Charlie Chaplin is one of the most iconic figures in film history. He was a master of physical comedy and character development, with an unparalleled ability to create memorable characters that audiences could easily relate to.

Best Charlie Chaplin Movies

While Charlie Chaplin has had many great films over the years, here are our picks for his best films.

1. City Lights (1931)        

Chaplin’s most famous and influential film, City Lights is a modernist ode to the power of imagination. The film follows the romance between two bohemian street performers and stars Chaplin as the tramp, a kind of homeless everyman who appears in various guises, including a blind beggar.

He plays six different characters, each one more eccentric than the last. If City Lights were a single-room museum exhibit, it would be titled “The Complete Works of Charlie Chaplin.”

The movie’s themes are timeless: friendship, redemption and love. But it also has a wonderful sense of style — like all of Chaplin’s work it’s visually inventive and funny without being mean-spirited or cynical. And there’s a poetry to its form that’s rare in any kind of art;

City Lights was written by Clifford Odets and produced by Irving Thalberg at Universal Pictures; they knew what they wanted from their star and gave him what he needed to bring it to fruition.

City Lights (Silent)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers (Actors)
  • Charles Chaplin (Director) - Charles Chaplin (Writer) - Charles Chaplin (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: G (General Audience)

2. Modern Times (1936)               

 Modern Times (1936) is a film that addresses the rise of fascism and the effects on workers. It was made as a response to the rise of fascism in Europe and the United States, especially after Hitler came to power in Germany.

The film opens with a close up of an open book with red letters spelling out “M-O-N-E-Y.” A man (Charlie Chaplin) comes out from behind the book and sits down at his desk. He then begins typing on his typewriter.

The camera pans around to show more desks filled with people working for a large company that produces machinery for factories and farms. Two men walk past one of these desks, but they do not pay any attention to it or anyone else working there.

The camera then focuses on another man sitting at his desk and typing away on his typewriter while another man walks out from behind him carrying a newspaper with an article about Hitler’s rise to power in Germany which makes reference to “the voice of nationalism.”

Modern Times
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Dick Alexander, Hank Mann, Charlie Chaplin (Actors)
  • Charlie Chaplin (Director) - Charlie Chaplin (Writer) - Charlie Chaplin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. The Great Dictator (1940)

The Great Dictator is a 1940 American political satire film written, produced and directed by Charlie Chaplin, in his first full-length motion picture after a decade of work with Mack Sennett Productions.

The film follows the fictional dictator Adolf Hitler and his rise to power in Germany before World War I. It also pokes fun at Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

The Great Dictator was highly controversial when it was released because Chaplin’s portrayal of Hitler as a buffoon who makes mistakes and shows compassion for his supporters was seen as sympathetic to Nazism.

His portrayal of Jews as pathetic has been criticized as anti-Semitic. However, he stated that he did not intend to make an anti-Semitic film.[1]

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Jack Oakie (who won), but lost all seven.[2][3] It won a Special Award at the 4th Berlin International Film Festival in 1950.[4][5]

The Great Dictator
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Charles Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner (Actors)
  • Charles Chaplin (Director) - Charles Chaplin (Writer) - Charles Chaplin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

4. The Kid (1921)

Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid is a look at a small-time criminal who gets caught up in a larger-than-life gangster world. It was a hit with critics and audiences alike, but it’s still remembered more for the cast of stars than the story itself.

The film opens with Little Tramp (Chaplin) getting into an altercation with some men who have been harassing his girlfriend, Julie. The man who ends up getting beaten is Little Tramp’s boss, Number One Dime (Edwin Milton Booth).

After the beating, Little Tramp goes to visit his friend and mentor Dime in jail. Dime tells him that he knows he didn’t beat him up, because no one would beat up their boss unless they were crazy.

He also says that he knows why Little Tramp came to visit him: He wants to get out of jail free. Unfortunately for Little Tramp, not everyone in jail is willing to help him escape.

In order to get out of prison and avoid being sent back there himself, Number One Dime decides to help out his employee by robbing a bank with him so they can split the profits after they get out of jail

Kid, The (1921)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Edna Purviance (Actors)
  • Charlie Chaplin (Director) - Charlie Chaplin (Writer) - Charles Chaplin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. The Circus (1928) 

The Circus is a silent film directed by Charlie Chaplin and released in 1928. It is one of the most famous films of all time, and has been called “the most perfectly-made movie ever made”. It is also regarded as one of the greatest comedies ever made.

The Circus was the last “silent comedy” to be produced by a major studio; this was because the advent of sound technology required a new process for making films which included synchronized sound. The circus music played during this film did not include any dialogue; it was simply music playing over the sound effects.

The film takes place in a circus that is being run by a tyrannical ringmaster named Maximus who abuses his performers, including his wife and daughter, with no regard for their well-being or safety. When he learns that one of his performers has become pregnant by her boss,

he decides to have her killed in order for her unborn child not to inherit his misdeeds. However, she manages to escape from Maximus’ clutches and gives birth in an abandoned house nearby where she raises her son as an orphan before returning to work at the circus again under another name as an acrobat named Little Legs (later renamed Ring

The Circus
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Charles Chaplin, Allan Garcia, Merna Kennedy (Actors)
  • Charles Chaplin (Director) - Charles Chaplin (Writer) - Charles Chaplin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

6. The Gold Rush (1925)

Charlie Chaplin is one of the most famous actors and comedians in the world. He has been acting for more than 70 years and he has a huge fan base around the globe. His best films are The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Monsieur Verdoux, Limelight, The Circus (1928) and A Woman of Paris (1928).

Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 in London. When he was a child his family moved to California where he started to work as an actor and later became an assistant director for D. W. Griffith. In 1914 he made his first appearance in film when he appeared as part of a group of musicians that plays at a party scene in “The Immigrant”.

After that Chaplin worked with many other directors including Mack Sennett and Fatty Arbuckle who asked him to do some work as an actor because they needed another actor for their movies.

In 1914 Chaplin married Oona O’Neill who was an actress and dancer from Ireland but she died during childbirth just months after their wedding

The Gold Rush
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray (Actors)
  • Charlie Chaplin (Director) - Charlie Chaplin (Writer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. A King in New York (1957)

The film was released in the United States on December 14, 1957. It is a satire of Hollywood and the film industry, revealing the life of a washed up film actor who lives in a rundown studio apartment, supported by his wife and children.

The actor dreams of returning to stardom by starring in a Broadway play called “A King in New York”. He decides to go to New York City, despite his family’s misgivings. In the meantime, he has sold some land to developers who will build upscale apartments on it,

which will force him out of his home and make him an outcast among his acquaintances. He eventually gets a job with them as an employee of their real estate firm despite not knowing anything about business; they choose him based on his name alone.

While working there he becomes involved with one of the buyers’ daughters who falls in love with him; however, when he tries to tell her how he feels she rejects him because she believes that real men do not talk about such things.

The situation escalates until finally one day one of the buyers shoots him dead for no apparent reason and dumps his body into a vat of glue at the factory where he works.

The James Dean Story - The Uncut 1957 Documentary With Rare Footage & Outtakes
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Martin Gabel (Narrator), James Dean, Clark Gable (Actors)
  • Robert Altman (Director) - Stewart Stern (Writer) - Robert Altman (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

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

Charlie Chaplin’s first non-silent film, also known as The Gold Rush, is a comedy in which he plays a newspaper reporter who leaves his wife and sons to go prospecting for gold in Alaska. Along the way,

he meets another woman who is also heading west to join her husband, but their paths take them all the way to Paris. This was the film that made Chaplin one of the most popular stars in Hollywood.

The film begins with a man walking down a street looking for work. He enters a newspaper office where he tells his story to editor George M. Cohan (played by Charlie Chaplin himself).

The editor tells him that there are no jobs open at present because everyone has gone out west to find gold. The man then suggests that they could publish an article about the gold rush and sell it as newsprint. Once again, Cohan refuses,

   

but then changes his mind when he sees how excited this man is about leaving behind his family and starting over in California or Alaska. So they agree on one condition: if they do publish this article, they will give it away as free advertising space in their paper as long as it sells well enough

A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate
  • Edna Purviance, Clarence Geldart, Carl Miller (Actors)
  • Charles Chaplin (Director) - Charles Chaplin (Writer) - Charles Chaplin (Producer)

9. Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914)     

 In Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914), Charlie Chaplin plays a comic flower merchant who falls in love with his bicycle. The film is famous for its extended sequence in which the man and his bicycle are chased by police,

and it also features a memorable scene in which Chaplin’s character climbs to the top of a building and tries to climb down again without using his hands.

The film was one of Chaplin’s most popular comedies, but it was also criticized at the time for being too long. In fact, it took him several months to complete it because he had trouble finishing the script in time for shooting.

The story is set in the fictional town of Moondoggie, which is located somewhere near Lake Moondoggie (which was later renamed Lake Champlain). The film opens with Tillie (played by Chaplin’s longtime friend Mabel Normand),

an independent woman who owns a flower shop on Main Street. She is dating her business partner George M. Dainty (played by Chaplin).

One day when Tillie is walking home from work, she overhears some young women talking about their difficulties finding husbands who will pay attention to them without being jealous or controlling them — especially since they have no money

Tillie's Punctured Romance
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mack Swain, Charlie Chaplin, Marie Dressler (Actors)
  • Mack Sennett (Director) - Unavailable (Writer) - Unavailable (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

10. Limelight (1952)       

 Limelight (1952) was Charlie Chaplin’s last film. It was released one month after his death. The film is a musical, but it is also very dark in tone. It opens with a song about goldfish swimming in the ocean and then shifts to a factory where Charlie Chaplin works as an electrician.

He is happy here because he gets paid well, but the factory owners have plans for him to work longer hours and be disciplined more strictly.

Charlie becomes involved with a lesbian couple working for the factory and he begins to rebel against his superiors. His rebellion eventually leads him to write a book about his experiences at the factory which includes information about how much time workers are allowed to spend with their families versus how much time they are expected to work each day (this is called “time on task”).

The book becomes popular among workers and they begin organizing themselves together into unions that want better working conditions and better pay rates.

The owners of the factory hire detectives who are trying to catch Charlie so they can fire him from his job so they can replace him with someone cheaper who won’t be able to fight back against them as much as Charlie might have been able too if he hadn’t left their company voluntarily

Limelight
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce (Actors)
  • Charles Chaplin (Director) - Charles Chaplin (Writer) - Charles Chaplin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Characteristics of Charlie Chaplin Movies

Charlie Chaplin is a world famous movie star. He has many movies to his credit and he did them all with the same method of acting, which is very funny and exciting. The type of acting that he does in his movies is called “Tramp” acting.

This is a type of acting where the actor plays a homeless person who lives on the streets, eats out of garbage cans and sleeps in alleys. The name “Tramp” refers to this character’s appearance because he dresses in rags and carries around bags full of garbage from town dumpsters.

In each of his films, Chaplin plays a different character who has a particular problem or condition that causes him to be homeless or poor. For example, in City Lights (1931),

Chaplin plays an innocent young man who is trying to help people who are in need but everyone turns their back on him because he doesn’t have much money or power.

In Modern Times (1936), Chaplin plays an honest worker who has been fired from his job and replaced by an automation machine while still being paid fair wages by his employer who knows that this automation machine can do the same work as humans but cheaper than them too!

Chaplin’s characters always

Best Charlie Chaplin Movies – Wrapping Up

Charlie Chaplin is one of the most influential and important figures in cinematic history. His films have been seen by generations of people, including me, and I can safely say that I have a lot to learn from him.

His films are timeless and hilarious, as well as being incredibly educational. He made some of the most iconic films ever made, such as Modern Times and City Lights.

He was also an early advocate for social justice, and his work was highly influential in shaping modern culture.

 

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