Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Charles Spencer Chapman Essay

Charles Spencer Chapman was born in Walworth, England on April 19, 1989. He was born into a poor English family and lived a very rough childhood. Both his parents worked in show business. Both of them were music hall artists, his father became very well known. Although, he always idolized his mother, especially when he would see her performances in the back stage area. By the time he was 10, his parents separated leaving Charlie and his brother Sydney to live with their mother. It was a hard time for Charlie, especially when his father died in 1901. Later his mother had a breakdown and was admitted to an asylum in 1903. With his mother gone Charlie and Sydney were forced into an orphanage. Since he sat back stage at his mother's shows, Charlie wanted to pursue a career in film. He persevered through his troubled childhood to fight for his dream.

Charlie Chaplin became one of the most important actors in the history of motion picture. He was sometimes called "the funniest man in the world." He was also called the most versatile in movies. Not only was an outstanding actor, he wrote and directed almost all of his films, and also wrote the music for all his sound pictures. He first began in films in 1903 when he played as a paperboy in Sherlock Holmes. His first glimpse of stardom came in 1914, when he first appeared as "the Tramp." Later in 1919, he formed the United Artist Film Corporation, with a few major actors of this time. He began shooting fewer films, but the films he did produce were longer and much more serious. He still created laughter, but he wanted to make the point that respectability and authority did little for the human soul. It was during this time that he produced some of his most famous films, "The Kid" and "Gold Rush", in which he portrayed the character of the tramp. In 1940, he played two characters in the film, "The Great Dictator." In the film, he played a humble Jewish barber and a tyrant based on the famous dictator, Adolf Hitler. The tragic movie had been long waited for and was a step back from his normal nonsense comedy pictures. People left with mixed emotions, some fans even wondered how he got away without a lynching. He was criticized for many of his films and lifestyle, and was accused of supporting communism. He and his family later moved to Switzerland, after being banned from the United States. He continued directing films into the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. He returned to the United States in 1972, to participate in ceremonies in New York and Los Angelas, in his name. He received an honorary Oscar at the Academy Awards. On Christmas Day in 1977 Charlie Chaplin died at the age of 87.

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