- Charlie Chaplin, Limelight (1952)
I just finished up the movie Limelight (1952) and I think overall I really liked—not only for sentimental reasons, but the meaning of the film was quite purposeful.
This movie was one of the saddest things to watch. At this point in his career, Charlie thought that he was losing his audience as silent movies had passed as did his prime. The main character, Calvero, played by Charlie, has lost his audience as well and struggles with letting them go. Though he remains positive for the girl, his quench for an audience still breaks the viewers heart. Not so much the characters loss of audience, but Charlie’s real life loss of audience—Charlie, a man that once had every audience, a man on top of the world, felt as though he was losing his peak and was determined to at least do it with dignity. Though Chaplin denies this film to be autobiographical, there is no doubt that this story is extremely personal.
I read on wikipedia that Charlie expected this to be his last film, and quite honestly, the whole movie you can tell. It seemed like, at least to me, he would throw in little bits of advice, not only meant for Terry, but meant for the audience as well. They weren’t just silly little things, they were meaningful quotes that, at least in my opinion, really reflected Charlie’s outlook on life. They almost seemed out of place, but not quite. It seemed like he was throwing in his last bits of advice for his audience; like this was his last chance to give his two cents. Little things like,
“Live without hope—live for the moment! There are still wonderful moments, you know.”
While the quote above is very cheerful and endearing, the plot of the movie has a dark side of Charlie that is a common theme in all of the films of his that I’ve seen, though this film has a little darker theme than usual. Yet, with that dark side, there is an even brighter side that provides the viewer with some glimpse of hope. Suicide plays a big part in this film, with the girl attempting suicide and the assumed, though concealed, suicidal thoughts of Chaplin’s character as well. Yet the darkness of that theme seems to be contrasted by Chaplin’s character’s ability to always be the strength and the rock of the situation. He is always able to talk the girl, and more secretly himself, out of being hopeless and giving up.
Though the light and dark of the film was enjoyable to see and creative, my favorite part of the movie was the little bit that Chaplin threw in. Now, keep in mind that he thought this was going to be his last film and it adds ten times the meaning to this simple, little line.
“Something about working the streets I like—it’s the tramp in me, I suppose.”
Indeed, Charlie, indeed.
#Limelight #1952 #Charlie Chaplin #Chaplin #Charlie #Charles Chaplin #film #review #Buster Keaton #Keaton #Buster #talkies #1950s #50s #fifties #movies #movie #classic hollywood
so since we’re learning about WWII in history, i think it should be mandatory to watch Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator.
- Charlie Chaplin, In response to journalist for comments on United States Attorney-General’s announcement to revoke his re-entry visa, Cherbourg, England, as quoted in “Mr. Chaplin’s Defense”, The Guardian (23 September 1952)
Occupy Wall Street 1918
Nearly 150 occupiers out of almost 1000 were arrested today in New York celebrating their first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. I was reminded of this photo of Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks during a Liberty bonds rally on Wall Street in 1918. [ More: Douglas Fairbanks Charlie Chaplin Wall Street ]
Walt Disney and Charles Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin bloopers
Charlie and Harry Myers in City Lights c.1931