Charlie Chaplin/ Final Speech
While many silent film stars have been forgotten.??? Charlie Chaplin” is still a household name in most of the world. Charlie Chaplin was a British comedian, producer, writer, director, and composer who was and still is regarded as the greatest comic artist of the screen and one of the most important figures in motion-picture history. His most famous character, the Tramp, was a short, twitchy man with a black moustache, baggy suit and a waddling penguin-like walk.
Chaplin gained stardom after living most of his childhood in poverty. Whether it was his acting or his rags to riches story; he appealed to every person. Even Adolf Hitler loved Chaplin so much that he trimmed his handlebar moustache to match Chaplin??™s Tramp character??“ which was ironic because Chaplin had very strong anti-fascist views and therefore one can assume he resented Hitler.
Chaplin??™s first talking picture ???The Great Dictator??™ was an effect of defiance against Nazism, it was filmed and released in the year before the US abandoned its neutrality and joined World War II. Chaplin played the role of ???Adenoid Hynkel??™, Dictator of Tomania; it was an obvious mockery of Adolph Hitler.
Hynkel is shown to be an extreme, nasty and vicious man without an ounce of humanity. Through this character, Chaplin reveals his true thoughts on Hitler; a man whose power and greatness is nothing but empty overconfidence and meaningless dribble. Chaplin allows the viewer to laugh at a low, disgraceful and unpleasant individual.
In addition to Hynkel, he also played a look-alike Jewish barber, who lived in the Tomanian ghettos. Towards the end of the film, the two characters switch places in a rather confusing manner. The barber must address the public as Hynkel, realising he has the opportunity to reveal the horrors of the regime he drops out of his comedic character. He gives an inspired speech that is interpreted as an out-of-character personal plea from Chaplin, a plea that attacks the Nazis and describes them as ???machine men with machine minds and machine hearts???.
The film was well received at the time of its release, and was popular with the American public. The film was also popular in the United Kingdom, drawing 9 million to the theatres. Jewish audiences were deeply moved by the portrayal of Jewish characters and their plight. The film was seen as an act of courage in the shaky and unstable political environment, both for its ridicule of Nazism and for the sympathy shown towards Jews.
Overall, Americans were looking for the next voice to tell them what to think, Chaplin seized the opportunity and helped Americans form their opinions. The movie also showed Chaplin??™s view on all politicians as a whole. This was made more clear when he said: ???I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.???
Before the ???Great Dictator???, Chaplin once again played the Tramp character in the movie ???Modern Times???. It is set in the ???Great Depression??? where people??™s main concerns were unemployment, hunger and poverty. It outlines the frustrating struggles of the average man against the dehumanising effects of the machinery in the industrial age. Chaplin??™s character repeatedly tries to get arrested to avoid getting a job. This illustrates the struggles people had.
Charlie Chaplin??™s affect on the real world was mostly negative. Americans were convinced he was a communist because of his off-putting representation of American culture. You can see that he looked down on modernisation and thought that machines should improve one??™s life and not make it more daunting. This was in a way an indirect way of showing his displeasure of talking motion pictures. He claimed they ruined the ???beauty of silence??™.
Chaplin??™s significance wasn??™t just restricted to war and politics, his comedy and clowning was a great reassurance. Times were tough in the early 20th century; the appearance of Chaplin brought great warmth and happiness to the public. In Pat Barker??™s novel ???Regeneration??™, Chaplin??™s films were shown to improve the morale of the insane soldiers at the Craig-Lockhart hospital. The films made the patients forget their problems and laugh for the first time in a long time. This was the case in most of the world.
Charlie simply made people laugh. He had a huge impact on the lives of many people during he world wars and the great depression. He changed the way people looked at the world despite his own personal issues. I??™ll finish with something that was written on his website, even though his films were in black and white, he put a lot of colour into everyones life.