Charlie Chaplin Movies Ranked

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles” – Charlie Chaplin

CINEMA, there is an internationally recognizable image for this word. From young to old, Turkey to India, one particular image comes to our mind. There is one man who seems like a gentleman with little to no money, with his bowler hat, large shoes, baggy pants and a very tight and shabby jacket, funny walking style with a cane in his hand, toothbrush mustache which is the signature of two men, who are also the faces of two big themes of life, joy and sorrow (you must’ve guessed the sorrow part by now). The creator of this man calls him ‘the little tramp’, one country calls him ‘Charlot’. In between two world wars, people probably needed just that, just him. First seen in ‘Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)’, he wasn’t the tramp we know and love today. At first, he was meaner and he seemed like a bitter tramp with no heart, aiming only to make people laugh. The character was still in development and with a small evolution, the tramp was born.

He is a legend and a genius in every sense of the word. There are no other words to describe his talent, his understanding of human soul and his creative artistry. People who knew him usually said that he was full of himself and sometimes downright cruel (Virgina Cherill, star of City Lights, was fired from the production several times). Of course on the other side he was merely a human being with all kinds of mistakes and with a God-like cinematic talent. He went from rags to riches, made a career himself first as an actor and then as a writer, director, composer, producer. He became the voice of laughter of millions who saw two world wars in their lifetimes. Although comedies are important art forms, he wasn’t only a comedian, but with the films he made, he touched people’s hearts and fed their souls.

He made about 80 films in his career, most of them being short films. Here is the list of all the  feature films that he directed, but if you really want to witness the rising of the seventh art, you shouldn’t confine yourself with only his feature films. Enjoy…

11. A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)

My favorite director and my favorite actor along with an actress whom I adore and a very romantic theme song, so I expected something more than mediocre from this film. It was also the first color film and the last film that Chaplin directed (he was almost 80 years old), but alas I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren are a beautiful couple but that’s it, there is no real chemistry between them although it is the most crucial element of a romantic comedy. Sophia Loren is sympathetic enough, but Brando couldn’t care less. The style of comedy (mostly slapstick) isn’t compatible with Brando’s acting style and it shows. A Russian Countess stowaway tries to escape from Hong Kong without a passport hiding in an American Ambassador’s cabin. As a romantic comedy, it might be an entertaining film but expectations were high.

Marlon Brando admired Chaplin’s talent, but working with him was another story. He said that Chaplin was the most sadistic man he knew. This comes mostly from Chaplin’s treating his son Sydney Chaplin (who was one of the main stars of the film) badly on set, and as we knew Brando had his own problems with his father, so he couldn’t stand this kind of behavior. But Brando and Loren could not get along too, so probably Brando was having a hard time. Chaplin also found Brando impossible. Alongside his son, we can also spot Tippi Hedren, director’s daughters Geraldine, Victoria and Josephine Chaplin, and director himself makes a cameo as a steward. As a trivia, Petula Clark’s hit ‘This is My Song’ is a song written by Chaplin for this film.

Favorite Scene

Funny dancing scene in the middle of the film, including the captain of the boat.

Favorite Quote

Ogden: “I wonder what your fate would have been in similar circumstances.”

Credit: Universal Pictures

10. A King in New York (1957)

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die-to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream-ay, there’s the rub..”
–  William Shakespeare  –

This is a scene where two of my favorite artists’ arts intersect, Charlie Chaplin recites the words of Shakespeare, in addition to that, the very famous words of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark himself. This is a scene I couldn’t believe it would happen until I saw with my own eyes and of course it was funny too, in a Chaplinesque way. This was the highlight of the film for me. After he was banned from USA, because of his ‘Anti-Americanism’, Chaplin saw the comedy element in the 50’s USA’s lynch culture for so-called communists. In those days, to utter this word (c-word) was probably like saying Voldemort in a Harry Potter world. After his great satire “The Great Dictator”, this was his second most political movie which was another satire about McCarthy committee, fame and advertisement culture of America. It was the first film he made in England after his exile from America. The film was released in America in 1975 after almost twenty years it was made.

After a revolution in his country from Europe, a king comes to New York. But his money and goods were stolen and he starts to act in adverts and becomes a famous face. Then he meets a child who is a very clever boy, an interestingly ardent advocate of his parents thoughts. His parents were actually communists and refuses to give the names of his other communist friends in the trial for the committee. Meanwhile people mistake the king for a communist, too; because of his friendship with this little boy. Things start to get complicated and the committee sends a subpoena to the king. After the things get resolved, the king leaves New York, which is far too crazy for a European king. The boy is played by Chaplin’s son, Michael and he is very talented especially in his tirades. Charlie Chaplin is a master of course, and he is very funny and dynamic even when he was almost 70 years old (this was the last time he starred in a film). Oliver Johnston and the beautiful Dawn Addams are the other actors of the film.

Favorite Scene

Hamlet’s Soliloquy scene.

Favorite Quote

Rupert Macabee: “To leave a country is like breaking out of jail and to enter a country is like going through an eye of a needle. It’s incorrigible that in this atomic age of speed we are shut in and shut out by passport.”

Credit: Classic Entertainment

09. A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate (1923)

First film that Chaplin directed but not acted in, ‘A Woman of Paris’ is a film that’s understood and loved by the fans over the years and became a classic. It is also the most dramatic of Chaplin films, comedic elements are rarely there. First, let’s meet Edna Purviance. She is an important figure in Charlie Chaplin’s life, first as a leading lady then as a girlfriend and a regular friend. Chaplin may have alienated most of the the women he knew but with Purviance, the story was different.

They saw each other and were friends until Purviance’s death in 1952. He also kept her in a payroll for years even when she didn’t act in his movies. Chaplin always believed that she would be a famous movie star and act in films other than Chaplin’s. He made ‘A Woman of Paris’ and didn’t star in it for the sole purpose of making Edna Purviance a star, he didn’t want to steal the spotlight. Although she has a fine performance, what Chaplin wanted for her didn’t come true and her name is still recalled today only with Charlie Chaplin films. Of course that’s an honour for any actor any time and I’m sure that’s the way Purviance thought, too.

‘A Woman of Paris’ is a story of misunderstanding, unfinished love, jealousy, being rich & poor, indecisiveness, maternal love, suicide, sorrow, forgiveness and fate. The film has a beautiful classic redemption ending for the main character, Marie St. Clair, who lost the man he loved and found the love in the eyes of homeless children that she helped. This man was played by Carl Miller (He was the father and Edna was the mother in ‘The Kid’). Adolphe Menjou whose grace and charm-personified in Hollywood before Cary Grant became the epitome of these words played the rich boyfriend and became a star after this movie.

You may know him from Paths of Glory with Kirk Douglas and Stage Door with Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers. This is one of the less familiar Chaplin films, but it’s a good one. Michael Powell of Powell&Pressburger, director of films like ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, ‘The Red Shoes and Peeping Tom’ stated that this is the movie that affected him the most.

Favorite Scene

The ending scene, Marie St. Clair is in a carriage, Adolphe Menjou’s character in another car, so near yet so far from each other.

Favorite Quote

Marie St. Clair: “Why bring up the past?”
Jean Millet : “Because I knew you better then.”

Credit: United Artists

08. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Let’s lend an ear to what Monsieur Verdoux says in the opening scene:

“Good evening.
As you see, my name is Henri Verdoux.
For 30 years, I was a bank clerk,
until the Depression of 1930,
when I found myself unemployed.
Then I became occupied in liquidating
members of the opposite sex.
It was a strictly business enterprise
to support a home and family.
Let me assure you, the career of
a Bluebeard is by no means profitable.
Only a person with undaunted optimism
would embark on such a venture.
Unfortunately, I did.
What follows is history.”

The movie is a real life story of French Bluebeard Henri Desire Landru who was sentenced to death by guillotine in 1922. Chaplin shocked his audience by playing a serial killer, it was extremely against his type for a silent movie star so it was a flop in the box office. But Chaplin’s intention wasn’t just making a black comedy, it was also making an anti-war film as we can understood near the end of the movie. The idea belongs to Orson Welles who is an admirer of Chaplin’s talent, he was supposed to direct Chaplin in this film.

But in the end, Chaplin bought the idea from Welles and directed the film himself. ‘Monsieur Verdoux’ is a fine film with a wonderful performance by Charlie Chaplin. I don’t think I would ever utter these words aloud but it is interesting to see him play a different, very different character from ‘The Little Tramp.’ He is one of the greatest actors ever and with this character it shows. Dark, funny, compassionate, graceful, talkative, cruel, villainous, clever, sorrowful and romantic, there are too many sides to Monsieur Verdoux, this is a character with so many layers and so many masks and Chaplin conveys these, masterfully. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for his original screenplay.

Favorite Scene

The boat scene with one of his wives, Annabell Bonheur.

Favorite Quote

Judge: “Monsieur Verdoux, you have been found guilty. Have you anything to say before sentence is passed upon you?”

Henri Verdoux: “Oui, monsieur, I have. However remiss the prosecutor has been in complimenting me, he at least admits that I have brains. Thank you, Monsieur, I have. And for thirty-five years I used them honestly. After that, nobody wanted them. So I was forced to go into business for myself. As for being a mass killer, does not the world encourage it? Is it not building weapons of destruction for the sole purpose of mass killing? Has it not blown unsuspecting women and little children to pieces? And done it very scientifically? As a mass killer, I am an amateur by comparison.”

Credit: United Artists

07. Limelight (1952)

The honor of having the two greatest artists of silent movies belongs to ‘Limelight’: Director Chaplin and the great stone face of cinema Buster Keaton. People always thought they were rivals, maybe they were but along with the respect to each other’s arts. Keaton even said in his autobiography that Chaplin was the greatest silent comedian of all time. When Chaplin had better business relationships and became more successful than ever over the years, Keaton had a contract with MGM that limited his artistic contributions to his movies. He was broke when Chaplin made an offer to him for a scene in the film. If only they were together for more than five minutes, but we have to listen to Gabriel Garcia Marquez at this moment:

– “Don’t cry because it came to an end, smile because it happened.”

Calvero is an old comedian, who seemed to have lost his audience, because the things that people found funny had changed. One day he comes home, drunk again (this reminds me of his short films in his early days, he used drunk acts to make people laugh), and he saves his neighbors life who had just committed suicide. She happens to be a dancer but she is in a severe depression. Calvero helps her to get better while he tries to find a job for himself. Time passes and she finds a job as prima ballerina but Calvero still couldn’t find his audience at the theater. The film progresses as drama, comedy, drama, comedy,drama. But “Limelight” is the most dramatic of Chaplin films,and maybe the most autobiographical, too. This is like a confrontation between Chaplin, who has been in the business now for almost 40 years, and his audience, unlike Calvero’s audience, was always with him, the fear was futile.

Chaplin gave one of the best performances of his career as Calvero. The emotion he can convey with just a mimic is the talent that made Chaplin a legend. Claire Bloom is great as Terry and it was her first starring role (she won the most promising newcomer BAFTA). It was also the first acting job of Sydney, Chaplin’s son. The ballet dancing scenes are wonderful, accompanied by one of the most enchanting musics ever created, Terry’s Theme. And for this song, Chaplin won his only competitive Oscar after 20 years, in the year of its first release in USA, because he was banned from the country in the McCarthy Era. Engelbert Humperdink recorded the song as ‘Eternally’ and it became a huge hit.

Favorite Scene

Poetic ending, Calvero’s death, camera’s zooming out from Charlie Chaplin, Sydney Chaplin, Buster Keaton to Claire Bloom who is dancing to Terry’s Theme. The show must go on.

Favorite Quote

Calvero: “That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.”

Credit: United Artists

06. The Circus (1928)

“Swing little girl,
Swing high to the sky,
and don’t ever look at the ground,
If you’re looking for rainbows,
look up to the sky,
You’ll never find rainbows,
If you’re looking down,
Life maybe be dreary,
But never the same,
Some days, it’s sunshine
Some days, it’s rain.”

In a world full of the greatest comedian’s funny films, this might just be the funniest one. Contrary to that, it opens with a melancholic song named “Swing Little Girl” written and sang by Chaplin and ends just as melancholic as the beginning, but of course with a little bit of hope. Our tramp enters a circus show while he is running from the cops. The audience loves him and the owner of the circus hires the tramp. He also meets his boss’ daughter Merna and begins to love her. But she sees him only as a friend. When a new attraction, a tightrope walker comes to the circus, Merna falls in love with him. Our poor tramp’s world has fallen apart and he makes plans for revenge. In the end, golden hearted tramp helps the couple in love to get married despite Merna’s father. The film ends happily for the lovers, but The Tramp goes on with his life alone.

The film is full of funny gags based on slapstick comedy like running from the police, mirror maze, circus shows, tightrope walking, donkey’s chasing The Tramp and lion’s cage. ‘The Circus’ production was somewhat tough to complete for Chaplin, there were so many ominous things going on like his bitter divorce from his second wife Lita Grey, his mother’s death (the person that he loved the most), stolen circus wagons and horses and burning down of the studio during production so he never mentioned this film in his autobiography ‘My Autobiography.’ But this was the film that made Chaplin win his first Oscar in the first Academy Awards in 1929. It is somewhat underrated for a very humorous Chaplin film and it deserves all the attention. The composer is also Chaplin again and the soundtrack includes gems like ‘Swing Little Girl, Befriending Merna and The Circus Leaves Town.’ As an interesting note, ‘The Circus’ is one of Ingmar Bergman’s favorite films.

Favorite Scene

Lion’s Cage scene. Chaplin made about 200 takes and he was in a real lion’s cage.

Favorite Quote

“Time brought many changes to the circus, new hopes and new ambitions..”

Credit: United Artists

05. The Gold Rush (1925)

Inspiration came to him when he saw some pictures of people who made an endless line to live the American Dream by finding gold mine in Klondike, Alaska. He probably thought that the great gold rush (1898) would be an interesting film subject along with a social commentary of the period and of course he was right again. This was the scene that opened the film (Chillkoot Pass). ‘Little Fellow’, as Chaplin calls him in the re-release of the film, is one of the prospectors. On the mountain, he finds himself in a cabin with other 2 prospectors, one of them being a criminal wanted by the police. They start to get hungry and Black Larsen, the criminal leaves to find some food. When he is away, Big Jim (Mack Swain) starts to see his friend Little Fellow as food, particularly as a chicken. While they are arguing, a bear comes to their rescue as food. After the snow storm ends, the two friends go their separate ways.

Little Fellow comes to town, here he sees Georgia (Georgia Hale) and falls in love. By the way, Black Larsen gets killed in the meantime and Big Jim tries to remember the gold mine that he found earlier. In the end, Big Jim and Little Fellow find gold, become millionaires and Little Fellow finds the girl of his dreams, Georgia on a ship and they have a happy ending. Little Fellow, being kinder, poorer and more decent than ever really deserved this happy ending. The film includes so many iconic cinema moments like eating a shoe for Thanksgiving Day, becoming chicken (literally), cabin rocking over the edge of the cliff, dancing of the rolls. This film is a proof that Chaplin’s observational humor is off the charts. Special effects on the cliff of the mountain especially with the cabin is still talked about today.Chaplin did a voice-over and composed the music which is beautiful as always and fun, too. Chaplin once said that this was the film that he wanted to be remembered by. It was the first feature Chaplin film that was produced by United Artists. This is a film that entered so many great film lists, one of them being ‘1001 movies you must see before you die.’

Trivia: The Bear was real, a real American Black Bear.

Favorite Scene

Dancing Rolls scene.

Favorite Quote

“Chicken or no chicken, the Little fellow looks appetizing to Big Jim.”

Credit: United Artists

04. The Kid (1921)

A poor man (The Tramp) finds an orphan baby with a letter saying ‘please love and care for this orphan child’. After many funny and unsuccessful attempts at leaving the baby, he decides to take care of him and raise him. In his home with one small room, he creates a world for this baby, gives him the love that he couldn’t find from his biological parents. The baby becomes a boy, a very clever and hardworking one, but still so poor. In the meantime, his mother who had to leave her baby because she couldn’t take care of him without his father, becomes rich and helps poor children, comes Tramp’s neighborhood and coincidentally meets his own son. One day he becomes ill and his father the tramp gets a doctor and he shows the letter to the doctor.

Doctor thinks that he should be in an orphanage and the audience witness one of the most dramatic scenes in cinema history, the father’s love and affection towards the child move us with the help of the dramatic music that Chaplin himself composed (based on Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony). At the end of the movie, everything resolves with a happy ending where the kid’s biological mother, his father The Tramp and the kid himself being happy together. Even the police who chase the father and the son because of a little fraud, shakes the hand of our little tramp because of his humanity and compassion.

This was the scenario that people saw different versions over the years in many different films. ‘The Kid’ was the original ‘orphan child’, once-poor now rich, biological parent, poor adoptive parent story which yells at us that I am tragic and can make you all cry, which it really did. “The Kid” was special not just because it is the original one, but also because of its ideal mixture of comedy and drama (pathos) in a way that only Charlie Chaplin could make. He really understood the humanity and made audience feel whatever he wanted, this was his special power.

Charlie Chaplin was having a hard time while he was making this film, his first marriage with Mildred Harris was problematic from the beginning and their baby died after 3 days he was born then the couple got a divorce. This and his own tragic childhood influenced the film. He really loved Jackie Coogan who was 4 years old at the time. Coogan was marvelous as the titular character of the film. Edna Purviance played the mother. Charlie Chaplin made some re-editing and re-scored the film in 1971 for re-release. The music has an important place for making a silent film powerful and effective. Chaplin knew that, so he composed the music for his films himself, ‘The Kid’s’ soundtrack has many beautiful songs, my favorites are ‘At Home with the Infant, Working the Streets, The Orphan Asylum/Rooftop Chase’.

Favorite Scene

The Tramp tries to save his child from the car of the welfare workers.

Favorite Quote

“Oh, well, I guess he’s not in.”

Credit: First National

03. Modern Times (1936)

“A story of industry, of individual enterprise – humanity crusading in the pursuit of happiness.”

This sentence opens up the movie with a big clock on the background and the screen dissolves into a herd of ship then a crowd of people who rushes into their works. The tramp this time works in an assembly line in a factory and at the end of the day he would be hospitalized because of a nervous breakdown, he couldn’t bear to live in the modern world where Fordist capitalist system dehumanizes the people and makes robots out of them. He even shows that his beloved character is swallowed by the monstrous machine in the real sense of the word and this image is one of the most iconic images of Chaplin’s cinema. This is the film of the Great Depression era when people were unemployed, hungry, hopeless and tried to do something about it. Modern Times is probably one of the reasons of his exile from the USA, because people thought that it was a communist propaganda.

After he leaves the hospital, he finds himself in jail and lives happily there. When he becomes a free man, he even begs for staying in the jail but no happiness can last forever. He becomes friends with a gamin who has her own story in the film. They try to live in the modern world that really seems a cruel one for these 2 naive people. Paulette Goddard who was the 3rd wife of Chaplin in real life, played the gamin and they made a dynamic duo. Modern Times has a great ending where The Tramp gives hope to the young gamin who thinks that there is no need for trying. There is always hope for a person who has the strength to live no matter what, this theme explains the Tramp character’s essence well. It was also the farewell of the famous tramp. He didn’t make another film with his beloved character. Year is 1936, although nine years passed after the release of the first talkie ‘The Jazz Singer’, Chaplin still believed in silent films just like his contemporary Russian director Eisenstein and Modern Times was his last silent film.

The voice in the film was heard only by a barrier like TV or radio, and when the tramp sang his famous song ‘Titine’, it was just gibberish, there wasn’t one meaningful word but he made himself clear about what he was talking about with his gestures and mimics. Music was again composed by Charlie Chaplin with additional folk songs like ‘Hallelujah, I’m a bum’ and the theme of the movie ‘Smile’ was Michael Jackson’s favorite song which is sang by the legends like Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Dean Martin. The film is a milestone in cinema history which is an entry of all kinds of best movies lists, it is also one of the favorite films of directors like Guillermo del Toro, Asghar Farhadi and Dardenne Brothers. The film is still relevant today because of the theme of the movie, we still live in the modern times of Chaplin even after more than 80 years.

Favorite Scene

Ending scene; farewell of The Little Tramp and this time he wasn’t alone.

Favorite Quote

Gamin: “What’s the use of trying?”
The Tramp: “Buck up – never say die. We’ll get along.”

Credit: United Artists

02. The Great Dictator (1940)

“This is the story of a period between two World Wars – an interim in which insanity cut loose. Liberty took a nose dive and humanity was kicked around somewhat.”

Year is 1938, Hitler’s most powerful years just before the world war two. Chaplin saw some kind of danger in Hitler’s and his supporter’s speeches. And decided to make a satire of fascism, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. He plays two characters in the film, one a Jewish barber who seems like his old character The Tramp, the other one is Adenoid Hynkel the dictator of Tomainia (Germany). As the two character’s stories progress, tragicomic things happen to them while at the end of the film, they coincide and Chaplin the director not the characters he plays, makes a speech about the human race and peace, against fascism and all kinds of ..isms. He says “We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.”

And today people share this video as ‘the greatest speech ever made’. This is quite a success for a man who was silent for about 25 years (The Great Dictator is Chaplin’s first talking film). There are a lot of characters in the film like Paulette Goddard’s barber’s Jewish girlfriend Hannah, Jack Oakie’s Benzino Napaloni (the dictator of Bacteria) who is a parody of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Henry Daniell’s Garbitch (Joseph Goebbels-minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany), Billy Gilbert’s Herring (Hermann Goring – Nazi Party leader) and Schultz played by Reginald Gardiner. The film is high up on my list of funniest Chaplin films, too. The plane and the grenade scenes in the beginning and every Hynkel scene (fake German speeches) especially with Napaloni make you laugh out loud. The globe scene accompanied by the prelude from Hitler’s personal favorite composer Wagner’s Lohengrin and the barber scene with the Hungarian Dance No:5 by Brahms along with the ending speech are the ones that people talk about the most.

Chaplin used allegory technique to make his point about the subjects that are close to his heart. This was Chaplin’s highest grossing film and it was nominated for 5 Oscars. Hitler and Mussolini predictably banned the film in their countries and Chaplin was put on the Nazi death list because of this film. If you look at the Nazi camp scenes you can see that people in the camp walk all day and then sleep, this was because the atrocities that Nazis did in those camps were unknown at the time and they were truly understood by the world at the trials in Nuremberg in 1945 after world war two ended. Chaplin even said that if he knew what was going on he couldn’t dare to make fun of the camps. This film shows us that Charlie Chaplin was a brave artist, a humanist (the answer he gives for all the accusations of him being a communist) who was also forward-thinking.

Favorite Scene

Ending; aka “The Greatest Speech Ever Made”

Favorite Quote

(Both of them being brunettes)
Adenoid Hynkel: “Strange, these strike leaders, they’re all brunettes. Not a blonde amongst them.”
Garbitsch: “Brunettes are trouble makers. They’re worse than the Jews.”
Adenoid Hynkel: “Then wipe them out.”
Garbitsch: “Start small. Not so fast. We get rid of the Jews first, then concentrate on the brunettes.”

Credit: United Artists

01. City Lights (1931)

If you could only watch just one Charlie Chaplin film, this should be the one. Of course I may be biased because it is my all time personal favorite film (which is also AFI’s number one romantic comedy), but you could ask this question to Orson Welles, Andrei Tarkovski, Stanley Kubrick, Albert Einstein and Chaplin himself and they would give the same answer. I think I am in a great company here. You can see the versions of the universally acknowledged theme of Tramp’s falling in love with a poor blind flower girl all over the world. Little Tramp is always naive and nice to people but he gets naiver and nicer when he is in love.

He even says to the millionaire (Harry Myers) who tries to kill himself ‘Tomorrow the birds will sing’. He saves the rich man’s life and this would be the start of an on and off friendship. With his rich friend’s money, he becomes the flower girl’s ‘Knight in shining Armour’, she takes him for a millionaire and he couldn’t tell the truth until he gives her the money for the operation and make her see him the way he always has been. The Tramp is nobler here than ever and shows us that helping people in need isn’t about the amount of money he has but with his heart and soul. This is the perfection in film. Silent, black and white and made almost 90 years ago, today’s audiences sometimes can be judgmental about some of the finest films ever made, but you really have to open your eyes and see it just like the girl, to experience this cinematic euphoria.

Cary Grant’s wife at the time, Virginia Cherill stars as the flower girl and Chaplin’s relationship with her on set was stormy, she was fired but turned back again to complete the picture. Chaplin did meeting of the two main characters scene 342 times which probably a record in its own. This was the scene where blind girl took Little Tramp for a millionaire by mistake. The music composed by Chaplin himself, the beautiful theme music ‘The Flower Girl’ was based on Jose Padilla’s “La Violetera.” Conductor and composer Carl Davis re-recorded the original 1931 score. The opening scene with the monument, the nightclub scene, racing with a hobo for a cigar butt in Rolls Royce and the boxing match are the highlights of the film.

I also want to talk about the most perfect ending for a movie, it just crushes your soul and makes you think about the movie so long after you watched it although your stomach was hurting the whole time from laughing so hard before. In a period full of talkies, this was Chaplin’s answer to talking films and it was a huge success. Albert Einstein And George Bernard Shaw were at the premiere of the film, Chaplin said that he saw Einstein was crying at the end of the movie. And that is one of this rare things that we had in common with Albert Einstein, the other things I wouldn’t know.

Favorite Scene

The most moving ending in cinema history.

Favorite Quote

“Yes, I can see now.”

Credit: United Artists

Honorable Mentions (Short Films)

A Dog’s Life (1918)
Payday (1922)
The Adventurer (1917)
Shoulder Arms (1918)
The Immigrant (1917)
The Rink (1916)
The Tramp (1915)
The Pilgrim (1923)
Easy Street (1917)
One A.M. (1916)
The Bank (1915)
A Night in The Show (1915)
Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)
The Pawnshop (1916)


Gamze Akan

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