Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Excerpt

Although he has made but three pictures in the last twenty years and many critics' thumbs went down on his last picture, Charles Chaplin was recently voted by members of the film industry the best actor of the past half century. Yet, this may be considered an understatement. Chaplin is more than an "actor"; he is a clown, in direct line of descent from the Commedia dell'arte; he is the twentieth-century counterpart of Arlequin and Grimaldi. Thanks partly to the universal nature of the film medium, he has made more people laugh than any other man who ever lived. And beyond this, he is a symbol of the age, the twentieth-century Everyman. In Gilbert Seldes' apt phrase, Chaplin was "destined by his genius to be the one universal man of modern times."

For over thirty-six years Chaplin has been the unquestioned King of Comedy. His films are shown continuously all over the world. Even his first comedies of 1914 to 1917 are still exhibited commercially, not as museum pieces or facetiously as "flicker flashbacks," but as modern entertainment--the only motion pictures of that period still to be so exhibited. It is estimated that three hundred million people have seen each Chaplin comedy.

Chaplin's role as the comic little vagabond, an under- dog with profound and tragic overtones, has been appreciated in every part of the globe, in France as the beloved "Charlot," elsewhere as "Carlino," "Carlos, . . ."

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