had little contact with his son, though Chaplin and his brother briefly lived with their father and his mistress Louise at 287 Kennington Road (which address is now ornamented with a plaque commemorating Chaplin's residence). The brothers resided there when their mother became mentally ill and was admitted to the Cane Hill Asylum at Coulsdon. His father's mistress sent the young Chaplin to Kennington Road school. Chaplin's father died when Charlie was twelve in 1901. At the time of the 1901 Census, Charles resided at 94 Ferndale Road, Lambeth, with the The Eight Lancashire Lads, which was led by John William Jackson (the 17 year old son of one of the founders).

A larynx condition ended the singing career of Chaplin's mother. Hannah's first crisis came in 1894 when she was performing at The Canteen, a theatre in Aldershot. The theatre was mainly frequented by rioters and soldiers, and it was one of the worst places to perform. Hannah was badly injured by the objects the audience mercilessly threw at her, and she was booed off the stage. Backstage, she cried and argued with her manager. In the meantime, the five-year old Chaplin went on stage alone and started singing a very well-known tune at that time, "Jack Jones".

When Hannah Chaplin was again admitted to the Cane Hill Asylum, Chaplin was left in the workhouse at Lambeth in south London, moving after several weeks to the Central London District School for paupers in Hanwell. The young Chaplin brothers forged a close relationship to survive. They gravitated to the Music Hall while still very young, and both of them proved to have considerable natural stage talent. Chaplin's early years of desperate poverty were a great influence on his characters. Themes in his films in later years would re-visit the scenes of his childhood deprivation in Lambeth.

Chaplin's mother died in 1928 in Hollywood, seven years after being brought to the U.S. by her sons. Unknown to Charlie and Sydney until years later, they had a half-brother through their mother. The boy, Wheeler Dryden, was raised abroad by his father but later connected with the rest of the family and went to work for Chaplin at his Hollywood studio.

Chaplin first toured America with the Fred Karno troupe from 1910 to 1912. Then, after five months back in England, he returned for a second tour and arrived in the United States with the Karno Troupe on October 2, 1912. In the Karno Company was Arthur Stanley Jefferson, who would later become known as Stan Laurel. Chaplin and Laurel shared a room in a boarding house. Stan Laurel returned to England but Chaplin remained in the United States. In late 1913, Chaplin's act with the Karno Troupe was seen by film producer Mack Sennett, who hired him for his studio, the Keystone Film Company. Chaplin's first film appearance was in Making a Living a one-reel comedy released on February 2, 1914.

Chaplin's earliest films were made for Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios, where he developed his tramp character and very quickly learned the art and craft of film making. The tramp was first presented to the public in Chaplin's second film Kid Auto Races at Venice (released Feb. 7, 1914) though Mabel's Strange Predicament, his third film, (released Feb. 9,1914) was produced a few days before. It was for this film that Chaplin first conceived of the tramp. As Chaplin recalled in his autobiography:

"I had no idea what makeup to put on. I did not like my get-up as the press reporter [in Making a Living]. However on the way to the wardrobe I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large. I was undecided whether to look old or young, but remembering Sennett had expected me to be a much older man, I added a small moustache, which I reasoned, would add age without hiding my expression.
I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the makeup made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked on stage he was fully born." (Chaplin, My Autobiography: 154).
Chaplin's early Keystones use the standard Mack Sennett formula of extreme physical comedy and exaggerated gestures. Chaplin's pantomime was subtler, more suitable to romantic and domestic farces than to the usual Keystone chases and mob scenes. The visual gags were pure Keystone, however; the tramp character would aggressively assault his enemies with kicks and bricks. Moviegoers loved this cheerfully earthy new comedian, even though critics warned that his antics bordered on vulgarity. Chaplin was soon entrusted with directing and editing his own films. He made 34 shorts for Sennett during his first year in pictures, as well as the landmark comedy feature Tillie's Punctured Romance.

In 1915, Chaplin signed a much more favourable contract with Essanay Studios, and further developed his cinematic skills, adding new levels of depth and pathos to the Keystone-style slapstick. Most of the Essanay films were more ambitious, running twice as long as the average Keystone comedy. Chaplin also developed his own stock company, including ingenue Edna Purviance and comic villains Leo White and Bud Jamison.

In 1916, the Mutual Film Corporation paid Chaplin US$670,000 to produce a dozen two-reel comedies. He was given near complete artistic control, and produced twelve films over an eighteen-month period that rank among the most influential comedy films in cinema. Practically every Mutual comedy is a classic: Easy Street, One AM, The Pawnshop, and The Adventurer are perhaps the best known. Edna Purviance remained the leading lady, and Chaplin added Eric Campbell, Henry Bergman, and Albert Austin to his stock company; Campbell, a Gilbert and Sullivan veteran, provided superb villainy, and second bananas Bergman and Austin would remain with Chaplin for decades. Chaplin regarded the Mutual period as the happiest of his career.

Most of the Chaplin films in circulation date from his Keystone, Essanay, and Mutual periods. After Chaplin assumed control of his productions in 1918 (and kept exhibitors and audiences waiting for them), entrepreneurs serviced the demand for Chaplin by bringing back his older comedies. The films were recut, retitled, and reissued again and again, first for theatres, then for the home-movie market, and in recent years, for home video. Even Essanay was guilty of this practice, fashioning "new" Chaplin comedies from old film clips and out-takes. The twelve Mutual comedies were revamped as sound movies in 1933, when producer Amadee J. Van Beuren added new orchestral scores and sound effects. A listing of the dozens of Chaplin films and alternate versions can be found in the Ted Okuda-David Maska book Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp. Efforts to produce definitive versions of Chaplin's pre-1918 short films have been underway in recent years; all twelve Mutual films were restored in 1975 by archivist David Shepard and Blackhawk Films, and new restorations with even more footage were released on DVD in 2006.

At the conclusion of the Mutual contract in 1917, Chaplin signed a contract with First National to produce eight two-reel films. First National financed and distributed these pictures (1918-23) but otherwise gave him complete creative control over production. Chaplin built his own Hollywood studio and using his independence, created a remarkable, timeless body of work that remains entertaining and influential. Although First National expected Chaplin to deliver short comedies like the celebrated Mutuals, Chaplin ambitiously expanded most of his personal projects into longer, feature-length films, including Shoulder Arms (1918), The Pilgrim (1923), and the feature-length classic The Kid (1921).

In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the United Artists film distribution company with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith, all of whom were seeking to escape the growing power consolidation of film distributors and financiers in the developing Hollywood studio system. This move, along with complete control of his film production through his studio, assured Chaplin's independence as a film-maker. He served on the board of UA until the early 1950s.

All Chaplin's United Artists pictures were of feature length, beginning with A Woman of Paris (1923). This was followed by the classic The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928).

After the arrival of sound films, he made City Lights (1931), as well as Modern Times (1936) before he committed to sound. These were essentially silent films scored with his own music and sound effects. City Lights contained arguably his most perfect balance of ...


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