Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin (Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin), 1889–1977, English film actor, director, producer, writer, and composer, b. London. Chaplin began on the music-hall stage and then joined a pantomime troupe. While on tour in the United States, he was recruited by Mack Sennett. Chaplin merged physical grace, disrespect for authority, and sentimentality into a highly individual character he created for the Keystone Company. In appearance, his Little Tramp wore a gentlemen's derby, cane, and neatly kept moustache with baggy trousers and oversized shoes. He affected a unique, bow-legged dance-walk. Chaplin skipped from one studio to another in search of greater control over his work, finally cofounding United Artists in 1919 with D. W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford.

Chaplin's features include The Kid (1920), The Gold Rush (1924), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and Limelight (1952). He enjoyed immense worldwide popularity, though this was tempered by his refusal to use sound until 1940. His political sympathies and various personal scandals contributed to his declining popularity. In 1952, he was barred on political grounds from re-entering the United States and lived thereafter in Switzerland. In 1975 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. His fourth wife was Oona O'Neill, the daughter of Eugene O'Neill. He won an Academy Award in 1972 for his score to Limelight.

See his My Trip Abroad (1922) and autobiography (1964); biographies by C. Chaplin, Jr. (1960), P. Tyler (1947, repr. 1972), and P. Ackroyd (2014); G. D. McDonald et al., The Films of Charlie Chaplin (1965); K. S. Lynn, Charlie Chaplin and His Times (1997); J. Vance, Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema (2003).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Charlie Chaplin: Selected full-text books and articles

Charlie Chaplin By Theodore Huff Henry Schuman, 1951
A Comedian Sees the World By Charlie Chaplin; Lisa Stein Haven University of Missouri Press, 2014
Librarian’s tip: This is Chaplin's memoir of a European trip
You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet: The American Talking Film: History & Memory, 1927-1949 By Andrew Sarris Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Chaplin begins on p. 139
Fools and Jesters in Literature, Art, and History: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook By Vicki K. Janik; Emmanuel S. Nelson Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Charlie Chaplin" begins on p. 127
The Rise of the American Film: A Critical History By Lewis Jacobs Harcourt Brace, 1939
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Charles Chaplin: Individualist"
American Dark Comedy: Beyond Satire By Wes D. Gehring Greenwood Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Dismantling Dictators: 'Marxist' or Otherwise"
Charlie Chaplin, Stranger and Brother By Oms, Marcel UNESCO Courier, October 1989
Intimate and Authentic Economies: The American Self-Made Man from Douglass to Chaplin By Tom Nissley Routledge, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Reality Effect in the Film Machine "
"Imitation as Imitation": The Brechtian Aspect of Chaplin's Cinema By Marshall, C Ian Literature/Film Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 2, April 1, 1991
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Tramp: Down and out in Chaplin and Orwell By Baker, Aaron Literature/Film Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1, January 1, 1989
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Film and the Critical Eye By Dennis DeNitto; William Herman Macmillan, 1975
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The Gold Rush"
American Culture in the 1910s By Mark Whalan Edinburgh University Press, 2010
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Chaplin's "The Immigrant" begins on p. 46
Mickey and the Tramp: Walt Disney's Debt to Charlie Chaplin By Jackson, Kathy Merlock Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA), Vol. 26, No. 4, December 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Chaplin and Brecht: The Gold Rush and the Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny By Michaels, Jennifer E Literature/Film Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 3, July 1, 1980
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The 7 Lively Arts By Gilbert Seldes Sagamore Press, 1957
Librarian’s tip: "I Am Here To-Day': Charlie Chaplin" begins on p. 35
Great Companions: Critical Memoirs of Some Famous Friends By Max Eastman Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1959
Librarian’s tip: "Charlie Chaplin: Memories and Reflections" begins on p. 207
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