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)        

City Lights is a timeless masterpiece that showcases the genius of Charlie Chaplin.

From the opening scene to the final credits, the film takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride that will leave you both laughing and crying.

Chaplin’s performance as the Tramp is nothing short of remarkable.

His physical comedy is impeccable, and his ability to convey deep emotions without saying a word is truly awe-inspiring.

The chemistry between him and Virginia Cherrill, who plays the blind flower girl, is heartwarming and adds an extra layer of depth to the story.

The film’s themes of love, poverty, and class struggle are as relevant today as they were in 1931.

The ending is nothing short of breathtaking and will leave you with a sense of hope and optimism.

The cinematography is stunning, with every shot meticulously crafted to evoke the right emotion.

The music perfectly complements the visuals and adds an extra layer of depth to the film.

City Lights is a must-watch for anyone who loves cinema.

It’s a timeless classic that will leave you with a smile on your face and a tear in your eye.

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 is a true masterpiece of cinema that continues to captivate audiences today.

Charlie Chaplin’s iconic character, the Tramp, navigates the industrial modern world, struggling to keep up with its frenzied pace, in a film that is both hilarious and poignant.

Chaplin’s physical comedy is at its absolute best, with moments of slapstick that will leave you in stitches.

But beyond the laughs, Modern Times is a commentary on the dehumanizing effects of modernization and the struggle for the working class.

The film’s themes are just as relevant now as they were in 1936, with technology and automation continuing to challenge our understanding of work and labor.

It’s a timeless classic that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.

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 powerful and poignant film that serves as a reminder of the dangers of fascism and the importance of human dignity.

As both the star and director, Charlie Chaplin delivers a masterful performance, seamlessly blending his trademark physical comedy with heartfelt drama.

The film’s satirical take on Adolf Hitler and the rise of Nazi Germany is still relevant today, and its message of hope and unity is more important than ever.

The iconic final speech, in which Chaplin’s character implores people to reject hate and embrace love, is a stirring call to action that resonates long after the credits roll.

While some may find the film’s comedic elements jarring given its serious subject matter, I believe that Chaplin’s unique approach only serves to highlight the absurdity of fascism and the need for us to take action against it.

The Great Dictator is a timeless classic that deserves to be seen by audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

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)

The Kid (1921) is a timeless classic that still manages to tug at the heartstrings of audiences today. Charlie Chaplin’s performance as the Tramp is nothing short of brilliant, as he takes on the role of a single father raising an abandoned child on the streets.

The relationship between the Tramp and the Kid is heartwarming, and their adventures together are both hilarious and poignant.

The film is a masterpiece of silent cinema, with Chaplin’s physical comedy and expressive face conveying a range of emotions without the need for dialogue.

The cinematography and set design are also impressive, transporting audiences to a bygone era of poverty and desperation.

Despite being nearly 100 years old, The Kid remains a relevant and poignant commentary on poverty, family, and the human condition.

It’s a must-see for any cinephile, and a testament to Chaplin’s enduring legacy as a cinematic icon.

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)
  • (Playback Language)

5. The Circus (1928) 

“The Circus” is a timeless classic that showcases the genius of Charlie Chaplin as a filmmaker and a performer.

The film follows his iconic character, the Tramp, as he stumbles into a circus and inadvertently becomes the star attraction.

From the opening scene, the film is filled with Chaplin’s trademark physical comedy and impeccable timing, as well as moments of genuine emotion and heart.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with standout performances from Merna Kennedy as the beautiful tightrope walker who captures the Tramp’s heart, and Allan Garcia as the jealous circus owner who will stop at nothing to sabotage the Tramp’s success.

What sets “The Circus” apart from Chaplin’s other films is its breathtaking use of location and setting.

The circus tent serves as a backdrop for some of the film’s most memorable moments, including a hilarious sequence where the Tramp tries to perform a tightrope act while being chased by a ferocious lion.

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)

The Gold Rush, directed by Charlie Chaplin, is an absolute masterpiece of silent cinema that seamlessly blends humor, heart, and stunning visuals to tell the story of a lone prospector’s quest for gold in the Alaskan wilderness.

The film is full of iconic moments, from the scene of Chaplin’s character struggling to eat his shoe to the unforgettable dance with the rolls and forks.

But beyond the laughs, The Gold Rush is also a poignant exploration of human loneliness and the search for meaning in a world that can often seem cruel and unforgiving.

Chaplin’s performance is nothing short of genius, and the film’s iconic score perfectly captures the mood of each scene.

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

7. A King in New York (1957)

A King in New York is a satirical masterpiece that takes a sharp aim at the capitalist culture of America.

Written, directed, and starring Charlie Chaplin, the film tells the story of a deposed European monarch who seeks refuge in New York City, only to find himself embroiled in the political upheavals of the era.

Chaplin’s portrayal of the King is both endearing and hilarious, as he uses his trademark physical comedy to skewer the excesses of American society.

The film’s commentary on the McCarthy era and the Hollywood blacklist is particularly biting, as Chaplin himself was forced to leave the United States due to political persecution.

Despite its political undertones, A King in New York is a charming and entertaining film that showcases Chaplin’s immense talent as a filmmaker and actor.

The film’s witty dialogue, clever sight gags, and memorable characters make it a must-see for fans of classic cinema.

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)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

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

A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate is a striking film that showcases the genius of Charlie Chaplin as a director.

The movie follows the story of a young woman named Marie (played stunningly by Edna Purviance) who leaves her small town to start a new life in Paris with her lover Jean (Carl Miller). But after Jean abandons her, Marie is forced to navigate the harsh realities of life in the city on her own.

The film is a masterclass in silent cinema, with Chaplin expertly using visual storytelling to convey the emotions and inner turmoil of the characters.

The scenes are beautifully shot, with each frame carefully composed to convey the story and mood of the film.

The score, which was added later, works perfectly with the visuals and adds to the movie’s emotional impact.

Edna Purviance’s performance is the highlight of the film, delivering a nuanced and emotive portrayal of a woman struggling to find her place in the world.

The supporting cast is also excellent, with Carl Miller and Adolphe Menjou delivering memorable performances.

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)     

Tillie’s Punctured Romance is a classic silent comedy film that is a must-watch for any fan of the genre.

Directed by Mack Sennett, this film stars the legendary Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand, along with Marie Dressler, who was a popular vaudeville performer at the time.

The film tells the story of Tillie, a naive and gullible country girl who falls in love with a con man named Charlie.

Along with his partner in crime, they swindle Tillie out of her inheritance and leave her heartbroken.

However, Tillie is not one to be defeated easily and sets out to get her revenge.

Despite being over a century old, Tillie’s Punctured Romance still holds up as a hilarious and entertaining film.

The performances by the cast are outstanding, with Chaplin’s physical comedy and Normand’s charm stealing the show.

Dressler’s portrayal of Tillie is also commendable, as she brings a sense of heart and determination to the character.

The film’s comedic timing and use of slapstick humor are spot-on, and the story is engaging from start to finish.

While some may find the film’s pacing slow compared to modern comedies, it is a testament to the film’s timeless humor that it still manages to elicit laughter from audiences today.

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” is a masterpiece by the legendary Charlie Chaplin, and it’s undoubtedly one of his most personal and poignant works.

This film tells the story of Calvero, a fading vaudeville comedian who befriends a young ballerina named Thereza.

As they navigate their struggles in the entertainment industry, they find solace in each other’s company and form an unlikely bond.

Chaplin’s performance as Calvero is outstanding, and he brings a level of depth and vulnerability to the character that is truly remarkable.

The film is also notable for featuring Buster Keaton in a small but memorable role, which is a treat for fans of classic comedy.

One of the standout elements of “Limelight” is its stunning cinematography, which captures the glamour and grit of the vaudeville era.

The film’s score, composed by Chaplin himself, is also a highlight, adding emotional weight to the story’s most poignant moments.

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.

 

Ready to learn about some other Film Movements or Film History?