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1. My Autobiography (Penguin Modern
2. Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest
3. Charlie Chaplin: Interviews (Conversations
4. The Essential Chaplin: Perspectives
5. Charlie Chaplin: A Photo Diary
6. My Life In Pictures Charles Chaplin
7. Tramp: The Life Of Charlie Chaplin
8. My trip abroad
9. The Life and Times of Charlie
10. Discoveries: Charlie Chaplin (Discoveries
11. Charlie Chaplin's Own Story
12. Chaplin: His Life and Art
13. Charlie Chaplin and His Times
14. All About Charlie Chaplin
15. My life with Chaplin;: An intimate
16. The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin:
17. 2011 Charlie Chaplin Wall Calendar
18. Making Music with Charlie Chaplin
19. Chaplin and American Culture
20. Remembering Charlie

1. My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Charlie Chaplin
Paperback: 512 Pages (2003-04-24)
list price: US$22.70 -- used & new: US$11.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141011475
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Born into a theatrical family, Chaplin's father died of drink while his mother, unable to bear the poverty, suffered from bouts of insanity, Chaplin embarked on a film-making career which won him immeasurable success, as well as intense controversy. His extraordinary autobiography was first published in 1964 and was written almost entirely without reference to documentation - simply as an astonishing feat of memory by a 75 year old man. It is an incomparably vivid reconstruction of a poor London childhood, the music hall and then his prodigious life in the movies. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

2-0 out of 5 stars I'm only giving it two stars because it flows pretty well.
I usually don't write spoilers. I think I will a bit, this time. If I'd based the rating system here on the story alone. I would have given it a negative five stars... Mr.Chaplin came from searing poverty, so he says. I don't believe he was ever challenged on that count. He was given the golden ticket in life. An extremely limited number of people are chosen to receive unbelievable luck in life. He was one such person. He went from nothing, to obscene wealth. After reading several hundred pages of his charmed existence. The main thought I can't help but keep coming back to? He didn't do a damn thing for the other 99.99% impoverished after he'd made it so Cinderella big. He was handed millions of dollars during the depression. Did he do so much as open a few soup kitchens? At least a token Thank You to the country that gave him everything? If not in the US, why not London? He never gave anything back. Further, he shirked his military duty in WW1. The movie by his name, w/R.Downey jr., alludes to his having been rejected by the army as being too scrawney. His own Bio makes no mention of this. He only says that some people thought he did more for us from behind a camera. He eventually married a child bride. He married a barely 18yo girl, when he was 36yrs her senior. That's disgusting on a few levels. He had his charmed life handed to him, & apparently didn't learn a thing from his own hardships. To me, that is utterly unforgivable. I doubt I'll ever re-read it. Anyone want a copy?

5-0 out of 5 stars I love Charlie.
Reading this book was like going on a magical adventure through time and across the world. I will never forget how captivated I was to learn of this mans adventures, having been a fan for a life, it was an indelible treat to read a book that feels as though you are being told the man's story by himself. A must have for a true fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars book - Charlie Chaplin My Autobiography
This book arrived quickly in time for Christmas.It was a used copy but was in the condition described.

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable Rags to Riches Story
Chaplin's autobiography is one of the most powerful I've ever read. Starting in almost indescribable poverty in London, his childhood was comparable to something out of a Dickens novel. Chaplin begins in show business as a child performer from a family struggling on the fringe of England's vaudeville circuit. His arrival in America at the birth of the film industry and his subsequent success both as an artist and a business man are just remarkable given his humble beginnings. Along the way he befriends and meets a veritable who's who of early 20th century celebrities from all walks of life and his descriptions of his vast circle of friends and acquaintances are one of the highlights of this book. These include actors, politicians, business people and scientists. ( Fairbanks, Pickford, Churchill, Hoover, Hearst,Einstein, etc.. etc.)
Chaplin wrote this book at a time when tell all biography was not what it is today and while he shares some interesting perceptions about various personalities he is by today's standards quite discreet.
I found this book incredibly interesting on a number of levels , First Chaplin himself is a very interesting character. Secondly, the other people who float in and out of his life are fascinating. Finally and perhaps most entertainingly for me are his descriptions of early Hollywood and the foundations of the movie industry.

All of these factors added up to an amazing read and I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in movies or in early 20th century culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful history of the Movie Industry
Charles Chaplin's autobiography is a wonderful history of the entertainment industry as it evolves from vaudeville to silent pictures to "talkies".You also get a personal side of history in general as you experience WWI, WWII, and other major events of the century through the eyes of well connected individuals.If you are looking for personal information on Mr. Chaplin, read another book. What Mr. Chaplin shares with you is how he went about his business and how the business evolved. He does give a personal account of his childhood in South London which he remembers in great detail and it is similar to Frank McCourt's childhood in Ireland.The difference for Chaplin is that he inherited his parents musical talent and got out early.Watch the video of his acceptance of his honorary Oscar in 1972 BEFORE you read the book!There you will see the personal side of Chaplin as he stands for the longest standing ovation in Oscar history. ... Read more

2. Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World
by Sid Fleischman
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$10.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061896403
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See him? That little tramp twitching a postage stamp of a mustache, politely lifting his bowler hat, and leaning on a bamboo cane with the confidence of a gentleman? A slapstick comedian, he blazed forth as the brightest movie star in the Hollywood heavens.

Everyone knew Charlie—Charlie Chaplin.

When he was five years old he was pulled onstage for the first time, and he didn't step off again for almost three-quarters of a century. Escaping the London slums of his tragic childhood, he took Hollywood like a conquistador with a Cockney accent. With his gift for pantomime in films that had not yet acquired vocal cords, he was soon rubbing elbows with royalty and dining on gold plates in his own Beverly Hills mansion. He was the most famous man on earth—and he was regarded as the funniest.

Still is. . . . He comes to life in these pages. It's an astonishing rags-to-riches saga of an irrepressible kid whose childhood was dealt from the bottom of the deck. Abundantly illustrated.

... Read more

3. Charlie Chaplin: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers Series)
 Hardcover: 150 Pages (2005-01-18)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$50.00
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Asin: 1578067014
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In late 1914, Charlie Chaplin's name first began appearing on marquees. By the end of the following year, moviegoers couldn't get enough of him and his iconic persona, the Little Tramp. Perpetually outfitted with baggy pants, a limp cane, and a dusty bowler hat, the character became so beloved that Chaplin was mobbed by fans, journalists, and critics at every turn.

Although he never particularly liked giving interviews, he accepted the demands of his stardom, giving detailed responses about his methods of making movies. He quickly progressed from making two-reel shorts to feature-length masterpieces such as The Gold Rush, City Lights, and Modern Times.

Charlie Chaplin: Interviews offers a complex portrait of perhaps the world's greatest cinematic comedian and a man who is considered to be one of the most influential screen artists in movie history. The interviews he granted, performances in and of themselves, are often as well crafted as his films. Unlike the Little Tramp, Chaplin the interviewee comes across as melancholy and serious, as the titles of some early interviews-"Beneath the Mask: Witty, Wistful, Serious Is the Real Charlie" or "The Hamlet-Like Nature of Charlie Chaplin"-make abundantly clear.

His first sound feature, The Great Dictator, is a direct condemnation of Hitler. His later films such as Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight obliquely criticize American policy and consequently generated mixed reactions from critics and little response from moviegoers. During this late period of his filmmaking, Chaplin granted interviews less often. The three later interviews included here are thus extremely valuable, offering long, contemplative analyses of the man's life and work.

Kevin J. Hayes is a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma. His previous books include Poe and the Printed Word, Folklore and Book Culture, and An American Cycling Odyssey, 1887, among others. He has been published in Film Criticism, Literature/Film Quarterly, Cinema Journal, and other periodicals. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A long-awaited sampling ... proves that even Hollywood-stars give insightful interviews at times
Once you're through reading Chaplin's memoirs and David Robinson's biography, you easily get the impression that's everything a Chaplin-fan needs to know about their hero. I assure you such is not the case; I can name several other books just as significant for any student of the comedian's life and work, and CHARLIE CHAPLIN: INTERVIEWS is certainly among them.

Kevin J. Hayes has done a wonderful job collecting some of the relatively few truly insightful interviews Chaplin ever did, beginning with "The Funniest Man on the Screen" by Victor Eubank (published 1915), in which Chaplin, who at that time had just signed his Essanay-contract, expressed some very reflected thoughts about comedy, being still just a newcomer in the movie-business. There are twenty-four interviews in all, other titles included are:

"Beneath the Mask: Witty, Wistful, Serious Is The Real Charlie Chaplin" (Grace Kingsley, 1916)
"Charlie Chaplin, Philosopher, Has Serious Side" (Frank Veeland, 1921)
"Shy Charlie Chaplin Opens His Heart" (Mordaunt Hall, 1925)
"Future of the Cinema: Mr. Charles Chaplin" (Robert Nichols, 1925)
"Chaplin Explains Chaplin" (Harry Carr, 1925)
"Chaplin Draws a Keen Weapon" (Robert van Gelder, 1940)
"Charlie Chaplin's MONSIEUR VERDOUX Press Conference" (George Wallach, 1947)
"Ageless Master's Anatomy of Comedy: Chaplin, An Interview" (Richard Meryman, 1967)

The latter title is not really an interview, but rather an essay written by Chaplin where he covers both personal feelings and his view on the movie industry of today (which, of course, is the 1960's). Despite the fact that some interviews have nearly reached a century of age, they stand out as remarkably fresh and modern in their style and subjects. Naturally, some are better than others --the MONSIEUR VERDOUX press conference offers little except several attacks on Chaplin's politics and questions concerning Orson Welles' contributions to the screen-play-- but the very best are simply terrific.

The book includes no photos, but who needs that when all these great articles are available? CHARLIE CHAPLIN: INTERVIEWS is a unique sampling of some very sensitive and interesting interviews, which every admirer of the great comedian should read and own. I'll sure get Hayes' similar Buster Keaton-book one of these days. ... Read more

4. The Essential Chaplin: Perspectives on the Life and Art of the Great Comedian
by Richard Schickel
Paperback: 320 Pages (2006-07-25)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.50
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Asin: 1566637015
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The most important criticism of the great comedian's work, including pieces by Andrew Sarris, David Thomson, Gilbert Seldes, Alistair Cooke, Robert E. Sherwood, Stark Young, Edmund Wilson, Stanley Kauffmann, Alexander Woollcott, George Jean Nathan, Max Eastman, Robert Warshow, Water Kerr, and James Agee. Richard Schickel, one of our outstanding film critics, has written a long introduction.Praise for Schickel's Chaplin documentary: An invaluable critic and historian.... Schickel's film...is like a course in cultural history taught by a witty, slightly dyspeptic professor.-A. O. Scott, New York Times ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wealth of Different Perspectives

Richard Schickel has assembled, organized, edited, and provided an Introduction to 33 essays about one of the greatest film actors, Charles Chaplin (April 16, 1889 - December 25, 1977). Their authors' diverse perspectives on his life and career provide an excellent supplement to Stephen Weissman's recently published Chaplin: A Life in Film as well as to Charlie Chaplin's Own Story (as told to Rose Wilder Lane) and Chaplin's My Autobiography as well as David Robinson's Chaplin: His Life and Art.

Weissman is among the contributors to The Essential Chaplin and in his essay, "Charlie Chaplin's Film Heroines," he observes: "It was the loss [of Chaplin's mother] and the scars it left that later shaped Chaplin's development of an alter-ego screen character whose core identity (in the feature length films) was the rescue and repair of damaged and fallen women. And of all his rescue films it was The Gold Rush which Chaplin later said was the one picture by which he most wanted to be remembered by posterity." (Page 66)

Note: In the "Afterword" to his biography, Weissman provides an especially interesting discussion of contradictory opinions about the legitimacy of Chaplin's Own Story that appeared in a series of 29 installments in the San Francisco Bulletin from July 5 to August 4, 1915. Weissman believes that Lane transcribed Chaplin's comments as accurately as she could. Robinson dismisses Own Story as "romantic and misleading nonsense." Weissman acknowledges that "Neither Robinson's theory nor mine is provable" and suggests that his reader take her or his choice.

Here are other brief excerpts from The Essential Chaplin.

"So far one man, and only one, has shown that he entirely understands the new art of the cinema. Only one man has shown that he knows how to use this art as if it were a keyboard where all the elements of sense and feeling that determine the attitude and firm of things merge and convey in one cinematic expression the complex revelation of their inner life and quality...In him the human drama possesses an instrument of expression of which people hitherto have had no suspicion, an instrument which, in the future, will be the most powerful of all - namely: a screen upon which falls a shaft of light; our eyes toward s it; and behind the eyes the heart." (From Elie Faure's The Art of Cineplastics, 1923, Page 77 in The Essential Chaplin)

Chaplin's "impatience to have done with the adulation - which he once significantly remarked `is given, after all, to the little fellow, not me' - brought him unfairly the reputation of a misanthrope. Simply, but hopelessly, he discovered, after the first return to New York, that he could enjoy no such luxury of choice as Nat Goodwin recommended: `Pick out one or two friends and be satisfied to imagine the rest." (Alistair Cooke, Six Men, 1956, Page 127 in The Essential Chaplin)

Chaplin "is the only comic star in the movies who does not employ a gag-writer:he makes everything up himself; so that, instead of the stereotyped humor of even the best of his competitors, most of whose tricks could be interchanged among them without anyone knowing the difference, he gives us jokes that, however crude, have an unmistakable quality of personal fancy. Furthermore, he has made it a practice to use his gags as points of departure for genuine comic situations." (Edmund Wilson, "The New Chaplin Comedy," 1925, Page 171 in The Essential Chaplin)

"Destiny shifts us here and there upon the checkerboard of life, and we know not the purpose behind the moves. His father's death brought a safe, comfortable world crashing down about Charlie Chaplin's head, and plunged his mother, his brother and himself into poverty. But poverty is not a life sentence. It is a challenge. To some it is more - an opportunity. So it was to the child of the theater. In the kaleidoscopic life of London's mean streets he found tragedy and comedy - and learned that their springs lie side by side...So we need not regret the shadows that fell over Charlie Chaplin's life. Without them his gifts might have shone less brightly, and the whole world would have been the poorer. Genius is essentially a hardy plant. It thrives in the east wind. It withers in a hothouse." (Winston Churchill, "Everybody's Language," Collier's magazine, 1935, Pages 206 and 207 in The Essential Chaplin)

The appeal and value of these and other essays will, of course, depend on what each reader seeks to understand about Chaplin, an immensely complicated person who was (as Schickel explains) "driven by his relentless ego, by his helpless need for an audience to dominate, to lead. All the tragedies of his life stemmed from those drives and needs." To Schickel's credit, he has selected essays that (together) trace the key influences on Chaplin's development throughout childhood and adolescence as well as during his early success on stage, his subsequent career in films, the controversies associated with his later years, and the period of recognition and awards he enjoyed just prior to his death.

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out Weissman's aforementioned biography, Chaplin: A Life in Film, and Robinson's Chaplin: His Life and Art as well as Charlie Chaplin's Own Story (as told to Rose Wilder Lane) and Chaplin's My Autobiography.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Essential Chaplin is essential reading for fans of the little fellow, tramp, genius of the cinema!
Charles Spencer Chaplin has had millions of words written about his long life and spectacular career.Chaplin (1889-Christmas Day, 1977) was born in London in the same month that the evil dictator Adolf Hitler was born in Austria. What different paths these two mustached men took in their life careers! Chaplin was the son of a music hall comic who left the family when Charlie was an infant. The father was alcoholic and his mother was insane.One of the 33 essays in the book reveals that Chaplin's mother may have been suffering from tertiary syphillis leading to her confinement in a mental institution. Charlie had a half brother Sydney who was close to the world famed comedian.
Charlie left the Fred Keno Show on a US tour to become the most famous screen actor in the world. Some of his best movies were "City Lights". "The Circus", "The Great Dictator", "Modern Times". "The Kid", "City Lights"
and lesser but still fine later films: "Monsieur Verdoux" and his final film "Limelight" (largely autobiographical).
Chaplin was the Dickens of comedy and motion on screen. Charlie was short, thin and could do amazing things with his body. His mother had been a ballerina and he displayed incredible agility. His best films were made before he was 30 years old. He hobnobed with the rich and famous such as Winston Churchill (who has an essay in the book); Alastair Cooke
(who has a very good look at Chaplin in one of the book's longest and best essays); George Bernard Shaw, Herbert George Wells and the stars of stage and screen.
Charlie slept with thousand of nubile young women. He was married three times to Mildred Harris, Lita Grey and Oona O'Neill (the daughter of Eugene O'Neill). He had several children and grandchildren. Chaplin left America due to the McCarthy charges he was a communist to enjoy a long retirement in Switzerland. He returned to Los Angeles to receive an honorary Oscar on his 83rd birthday.
Richard Schickel the outstanding film critic of Time magazine has edited this fine book. The volume could well be used in film classes. Some of the reviewers disagree with one another. An example would be James Agee's praise of "Monsieur Verdoux" while Dwight McDonald thought the film about a serial wife killer was a poor effort by Chaplin. The book is a good place to start if you have never read anything about the man who was the most famous movie star from the teens to the late 30s of the twentieth century.
Chaplin was a deeply flawed human being who bore scars from his Oliver Twist childhood of poverty, despair and hunger. He will, however, live for all time on the silver screen.
This is a good book on a man who was the first victim of celebrity culture who has brought countless pleasure to millions by his comedic genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Essential Chaplin: Perspectives on the Life and Art of the Great Comedian

5-0 out of 5 stars Nearly 30 essays from film critic Richard Schickel deserve ongoing recommendation and mention for any Chaplain fan
Nearly thirty essays from film critic Richard Schickel deserve ongoing recommendation and mention for any Chaplain fan, whether newcomer or seasoned. Schickel gathers the best criticisms of Chaplin's life and works from contributors - many of whom were his contemporaries - and pairs them to assessments of Chaplin's films from start to finish. The idea is to place under one cover the very best writing about Chaplin from non-movie-reviewer writers: the result is an analysis of genius and methods rather than films alone, and one which holds up well against movie reviewer surveys or biographies alone.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
... Read more

5. Charlie Chaplin: A Photo Diary
by Sam Stourdzé
Hardcover: 480 Pages (2002-10-15)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$52.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3882437928
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A few years ago, a sensational discovery was being made when, inCharlie Chaplin's estate, an extensive photo archive was found. Itconsists of thousands of glass-negatives, negatives and photoprints ofChaplin's life.Chaplin has documented his life with passionateenthusiasm: private photographs taken by his friends, his family andhis children have been collected as well as "official" photographsmade during shootings and work in the studios.

So far, these photographs have never been published. From thistremendous find photographer Michel Comte has put together a sensitivealbum which shows a Charlie Chaplin hitherto unknown. Here, the tripsaround the world are in the fore, the "snapshots" with artistcolleagues, persons in public life, with relatives, children andgrandchildren.

The large-format volume begins in 1909, and ends with a colorphotograph taken immediately prior to Chaplin's death on December 25th1977. This book presents an artist who has been "acting" throughouthis life, and who "has been in the limelight" in his private life,too. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chaplin Fan
This book is Great for a Charlie Chaplin fan! It has great black and white photos of Charlie on and off camera. It shows the history of Charlie's life through these photos. The entire book is full of pictures with some information about the pictures. It is an awesome record of one great comedy actor of all time!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Case of the Accidental Chaplin
I wasn't going to buy this book. Honest. But after picking up Jeffrey Vance's two compelling photo collections for Abrams on Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton (and not expecting a third), I broke down and picked up this European imprint so I'd have one for each of the triumvirate of Silent comedy kings. Now I read that Vance is releasing a new Chaplin photo volume in the fall: "Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema". Ah, well. Someone was going to get my money sooner or later.

Not that I regret buying this one. No sir. It's full of rare public and private Chaplin photos including many with the stunning Paulette Goddard (her mother appears in so many of them, you'd think she was trying to be their chaperone!) I would've preferred fewer later pictures of Chaplin with his children and more of his actual film work as Vance usually does (these are mainly restricted to a few collages.) And I did miss pictures of more celebrities (I was particularly hoping for some shots of Chaplin working with cohort Stan Laurel during their earliest theatre days.) But the personal and behind-the-scenes selection they've included here certainly adds a whole new dimension to the man behind "The Tramp".

Just to clarify, some descriptions of this book are incorrect and were probably issued before the volume went to print. There is no essay by Sophia Loren as some indicate (it's done by Sam Stourdze), and no final colour shot of Chaplin (the only colour in the whole book is some home movie clips by Chaplin's brother of "The Great Dictator".)

This volume is larger and cheaper than the upcoming Vance book and has a more personal side of Chaplin while "Genius" will probably include more text (though both books are limited in this area given their photographic nature) and focus on the professional side. Either way, take your pick. Or get both which I'll probably do...after my pocketbook recovers.

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible book!
This book is worth every penny and is a must for all Chaplin fans. I have been a Chaplin afficianado for many years and this generous volume contains images I had never seen before. It covers every decade of his amazing career, including very rare candids while he was still in his 20's and starting his own studio. We see him without make-up, being himself. We watch him age, decade after decade. We see him on a cruise to the Far East with Paulette Goddard and Alistair Cooke in 1936; he poses with dignitaries and legends such as Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein; and, we see him as an old, contented man, with the love of his life, Oona O'Neill Chaplin, and their 8 children.

Photos express far more than words in this book. I believe this is the first time I've seen photos that look into the eyes and soul of this film pioneer. You see him in front of and behind the camera. You see his wit and his dedication. Page after page of fascinating, incredible photographs make this an absolute must for anyone who wants a glimpse into those bygone days of the silent screen comedy. ... Read more

6. My Life In Pictures Charles Chaplin
by Charlie Chaplin
 Hardcover: 320 Pages (1985-09)
-- used & new: US$136.32
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Asin: 1850520313
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Charlie gives us a look through his personal photos & scrapbooks.
Includes personal & family photos, publicity stills, images of playbills, etc.Also frames selected from "Making a Living", "Mabel's Married Life", "The Rounders", and "Dough & Dynamite", complete with story descriptions, from Charlie's scrapbooks.An enjoyable addition to any Chaplin fan's collection. ... Read more

7. Tramp: The Life Of Charlie Chaplin
by Joyce Milton
Paperback: 588 Pages (1998-03-21)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$65.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306808315
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977) was one of the most loved, hated, and gossiped-about figures in film history. On screen the handsome actor delighted viewers with his "Tramp" character, but off screen he betrayed friends and colleagues, stole ideas, evaded taxes, and developed a reputation as a seducer of startlingly young women. Tramp traces Chaplin's life and career, from his childhood in the slums of London, through his early days as a music hall entertainer, to his meteoric rise and astonishing success in the American film world (including seventy-one films by age thirty-three), and his exile in Europe in the McCarthyist 1950s. Attributing some of his disturbing behavior to manic-depression, Milton confronts his troubling views, especially on politics, while celebrating his artistic genius in this probing and revelatory biography.
Amazon.com Review
CharlieChaplin is an enigmatic figure: famous throughout the world in the earlydays of Hollywood, his celebrity as the silent movie tramp/clown endures; yethe was also active in radical social politics, and later went into exile amida swirl of rumor and invective concerning his Communist Party connections.Chaplin wrote his own rather selective autobiography, and has been thesubject of several memoirs. Milton deals with his tempestuous marriages andwith his work, but concentrates on his political life. She analyzes hispolitical naiveté and inconsistency, while locating the source of hisleft-wing sympathies. The image of the tramp, it transpires, was noaccidental movie persona. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
received book in expected time frame.book was sold as "used",but looks just about new to me!thanks very much

2-0 out of 5 stars In the tradition of Kenneth Anger...
Probably no biography is without some value, but this is one of the two worst Chaplin books published.The comedian was hardly a perfect man, and there are things about him even a long-time fan might find bothersome, but much of this biography is trashy and filled with unsubstantiated ugly rumors.David Robinson's CHAPLIN:HIS LIFE AND ART, published twenty years ago, remains the best way to learn about Mr. Chaplin's complex life and work, while Glenn Mitchell's CHAPLIN ENCYCLOPEDIA I have found very helpful.This book is best ignored and forgotten.

1-0 out of 5 stars There ought to be a law . . . or at least a Fatal Mallet!
This merciless attack is filled with unsubstantiated pronouncements (not to mention typos) about Chaplin including a diagnosis of manic-depressive personality disorder offered nearly twenty years after his death and with no research nor expertise to support it. And is Joyce Milton herself qualified to make this judgment? Of course not. While this discourse is passed off as well-researched, one look at the notes and citations shows a limited selection of sources with a clear intention--to topple Chaplin whom Milton simply does not like. It seems as if the thesis of this book was in place well before the "research" began. Such is the tone of personal invective Milton fobs off as insight. I would never claim that Charlie Chaplin was a saint; no one can reasonably make that assertion about anyone. Unfortunately, Joyce Milton shows how imperfect a writer can be. Sadly for her, she picks up where Kitty Kelly leaves off. Shameful.

1-0 out of 5 stars not for chaplin fans
due to a snafu with my computer, the first review i wrote for this book was lost.i could have just given up, but i am determined to implore those of you considering adding this book to your library to please resist!only because i had to choose a star rating did i give it a one star.i would have chosen 0 star if given the choice.though milton is obviously a talented writer and did much research for this project, she obviously has some kind of grudge against chaplin.true, he unfortunately left a great deal to exploit with the scandals, both personal and political.but what she so obviously neglected was his creative genius that earned him the title King of Comedy.she emphasizes rumors as facts and takes it upon herself to tell us what chaplin was more than likely feeling or thinking about any particular subject, when there is no way she could assume.for instance, in describing 'city lights,' a clear masterpiece, she completely distorts, in my opinion, the best movie ending EVER.that look on the tramp's face as he looks at the girl he loves - his face so full of love, fear, hopefulness - it is unbelievably touching and beautiful, but milton insists that he is using it to manipulate his audience - hopeful he still has their devotion and fearing his hold on them has passed.she portrays him to be an absolute monster.clearly, he couldn't have been the easiest person to live with, but it gives her no right to drag him through the mud as she did.i hate to think of the people out there just discovering the genius of charles chaplin - seeing her book and thinking it will be a good, truthful read.start with the david robinson book, or jeffrey vance - they are much more honest and fair.i keep my milton book only because i refuse to turn it over to a library or used book store to infect a future reader's mind.

2-0 out of 5 stars Tramp - no insight into Chaplin as a filmmaker
I wish I had done a little research on this book before reading it.As it turned out when I was near the end of the book it struck me that I wish I hadn't bought or read it.Undoubtedly the author is a talented writer and an impressive researcher, but the book's almost nonexistant focus on Chaplin as a filmmaker should be a caution to any reader.

Before getting to the bulk of the book I will point out the one positive aspect of the book.Chaplin's childhood left me in awe.To say that it was tough doesn't even come close, and I couldn't help thinking how lucky he was to rise from nothing to the succesful filmmaker that he became.Then there is the rest of the story.

In the +500 pages of 'Tramp,' Joyce Milton concentrates on two aspects of Chaplin's life.First, the author details the many sad and destructive relationships Chaplin had with his wives, mistresses, and countless others in Hollywood.Almost no one comes out looking good in any of these relationships - not Chaplin or most of the women.For about thirty years, until his marriage to Oona O'Neill, it is one tarnished and ruined experience after another.Paulette Goddard is one of the few who comes out in any positive light.And of Oona O'Neill, the one woman that Chaplin seemed to be able to have anything resembling a successful relationship, we end up learning the very least.

Second, the author dedicates an excessive amount of space on Chaplin's Marxists views.The point is clear - it is the highest irony that a multimillionaire actor had such strong opposition to free enterprise.A lot can be said of that, and Milton takes every opportunity to do so.The endless cast of insigificant Communist sympathizers goes on and on.What a boring lot they were!Eventually I read over these parts with no care to retain any of the information.In the end it was just plain tiresome.

It was largely surprising how little space Milton spent on Chaplin as a filmmaker.Many of the chapter titles are Chaplin's own movie titles.Yet, for example, in the nearly 30-page chapter 'City Lignts,' if you were to string together the few paragraphs that actually deal with the movie 'City Lights' you'd be lucky to put together 2 or 3 pages.At the end of the book, Milton makes the point that if you want to know Chaplin as a filmmaker, watch his videos, they are readily available.I second that - rent or buy his videos, skip this book. ... Read more

8. My trip abroad
by Charlie Chaplin
Paperback: 204 Pages (2010-08-04)
list price: US$24.75 -- used & new: US$18.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1176853031
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Originally published in 1922.This volume from the Cornell University Library's print collections was scanned on an APT BookScan and converted to JPG 2000 format by Kirtas Technologies.All titles scanned cover to cover and pages may include marks notations and other marginalia present in the original volume. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get to know the man behind the mustache
A candid ride-along with Charlie as he attempts to take a holiday from the tramp.He charmingly shares his triumphs and foibles while skillfully negotiating his public and private life.A must-have for Chaplin collectors. ... Read more

9. The Life and Times of Charlie Chaplin (Life and Times Series)
by Robyn Karney, Robin Cross
 Hardcover: Pages (1992-03)
list price: US$12.98 -- used & new: US$6.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0831712511
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars I must Love Chaplin...
Yes, I must be a die-hard Chaplin fan to have endured the reading of this muddled biography.

I don't remember reading such ineffective prose, filled with grammatical errors and oddities. More importantly, the sequence of events is all over the place, with little regard for the timeline - a serious problem for a biography. For example, the health condition of Charlie's mother is mentioned all over the place. The subject jumps from one paragraph to another, repeating the same thing, but out of order. It all feels somewhat amateurish, which is astonishing, because after googling these authors, I saw ample proof that these are in fact experienced writers!

Here's an example of confusing text (page 29): Instead of a clear "Such was Charlie's life from the age of eleven to thirteen," we read "Such was Charlie's life at the age of eleven (and twelve and thirteen)." Is it just me, or does this sound weird to you too? (Still 29): "Money, and the opportunities to make it, were never far from Chaplin's mind then and for the rest of his days."
There are many examples like that. Not all grammatically incorrect, but without natural flow, or just bizarre.

Ultimately, what bothers me the most is the sloppy work. There are too many references out there today to write a new book on Chaplin without offering something new to us, the readers. If I were bad spirited, I'd say this book was an opportunity to make a quick buck on the good name of a celebrity.

How stupid of me... of course!... That's what it was! ... Read more

10. Discoveries: Charlie Chaplin (Discoveries (Abrams))
by David Robinson
Paperback: 143 Pages (1996-03-30)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$2.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810928841
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars COOL BOOK
I really love Charlie Chaplin, he is a great actor.I got this book because it was small and I wanted to see more pictures of Chaplin and this book has just that. If your a big Chaplin fan like I am get this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars To short for its own good
The Book suffers lack of detail on Charlie Chaplin's movies. The book does not really have that much text to read.The only thing there is is pictures

5-0 out of 5 stars Compact, but a pleasure to own; nicely presented
Often books written about popular film celebrities are thinly
disguised means of making a buck by publishers
who contract people to write a story about a
subject they so obviously care little about.
But this title is a wonderful appreciation of Chaplin by someone
who appears to at least be a fan.

The small but attractive book is packed with b/w
photos and anecdotes that span Chaplin's entire
career; printed on thick glossy paper and beautifully
designed, it is not the usual slapdash mass market
pulp cheapo that will crumble to dust
in six months. This is a permanent little gem
that will sit very well on the shelf next to a more
text-heavy volume such as Chaplin's autobiography.
There is enough story here though to give anyone
with an interest a basic outline of Charlie's whole life.
Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable small book on Chaplin
David Robinson is an historian and film critic who produced a massive definitive biographical study on Chaplin. A short time afterward Robinson did this small volume for the Abrams Discoveries series, a line known for its smooth paper, compactness, and illustrations.

The book is as excellent an overview of Chaplin's career as anything published.While only 143 pages, it is packed with information.Robinson was given access to the Chaplin archives by Charlie's family for the production of his earlier study, and his wealth of knowledge is on full display here.The book follows Charlie from his very rough childhood and early success in vaudeville through to his rise as a star in the Karno and Keystone comedy groups.Robinson details Chaplin's ethic of hard work and inventiveness, which lead him to eventually take full control of his projects and propel his fame to an international level.The story of the comic genius' life is never far away, and we are given facts about Chaplin's first love, his marriages, the creation of his famous "Little Tramp" character, and his friendships with other actors and directors.

Robinson successfully communicates to the reader Chaplin's inestimable influence on the motion picture.Chaplin is shown to be a perfectionist and artist at a time when films were not considered for anything other than pure entertainment value.Chaplin's unique sensibilities, his creativity, and the combination of comedy and pathos deepened the overall lure and texture of early 20th Century cinema.Along the way we also learn about behind-the-scenes toils undergone by Chaplin during shoots, his participation in forming United Artists, even his pursuit by the F.B.I. and eventual self-exile from the United States.

The information here is communicated in a lively, lucid style, and there are included throughout significant quotations from Chaplin's autobiography as well as some of his other writings to emphasize important points.There is a documents section which adds perspectives on Chaplin and his work by some of his contemporaries and followers, as well as an indispensable filmography, listing Chaplin's work from his first picture, 1914's _Making a Living_, to his final, 1967's _A Countess from Hong Kong._Despite all these useful features, the book's greatest asset are the illustrations.From full color to black and white, there is a photograph, drawing, or film still on almost every page, bringing to life Chaplin and his era beautifully and respectfully.

I recommend this book highly to Chaplin aficionados new and old, as well as to someone who is curious what the fuss is all about.For those who would like to see the major events of Chaplin's life portrayed onscreen, I recommend the 1990's biopic _Chaplin_ starring Robert Downey Jr. ... Read more

11. Charlie Chaplin's Own Story
by Charlie Chaplin
 Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-06-22)
list price: US$3.47
Asin: B003TLMZMS
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This illustrated autobiography was published in 1916; being
a faithful recital of a romantic career, beginning with the
early recollections of boyhood in London and closing with
the signing of his latest motion picture contract. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars typos,typos,typos
chaplin's life story is amazing and worth reading but this is the most typo filled book i've ever downloaded to my kindle. as many as five typos per page and this is every single page! not worth paying for! if it was free i'd suggest getting it for the story...but the typos are so bad that sometimes i couldn't figure out what the word was supposed to be.

... Read more

12. Chaplin: His Life and Art
by David Robinson
Paperback: 792 Pages (1994-08-21)
list price: US$22.95
Isbn: 0306806002
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977) revolutionized the language of cinema and became one of the most loved performers of all time. But he was also a man plagued by loneliness and driven by the search for artistic perfection. His life was an extraordinarily dramatic one, and David Robinson explores the often tragic story of Chaplin’s alcoholic father; his mentally disturbed mother; his marriages to very young women; the “white slavery” case against him; and his persecution by anti-Communist forces during the McCarthy era, which ultimately forced Chaplin to leave America. Chaplin—the only biography written with full access to his archives—contains many provocative revelations about his private life, romances, business dealings, and the making of his magical films. The text is studded with unexpected gems, from the multilingual lyrics of his song in Modern Times (the first time his voice was heard on the screen) to the step-by-step choreography of his celebrated dance with the balloon globe of the world in The Great Dictator. The author tells of the many famous figures who sought Chaplin out, including Picasso, Gandhi, and Krushchev. The book vividly recreates the different worlds in which Chaplin moved: from Victorian to Edwardian London, through the glamorous birth and sad decline of Hollywood’s studio system, to the nightmare of McCarthyism, after which America once again came to adore the ”Little Tramp.”Illustrated with eighty pages of rare photographs from the family albums, Chaplin contains a detailed chronology, filmography, list of theater tours, a summary of the secret FBI file on him, and a Chaplin who’s who. This is the definitive and monumental biography of a mesmerizing artist.
Amazon.com Review
Of the many books about Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), amongthem the Tramp's own charming but evasive 1964 autobiography, thismagisterial volume does by far the best job of detailing and analyzinghis genius as a filmmaker. Chaplin's widow allowed David Robinson toexamine their personal archives in Switzerland, and he makes good useof this access in his meticulous descriptions of the movies thatcreated the legend, including City Lights and ModernTimes. Robinson is less interested in Chaplin's tumultuouspersonal life, skating rather lightly over the lawsuits and scandalsthat plagued his later years in the United States. No matter: Chaplinlovers will find their understanding of his films enhanced; thoseunfamiliar with his artistry will learn why an actor-director whosegreatest work was done before 1940 remains a key figure in the historyof motion pictures. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Chaplin biography.
Carefully sourced, plenty of photos, letters, etc.Anyone who likes biographies will enjoy this book, but for Chaplin fans, "My Life and Art" along with Charlie's autobiography, gives the fullest possible story of his incredible life.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Holy Grail of Chaplin Biographies
Very detailed analysis of Chaplin's personal life and work.An amazing amount of research was done by Robinson and the finished product is hard to stop reading!

3-0 out of 5 stars Too-adoring biography
Too-adoring biography always takes the best view of Chaplin's often checkered personal life, and doesn't really dig into the drive for control that made Chaplin one of the first modern artists.

5-0 out of 5 stars Caution: Genius at Work
David Robinson's book is the finest biography extant of this indispensable genius of movies. I first read this monumental book 22 years ago and it has remained an indelible part of my understanding of movies and of the life and work of this complex, infuriating, somewhat naive but always questing and humanistic comedian, whose movies are finally being issued on DVD in luminous copies of his own carefully preserved originals.

At the time of Robinson's book, and for a number of years after, Buster Keaton was the preferred choice in silent comics. To take nothing away from Keaton, whom I regard as sui generis ("The General" is a masterpiece, and "The Navigator" is the funniest movie I've ever seen) this may have been more a reflection of the then-current attitudes of "cool," reacting against Chaplin's perceived sentimentality, than an argument forKeaton as the greater artist. Chaplin has recently become of greater interest, and at present his star seems much more firmly fixed, due in large part I think to the recent availability of his work on DVD. Robinson himself, in tandem with the silent cinema scholar Kevin Brownlow, is partly responsible through his access to Chaplin's mint copies of his own movies, which resulted in the superb Thames documentary "The Unknown Chaplin." In any case, it's much easier now to see and to recognize Chaplin's innate (yet painstakingly arrived-at) genius for mixing uproarious physical comedy and subtle pathos; if there is a more moving finale in all of American movies than the last moments of "City Lights," I'm not aware of it.

Robinson's approach is both scholarly and eminently accessible. And he dispels a great many erroneous "facts" that have accrued to Chaplin over the decades, many of them directly attributable to Charlie's own myth-making. The author also refutes some aspects Chaplin's late (and appallingly egocentric) memoir "My Autobiography," whose appearance in the 1960s shocked and saddened many of his former creative collaborators, who found themselves conspicuously absent from Chaplin's over-stuffed tome. If this book is not definitive -- and who can say what future writers may produce in the fullness of time? -- it is at the very least the one fixed starting point for all serious Chaplin research.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only two...
There are only two books necessary for the true Chaplin fan; "My Autobiograpy", by Chaplin himself, and this book by Robinson. While there are scores of other books on the market concerning Chaplin's life, Robinson's is THE definitive work.

If Charlie had been around to read this work, he might have amended his famous phrase from "If you want to know me, see my movies," to "If you want to know me, see my movies and read this book". ... Read more

13. Charlie Chaplin and His Times
by Kenneth S. Lynn
Paperback: 632 Pages (2003-02-25)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$16.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081541255X
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Examining the legendary actor's life, art, and controversial politics within the context of their times, Lynn presents a fresh and definitive portrait of Chaplin.Amazon.com Review
Loved by millions in his heyday, exiled into obscurity in his middle age, and worshipped anew in his final years, Charlie Chaplin has been the subject of many biographies. In this book, Kenneth S. Lynn focuses on Chaplin's personal, political, and romantic associations. Lynn sees Chaplin's obsessive egotism and brutality toward women as a result of his obscure London upbringing and the torment and embarrassment his mentally disturbed mother caused him. Lynn also takes a fresh look at Chaplin's alleged victimization at the hands of immigration officials in the 1950s and performs an intriguing psychological reading of Limelight, which he considers Chaplin's most autobiographical film. Along the way, Lynn provides mini-histories of issues and events that shaped Chaplin's life, including a consideration of the tramp in early 20th-century America, biographies of famous silent film stars, and an account of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

1-0 out of 5 stars One-sided, yes...but it's far worse than that
I received Prof. Kenneth Lynn's biography CHARLIE CHAPLIN AND HIS TIMES as a gift from my father and am hence tempted to give it a higher rating out of sentimental reasons. Sentiment or not, one star seems kind. This might be the essential Misery Biography, given the fact that its subject was hardly that miserable a character. Don't get me wrong; Charlie Chaplin was clearly an extraordinarily complex man, whose life as the most famous film star on the globe resulted in a series of well-publicized scandals. I won't deny that these scandals are required for a biographer to cover, and I have read enough books on Chaplin to not be too shocked when his troubled traits are discussed. What bothers me with Lynn's take on it all, is that he fails to bring any substance into his discussions of these traits, but has instead chosen the easy way out; to systematically badmouth Chaplin to the point of ridiculous. He presents unflattering rumors of the comedian as though they were facts, never doubting their sources, while he at the same time constantly puts the credibility of Chaplin's memoirs to question even for the most irrelevant detail. His crisp writing may fool some into believing that his mission is to tell Charlie Chaplin's life story, but a closer examination of the book reveals its true purpose: to disguise his hunger for sensationalism behind intellectual language. An obvious example is the chapter on the making of THE GOLD RUSH; this film was one of Chaplin's greatest artistic and commercial triumphs, and many critics still consider it the most phenomenal comedy produced to date. During the making of the film, however, Chaplin went through a difficult time as he married his second wife Lita Grey, an unfortunate event which reportedly had Chaplin once sneering at his young bride, "Why don't you jump off the train?" Consequently, the chapter covering one of Chaplin's greatest films is titled "Why don't you jump?"

As in most of the book, in the "Jump"-chapter Chaplin comes off as little more than a sexist and a tyrant. This description might have had some truth to it at the time, but anyone making a study of the event should keep in mind that even Lita herself admitted late in life to have made up or exaggerated several of her accussasions against Chaplin; well, Lynn doesn't keep that in mind. When Lita claims that Chaplin called her a "gold-digging wh-re," it's true. Lita and her family, on their part, never did a single thing wrong. They were simply some poor victims of a monster with money. I would have been able to accept that view, though, if it wasn't for the fact that Lynn tries to make us believe that Chaplin acted the same way in all of his relationships with women. Even his final marriage with Oona comes off as a thoroughly depressing mess. There's no doubt that Charlie and Oona did fight occasionally; I don't buy that their union of thirty-five years was as fairytale-like as some biographies lead us to believe. But here, again, instead of using the opportunity to give readers a balanced view of their marriage by admitting there were troubles despite great happiness, Lynn chooses to DWELL on the negative aspects, as if their relationship was as wrecked as the Lita Grey-affair but somehow, miraculously, sustained. Another obvious example on Lynn's tendency to precedence the negative rather than the positive is when he quotes Marlon Brando as saying that he found Chaplin to be "the most sadistic man I'd ever met." Brando did indeed say so in his memoirs, but what Lynn never grants a mention, despite being perfectly relevant in context to the text, is that the actor at the same time praised Chaplin as "probably the greatest genius the [movie] medium has ever produced."

Yes, Lynn is eager to tell us what a monster some people seem to have thought of Chaplin to be. I use the phrase "..SEEM to.." because I suspect his presentations of certain quotations to be misleading. For instance, he quotes Geraldine Chaplin as saying that the children at home were only permitted to watch Chaplin-films, as though Chaplin's narcissistic nature could not bear to have his offspring realize that there were other films out there. I've seen an interview with Geraldine (or possibly another Chaplin-child) telling this story in a jocular manner, recalling the reason behind it as simply being that Chaplin himself preferred to watch his own films because he was greatly fond of them, like any proud artist would be.

Worst of all, though, Lynn reveals a lack of insight into Chaplin's work as well which is a bit surprising coming from such a respected writer. Other reviewers have commented Lynn's remark that Chaplin "unknowingly" spelled the word "Gamine" sans the "E" in MODERN TIMES. Moreover he describes the comedian's famous final speech in THE GREAT DICTATOR as "flapdoodle," apparently unable to recognize that Chaplin with this speech probably CHOSE to express himself through simple language which could not only be understood by intellectuals such as author Lynn himself, but by the whole world, irrelevant of age, nation and education. Furthermore Lynn draws parallels between Chaplin's work and sex life which are not only weakly argued for but really quite pointless, unless you find interest in ALL sex-related discussions irrelevant of purpose and credibility.

You get it? Stay away from this brick of crap and go for Chaplin's autobiography instead, as well as David Robinson's and Charlie Chaplin Jr.'s books. They're generally as well written, and do without exception provide more substance into one page than this book does in some five hundred.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant
Kenneth S. Lynn's "Charlie Chaplin and His Times" is an almost-unmitigated piece of ugly character assassination. Focusing obsessively on Chaplin's romantic/sexual liaisons and his "radical-left" politics, it is not Mr. Chaplin so much as Mr. Lynn himself who ends up as the unlikeable figure: narrow-minded, prudish, politically-unbalanced and, ultimately, unfair. By the book's midpoint, the only reason to continue reading is to marvel at the insidious viciousness with which Lynn pretends to accurately portray Chaplin [a task which pays dividends on nearly every page]. Chaplin was surely no saint, but Lynn's account allows Chaplin no quarter, continually twisting incidents in such a way as to render Chaplin as little more than a libido-driven, communist-duped, ungrateful egotist-and while these elements may have been present in the man, obviously he was much more. Lynn gives us precious little of the "more." To add to the book's ineffectiveness, it offers few insights into Chaplin's films themselves. Scrambling for a positive statement about the book, the best thing one can say is that it is rather gracefully-written. In sum, Kenneth S. Lynn's biography of Charlie Chaplin is a one-sided, mean-spirited, entirely unsympathetic book which does no one any good. Not recommended.

2-0 out of 5 stars One-Sided, Hateful Biography
This will be short because much of what I have to say echoes previous reviews.Kenneth Lynn dislikes Chaplin to the the extent that he has written a biography of the man that is patently unfair and one-sided. Lynn is often shameful in attributing hateful and narcissistic motives to as many of Chaplin's career and life decisions as he can.Lynn focuses obsessively on Chaplin's sordid sex life at the expense of his exquisite art.(Lynn doesn't know much about film, it is clear).Lynn writes of Chaplin's political leanings in terms that would make all but red-baiting Joseph McCarthy, the Junior Senator from Wisconsin, blush.Its almost as though through Lynn, McCarthy has returned from the grave.Read this book only if David Robinson's "Chaplin: His Life and Art" remains out of print, and then read it skeptically and as a last resort.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Tramp was a Red!
The best thing I can say about this biography by Kenneth Lynn is that counterbalances the 1992 biopic of Chaplin's life. In this film, Robert Downey Jr portrayed Chaplin as an artist-hero who was martyred by the political right. While the Chaplin movie didn't ring particularly true for me, Lynn's biography appears to go too far in the opposite direction. This biography is not about Chaplin the Tramp, Chaplin the filmmaker, Chaplin the comic. Its about Chaplin the sputtering, spastic tyrant, Chaplin the felon, Chaplin the sex fiend, Chaplin the Red.

This book reads more like an indictment than a biography. Lynn makes his case persistently and repetitiously. He grants weight to negative accounts of Chaplin's character while positive accounts are brushed aside, or are relegated to the footnotes. (A typical example: Lynn gives an account of the problematic relations between Chaplin and Brando. Lynn relies on Brando's account of an interaction between the two men, which reveals Chaplin as a petty tyrant. Then, in the footnote Lynn slips in a completely contradictory account of the same incident by another source. The footnoted source, which depicts Chaplin in a much more favorable light, seems far more credible than Brando's. Lynn repeatedly dismisses the veracity of Chaplin's autobiography. But when he comes to Brando - now there's a reliable memoirist!)

In some cases, Lynn delivers jabs at his subject which seem quite pointless (for example, Lynn states that Chaplin "ignorantly" named his Modern Times heroine the Gamin. (the word is correctly spelled gamine). To me, this sort of criticism seems petty and overly personal. In sum, this mean spirited and poorly informed biography of Charlie Chaplin can be safely bypassed. David Robinson's Chaplin biography remains the primary recommendation.

3-0 out of 5 stars beware: author hates subject!
This book is factually wonderful. More details about Chaplin's life are discussed here than in other bios. But, I gradually wondered what it was that was bothering me about the writing. Suddenly it dawned on me. KennethLynn hates Chaplin! I dont know why, but there is an overwhelming sensethat he is doing his best to knock Chaplin down wherever he can, butChaplin's genius is always sticking it to him in the end. Read with theknowledge that the author is in no way in love with his subject (a strangeconcept to be sure) this book can be read through and enjoyed withreservations. Without realizing this fact though, the reader can get a veryunfair view of Chaplin. ... Read more

14. All About Charlie Chaplin
by Students' Academy
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-07-02)
list price: US$2.99
Asin: B003UNL8XC
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin was one of the most creative and influential personalities of the silent-film era. He was influenced by his predecessor, the French silent movie comedian Max Linder, to whom he dedicated one of his films. His working life in entertainment spanned over 75 years, from the Victorian stage and the Music Hall in the United Kingdom as a child performer, until close to his death at the age of 88. His high-profile public and private life encompassed both adulation and controversy. Chaplin's identification with the left ultimately forced him to resettle in Europe during the McCarthy era in the early 1950s.

In this Book;

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin

Childhood and Early Life

Charlie Chaplin’s First Tour to United States

World-Wide Popularity

First Talking Picture


Successful Time in United States

Final Films


Charlie the Technician

Contemporary Film Makers

Composer and Song-Writer



Awards and Recognition

Academy Awards

Other Information

Chaplin family

... Read more

15. My life with Chaplin;: An intimate memoir,
by Lita Grey Chaplin
Hardcover: 325 Pages (1966)

Asin: B0006BNVOU
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Charlie and Lita
I came across this book in a used bookstore, and not knowing much about Mr. Chaplin or his wives decided to grab it. So glad I did. I love this book. It's amazingly well written, with an amazing recall from the author. I would say I can't believe she put up with everything that she did from him, but then again, she was VERY young. I'm not sure if this book is 'mostly embellished' like I've recently seen in reviews of her other book, but I found it highly enjoyable. She got me into wanting to read everything about the silent era.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scandal and Reconciliation
I must admit that I began to read this book with some degree of trepidation.The book's author is the wife that Charlie Chaplin never spoke of, and is widely viewed as the most distratious of his four marriages.Based on much of the evidence that is available, one would not expect Lita Grey Chaplin to give a fair view of her ex-husband.Yet in "My Life with Chaplin", she does not an exceptional job of plodding her personal disasters that began with her courtship with Charlie Chaplin.

It has been said that there are three sides to a story, yours, mine and the truth.If we consider this principle, Lita and Charlie are certain to have skewed certain incidents of their life together in favor of themselves.In reality, we will never have the whole truth about their marriage.But since Charlie never really talked about this marriage, we are left only with Lita's view.From her adolescent encounters that left her pregnant through her marriage that was destined to end in divorce, Lita's portrayal of Charlie is often vilanous.Whether it is entirely factual, this is how she saw him at that time.

With the hardship that clouded their relationship, it would seem a stretch for Lita to say anything nice about Charlie.Yet the last chapter gives their story a sense of reconciliation.At their time, they were two very scared people in a relationship that was doomed to fail.A much elder Chaplin does not let his anger from the past prevent him from helping the him to help the mother of his two sons conquer chemical dependancy.Their sorrow over misdeeds of the past gives the book a good sense of closure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intimate is Right!
Lita Grey Chaplin, the second wife of Charlie and the one to be completely ignored in Chaplin's autobiography, reveals her life with Chaplin in thorough detail. She is an excellent storyteller, or at least the ghostwriter is, whichever created the fluidity of the stories. For this, the book is very easy to read. It thankfully does not end with the divorce; Lita tells of her vaudeville singing career and her battles with alcoholism.

Although most of the book is about Chaplin and life with the temperamental man, Grey is respectful of him. She does paint him out to be less than lovable by illustrating their life together, but she is not malicious or out to blemish his career. This is a highly revealing book and does not skimp on the details of the pair's sex life, much of which is disturbing to read about. Still, Grey is fair in her writings and often comments that despite everything, she loved Chaplin.

Because Chaplin left out information about Lita in his own book out of respect for the two children they had together, this book is essential reading for Chaplin fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intimate is Right!
Lita Grey Chaplin, the second wife of Charlie and the one to be completely ignored in Chaplin's autobiography, reveals her life with Chaplin in thorough detail. She is an excellent storyteller, or at least the ghostwriter is, whichever created the fluidity of the stories. For this, the book is very easy to read. It thankfully does not end with the divorce; Lita tells of her vaudeville singing career and her battles with alcoholism.

Although most of the book is about Chaplin and life with the temperamental man, Grey is respectful of him. She does paint him out to be less than lovable by illustrating their life together, but she is not malicious or out to blemish his career. This is a highly revealing book and does not skimp on the details of the pair's sex life, much of which is disturbing to read about. Still, Grey is fair in her writings and often comments that despite everything, she loved Chaplin.

Because Chaplin left out information about Lita in his own book out of respect for the two children they had together, this book is essential reading for Chaplin fans. ... Read more

16. The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion
by Dan Kamin
Hardcover: 236 Pages (2008-09-05)
list price: US$71.50 -- used & new: US$52.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810861429
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This excursion into the enchanted comic world of Charlie Chaplin will appeal not just to Chaplin fans but to anyone who loves comedy.Dan Kamin brings a unique insider's perspective to the subject.An internationally acclaimed comic performing artist himself, he trained Robert Downey, Jr. for his Oscar-nominated portrayal in Chaplin, and created Johnny Depp's physical comedy scenes in Benny and Joon.The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin:Artistry in Motion reveals the inner workings of Chaplin's mesmerizing art as never before.Kamin illuminates the comedian's incredibly sophisticated visual comedy in disarmingly direct prose, providing new insights into how Chaplin achieved his legendary rapport with audiences and demonstrating why comedy created nearly a century ago remains fresh today.He then presents provocative new interpretations of each of the comedian's sound films, showing how Chaplin remained true to his silent comedy roots even as he kept reinventing his art for changing times.The book is lavishly illustrated with many never-before-published images of the comedian. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive!
Dan Kamin's book is a hidden treasure! I was amazed, as a regular purchaser of Chaplin books and DVD's from Amazon,that Mr. Kamin's book was not once 'recommended' to me. I came across it by way of a website devoted to Edna Purviance. It is, by far, the most complete and beautifully written book on the comedy of Charlie Chaplin (not the story of his personal life, but the actual work). Mr. Kamin writes in a very accessible, easy style which was a joy to read. If you want to understand the origins and recurring themes of Charlie Chaplin's body of work, this book is for you. This is a superb companion to the more traditional biographies by David Robinson and Jeffrey Vance and, of course, Charlie Chaplin's own autobiography. Highly, highly recommended! Thank you Mr. Kamin.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best analysis of Chaplin's art in book form!
There have been dozens of books written about filmdom's first megastar, Charlie Chaplin, from Chaplin's own MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY to Walter Kerr's landmark study of silent film comedy, THE SILENT CLOWNS, to David Robinson's definitive biography, CHAPLIN: HIS LIFE AND ART, to Jeffrey Vance's beautiful coffee table book, CHAPLIN: GENIUS OF THE CINEMA.While these books and many others have been excellent, they tend to fall into two basic categories--biographies or film studies.Dan Kamin's new book, THE COMEDY OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN: ARTISTRY IN MOTION, is something different altogether.It is a examination of Chaplin's art, focusing on what made his films so compelling to audiences of the time and what continues to make his work captivating to new generations experiencing his silent films in the modern era.This is not merely a film study.It is a study of Chaplin's performances and the way he used the motions of his body to create timeless comedy.The author is uniquely qualified to analyze and break down Chaplin's body movements, as Dan Kamin is a professional comedian and mime who developed the physical comedy sequences for the films CHAPLIN (1992) and BENNY AND JUNE (1993) and who trained both Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp for their roles.

Through Mr. Kamin's in-depth analysis of Chaplin's body movements, THE COMEDY OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN: ARTISTRY IN MOTION had an effect on me that no other book on Chaplin and his films has produced--it made me look at the comedian's work in a new way.Just as the outtakes presented in the Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's breakthrough documentary UNKNOWN CHAPLIN provided a new understanding into the way Chaplin improvised and directed his films, Mr. Kamin's book provides new insight into the comedian's compelling performances.Of course, the book is much more than a detailed examination of Chaplin's movements.It also features coverage of the comedian's theatrical work and how he utilized and adapted his stage training when entering the movies, a detailed examination of the comedian's gags (including a breakdown of eight specific categories of Chaplin's signature transformation gags in which he treats one thing as another), a look at the comedian's evolving character and the changing cast of characters that surrounded him as his films became more mature, an extensive analysis of how Chaplin dealt with the problem of adapting his comedy to the new medium of sound films, and a brief overview of the challenges Mr. Kamin encountered in trying to train Robert Downey Jr. to move like the great comedian for the film CHAPLIN.Taken as a whole, I found THE COMEDY OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN to be the best examination of Charlie Chaplin's art in book form.

While I can find no criticism to level against Mr. Kamin's masterful analysis of Chaplin's art, I have one small gripe when it comes to the book itself.The publisher has chosen to only publish the title in a library-bound edition, which has been priced for the library market.While the book is solidly bound to last beyond a single lifetime and the laminated hardback cover is resistant to spills that would damage books made of lesser materials, the $65 price tag may discourage many readers from picking up this beautiful, insightful book.However, since this is a reference that film lovers will want to revisit again and again, the care that went into producing the book is appropriate.I hope that fans of Charlie Chaplin will overlook the hefty cost, because those that make the investment will find their money well spent.

Lovers of film comedy should consider Dan Kamin's book an essential read.It receives my highest recommendation.

5-0 out of 5 stars An essential Chaplin book
There has been book after book on Charles Chaplin as a filmmaker, as a major cultural figure of the twentieth century, even as a political figure - but no book before Dan Kamin's 'The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion' has chosen as its principle subject the very aspect which accounted for Chaplin's great success - the fact that he was the greatest pantomimist ever captured on film.

Dan Kamin is a mime who travels the world brilliantly following in the tradition out of which Chaplin's comedy arose - as a search of Kamin's name on Youtube will attest. Kamin coached Robert Downey Jr. through his uncanny portrayal of Chaplin in the 1992 biopic as well as supervised Johnny Depp in his slapstick routines in 'Benny and Joon'.

In 'The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin' Kamin hones in on what made Chaplin's mime so singular and mesmerizing; he notes Chaplin's virtuoso mastery of physical movement and the manner in which he utilized his great skills to evoke deeply-felt human emotions.He is able to identify the techniques of Chaplin's art in way that only another mime can.

In addition to delineating Chaplin's art of movement, Kamin shows how Chaplin the the filmmaker framed that art to its best advantage - casting light on the manner by which Chaplin highlighted his pantomime routines even in his sound films with the skilfull use of technology - a fact which has been largely unexplored by other Chaplin authors.Kamin displays how Chaplin's skills as a filmmaker perfectly matched and accentuated his skills as a mime, and his acute sensitivity to both, and the manner in which they united to create Chaplin's timeless art, makes this book an essential addition to the library of anyone serious about Chaplin. ... Read more

17. 2011 Charlie Chaplin Wall Calendar (Square Wall Cal)
by teNeues
Calendar: 12 Pages (2010-08-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$11.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3832744282
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18. Making Music with Charlie Chaplin
by Jeffrey Vance, Eric James
Hardcover: 160 Pages (2000-04-12)
list price: US$37.35 -- used & new: US$29.93
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Asin: 0810837412
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Although many books have been written about Charlie Chaplin, most are the products of research gathered from second-hand sources and various archives. Eric James had the privilege of knowing and working with Chaplin as his Music Associate for more than twenty years, during which time he collaborated in the development of compositions and subsequent orchestral arrangements that became celebrated film scores. In "Making Music with Charlie Chaplin", James details his relationship with Chaplin, from their auspicious first meeting, to his frequent visits to Switzerland when he lived with Chaplin and his family. The book chronicles James' decades-long collaboration and provides new insight into his protean musical genius. Alight with levity and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, James allows us to glimpse the artist behind the legend, a Chaplin too rarely seen. ... Read more

19. Chaplin and American Culture
by Charles J. Maland
Paperback: 464 Pages (1991-02-01)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$18.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691028605
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Charles Maland focuses on the cultural sources of the on-and-off, love-hate affair between Chaplin and the American public that was perhaps the stormiest in American stardom. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent achievement!
Maland offers a very interesting and well-researched perspective in this ambitious project.He does not give us a strait-forward biography but rather shows how profoundly Chaplin affected American Culture and vice-versa.In framing his analysis, Maland references movie reviews, the press, promotional materials released by the studios, and (most informatively) Chaplin's movies. I recommend this book not only to those interested in Charlie Chaplin, but also to those wanting to learn more about the culture of fear and propaganda that prevailed before and after World War II. ... Read more

20. Remembering Charlie
by Jerry Epstein
 Hardcover: 228 Pages (1989-03-01)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$15.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385262825
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written, interesting, honest - excellent
REMEMBERING CHARLIE is mainly about the author Jerry Epstein's friendship between Chaplin and the production of Limelight, A King in New York, A Countess From Hong Kong and the never finished film The Freak.

It is simply excellent. Marlon Brando once said that "friends don't write books about their friends." I can see his point, but no worry about this one. This is a book written with a warm heart, an account from a friend attempting to tell the world about Charlie Chaplin the man as well as the artist; and his attempt is more than satisfying. Chaplin's periodical arrogance and self-consiousness was a part of him, and Epstein is honest with that, but always with understanding. He wasn't "an egotistical tyrant" as Brando wrote in his autobiography -- he was a human being with both human strenghts and human weaknesses and a remarkable talent.

Along with Chaplin's autobiography, David Robinson's book and his son Charlie Jr.'s, this is the most interesting book I've ever read about the man I consider to be the film medium's undisputed genius of all time. His last three movies and the joy and suffering behind them are described to last detail, plenty of the information has never been as much as mentioned previously.

REMEMBERING CHARLIE offers a unique portrait of Chaplin as a father and friend; he was charming and arrogant, openhearted and impossible to compromise with. The book also includes 280 pictures taken from both his movies and private life, many of whom have never been available in public.

Recommended to all Chaplin-fans and newcomers who simply are curious about him. ... Read more

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