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LICEUL TEORETIC VIDELE

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LUCRARE PENTRU ATESTAREA


CERTIFICARII COMPETENTELOR
LINGVISTICE
LIMBA ENGLEZA-INTENSIV

Filiera: Teoretica
Profil: Uman
Specializarea: Filologie

PROFESOR COORDONATOR ELEV


Simedre Florina Hermina Garagaianu Robert
MAI 2017
2 AMERICAN FILMS- ICONS: CHARLIE CHAPLIN
Contents

I. Foreword...........................................................................pg4
II. Biography..........................................................................pg 5
III. Beginning of his career.....................................................pg 6
IV. Gaining independence.......................................................pg 7
V. Essanay - Chaplin Brand (1916-1918)............................pg 8
VI. Mutual - Chaplin Specials (1916-1917)........................... pg 9
VII. Chaplin and music……...……………………................ pg 10
VIII. Awards.............................................................................. pg 10
IX. Chaplin’s private life........................................................ pg 11
X. Behind his perfect life........................................................pg 12
XI. Afterword...........................................................................pg 13

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I. Foreword

I have chosen this topic because the first movie I’ve seen was one with Charlie
Chaplin.What I like the most about him is his way of being an actor and also his boehmian
life.
This is the story of Charles Spencer Chaplin who was born in London, England, on April
16th 1889 and died on December 25, 1977.
Charlie Chaplin was one of the greatest and widely loved silent movie stars. From Easy Street
(1917) to Modern Times (1936) he made many of the funniest and most popular films of his
time. He was best known for his character, the naive and lovable Little Tramp. The Little
Tramp, a well meaning man in a raggedy suit with cane, always found himself wobbling into
awkward situations and miraculously wobbling away. More than any other figure, it is this
kind-hearted character that we associate with the time before the talkies.
Born in London in 1889, Chaplin first visited America with a theater company in 1907.
Appearing as Billy in the play Sherlock Holmes, the young Chaplin toured the country twice.
On his second tour, he met Mack Sennett and was signed to Keystone Studios to act in films.
In 1914 Chaplin made his first one-realer, Making a Living. That same year he made thirty-
four more short films, including Caught in a Cabaret, Caught in the Rain, The Face on the
Bar-Room Floor, and His Trysting Place. These early silent shorts allowed very little time for
anything but physical comedy, and Chaplin was a master at it. The best way to locate the
humor or pathos of a situation was to create an environment and walk around it until
something natural happened. The concern of early theater and film was to simply keep the
audience’s attention through overdramatic acting that exaggerated emotions, but Chaplin saw
in film an opportunity to control the environment enough to allow subtlety to come through.
He had some masterpiece features in wich he performed. Those are: A Woman of Paris, The
Gold Rush , The Circus, City Lights , Modern Times , Monsieur Verdoux , Limelight , A king
in New York and the moust knowd and beloved movie The Great Dictator in which he
played a dual role.
Also Chaplin had a very faimous private life because of his 4 marriages, 11 childrens and
a lot of lovers. In 1918, he wed Mildred Harris, they had a son together, Norman Spencer
Chaplin, who only lived three days. Chaplin and Mildred were divorced in 1920. He married
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Lita Grey in 1924, which had two sons, Charles Chaplin Jr. and Sydney Chaplin. They were
divorced in 1927. In 1936, Chaplin married Paulette Goddard and his final marriage was to
Oona O'Neill (Oona Chaplin), daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill in 1943. Oona gave
birth to eight children: Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Chaplin, Josephine Chaplin, Victoria
Chaplin, Eugene, Jane, Annette-Emilie and Christopher Chaplin.

II. Biography

He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular
‘Little Tramp’ character, the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane,
and a funny walk.
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in Walworth, London, England on April 26th, 1889 to
Charles and Hannah (Hill) Chaplin, both music hall performers, who were married on June
22nd, 1885. After Charles (father) separated from Hannah to perform in New York City, she
then tried to recast her stage career. Unfortunately, her singing voice had a tendency to break
at unexpected moments. When this happened, the stage manager spotted young Charlie
standing in the wings and led him on stage, where five-year-old Charlie began to sing a
popular tune. Charlie and his half-brother, Syd Chaplin, spent their lives in and out of charity
homes and workhouses between their mother's bouts of insanity. Hannah was committed to
Cane Hill Asylum in May of 1903 and lived there until 1921, when Chaplin moved her to
California. Chaplin began his official acting career at the age of eight, touring with The Eight
Lancashire Lads.
One major reason why Chaplin become a comediant is because when he was a child he was
confined to a bed for weeks due to a serious illness and at night his mother would sit at the
window and act out what was going on outside.
At 18 he began touring with Fred Karno's vaudeville troupe, joining them on the troupe's
1910 US tour. He traveled west to California in December 1913 and signed on with Keystone
Studios' popular comedy director Mack Sennett, who had seen Chaplin perform on stage in
New York. In November 1914, he left Keystone and signed on at Essanay, where he made 15
films. In 1916, he signed on at Mutual and made 12 films. In June 1917, Chaplin signed up
with First National Studios, after which he built Chaplin Studios. In 1919, he and Douglas
Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith formed United Artists (UA). Chaplin's later film
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The great dictator (1940), which was his first ‘talkie’, also created a stir. In the film, Chaplin
plays a humorous caricature of Adolf Hitler. Some thought the film was poorly done and in
bad taste. However, it grossed over $5 million and earned five Academy Award Nominations.
In contrast to many of his boisterous characters, Chaplin was a quiet man who kept to himself
a lot. He also had a ‘un-millionaire’ way of living. Even after he had accumulated millions,
he continued to live in shabby accommodations.
Up until his last few movies, he never shot with a working script. He would start with a story
in his mind and constantly retool it, often shooting hours of scenes that wouldn't make the
final cut until he was satisfied. He spent his nights during filming, critiquing the rushes with
his assistant directors. Consequently compared to the major studio's films, he spent
months/years and excessive amounts of money on his productions. He often said though he
would not release any of his films until he was 100% satisfied with the result.

III. Beginning of his career

When he was about fourteen, he got his first chance to act in a legitimate stage show, and
appeared as “Billy” the page boy, in support of William Gillette in ‘Sherlock Holmes’. At the
close of this engagement, Charlie started a career as a comedian in vaudeville, which
eventually took him to the United States in
1910 as a featured player with the Fred
Karno Repertoire Company. He scored an
immediate hit with American audiences,
particularly with his characterization in a
sketch entitled A Night in an English Music
Hall. When the Fred Karno troupe returned
to the United States in the fall of 1912 for a
repeat tour, Chaplin was offered a motion
picture contract. He finally agreed to appear
before the cameras at the expiration of his
vaudeville commitments in November 1913,
and his entrance in the cinema world took
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place that month when he joined Mack Sennett and the Keystone Film Company. His initial
salary was $150 a week, but his overnight success on the screen spurred other producers to
start negotiations for his services. At the completion of his Sennett contract, Chaplin moved
on to the Essanay Company (1915) at a large increase. Sydney Chaplin had then arrived from
England, and took his brother’s place with Keystone as their leading comedian.
The following year Charlie was even more in demand and signed with the Mutual Film
Corporation for a much larger sum to make 12 two-reel comedies. These include The
Floorwalker, The Fireman, The Vagabond, One A.M. (a production in which he was the only
character for the entire two reels with the exception of the entrance of a cab driver in the
opening scene), The Count, The Pawnshop, Behind the Screen, The Rink, Easy Street ,The
Cure, The Immigrant and The Adventurer.

IV. Gaining independece

When his contract with Mutual expired in 1917, Chaplin decided to become an independent
producer in a desire for more freedom and greater leisure in making his movies. To that end,
he busied himself with the construction of his own
studios. Early in 1918, Chaplin entered into an
agreement with First National Exhibitors’ Circuit, a
new organization specially formed to exploit his
pictures. His first film under this new deal was A
Dog’s Life. After this production, he turned his
attention to a national tour on behalf of the war effort,
following which he made a film the US government
used to popularize the Liberty Loan drive: The Bond.
His next commercial venture was the production of a
comedy dealing with the war. Shoulder Arms, released
in 1918 at a most opportune time, proved a veritable mirthquake at the box office and added
enormously to Chaplin’s popularity. This he followed with Sunnyside and A Day’s Pleasure,
both released in 1919.

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In April of that year, Chaplin joined with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W.
Griffith to found the United Artists Corporation. B.B. Hampton, in his History of the Movies.
However, before he could assume his responsibilities with United Artists, Chaplin had to
complete his contract with First National.

The Masterpiece Features

A Woman of Paris (1923)

The Gold Rush (1925)

The Circus (1928)

City Lights (1931)

Modern Times (1936)

The Great Dictator (1940)

Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Limelight (1952)

A King in New York

V. Essanay - Chaplin Brand

If the early slapstick of the Keystone comedies represents Chaplin’s cinematic infancy, the
films he made for the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company are his adolescence. The
Essanays find Chaplin in transition, taking greater time and care with each film
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experimenting with new ideas, and adding flesh to the Tramp character that would become
his legacy. Chaplin’s Essanay comedies reveal
an artist experimenting with his palette and
finding his craft.
After the expiration of his one-year contract
with the Keystone Film Company, Chaplin was
drawn to Essanay for the unprecedented salary
of $1,250 per week, with a bonus of $10,000 for
merely signing with the company. The fourteen
films he made for the company were distinctly
marked and designated upon release as the
“Essanay-Chaplin Brand.” The company’s
headquarters were in Chicago, Illinois, and the
company had a second studio in Niles,
California.
The name Essanay was formed from the
surname initials, S and A, of its two founders:
George K. Spoor, who provided the financing
and managed the company, and G.M. Anderson, better known as ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson,
cinema’s first cowboy star. Essanay began in 1907 and a year later became a member of the
powerful Motion Picture Patents Company.
Chaplin’s one year with the company was its zenith. The studio foundered after Chaplin left
to join the Mutual Film Corporation and finally ceased operations in 1918. Essanay would
most likely be largely forgotten were it not for Chaplin’s early association.

VI. Mutual - Chaplin Specials

The Mutual Film Corporation created a branch called ‘The Lone Star Corporation’ solely to
make the Chaplin films. Lone Star paid Chaplin $10,000 a week plus a $150,000 signing
bonus for the twelve two-reel comedies. The unprecedented sum would set the standard for
the salaries of motion picture stars. Indeed, Mary Pickford, known as ‘America’s
Sweetheart’, did not allow Chaplin’s record-breaking salary to go unchallenged. The
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company provided Chaplin his own studio, named The Lone Star Studio. The facility was
formerly the Climax Studios and later would be used by Buster Keaton to make all his
independently produced silent two-reel and feature-length films. Chaplin made approximately
one film a month but several required more time, and the series ultimately took eighteen
months to complete. Although this may appear to be remarkably swift work, it was a leisurely
pace compared to the speed he had been required to maintain at Keystone and Essanay.
The press and public were amazed and even skeptical at the amount of Chaplin’s earnings. A
Mutual publicist wrote, ‘Next to the war in Europe Chaplin is the most expensive item in
contemporaneous history’.
Mutual provided Chaplin the freedom to explore all his comic ideas and to discard anything
he believed failed to work on film.

VII. Chaplin and music

Charles Chaplin recalled that in his early childhood his mother, a music-hall singer, would
take him with her to the theatre, where he would stand in the wings listening to her and the
other acts that made up the show. He also recalled seeing his father, well known vocalists
also called Charles Chaplin, perform at the Canterbury Music Hall, and recounted how at
home, in the happier times, and his mother would regularly entertain him and his step-brother
by singing, dancing, reciting and imitating other artists. His own very first appearance on the
stage, at the age of five, was precipitated when his mother was performing before a tough
audience, mostly made up of soldiers, at the Aldershot Canteen. When her voice cracked and
she was unable to continue, Charlie was pushed on in her place. Already a natural performer,
it seems, he sing two current song success, pausing in between to pick up the coins thrown by
the surprised and amused audience.
He was to remain in the theatre, alternating various jobs and periods of unemployment, until
he ended up as one of the stars of Fred Karno’s comedy sketch companies. With Karno’s
companies he went to America to tour vaudeville circuits that spanned the continent. His
powerful response to music clearly influenced his comic pantomime, which from the start
was marked by a strong rhythmical and balletic character.

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In his family home in Switzerland, Chaplin continued to the end of his life to develop his love
and knowledge of music and to entertain musicians, among them Arthur Rubinstein, Isaac
Stern, Rudolf Serkin, and Clara Haskil. His daughter Josephine has nostalgic memories of
how, regularly after supper, he would insist that the lights were turned off, and that the family
listen by candle-light to record after record of classical music.

VIII. Awards

In 1921, Chaplin was decorated


by the French government for his outstanding work as a
filmmaker, and was elevated to the rank of ‘Officer of the
Legion of Honor’ in 1952.
In 1972, he was honored with an Academy Award for his
‘incalculable effect in making motion pictures the art form of
the century’.
He was awarded ‘Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British
Empire’ in the 1975 Queen's Honours List for his services to entertainment.
Chaplin's other works included musical scores he composed for many of his films. He also
authored two autobiographical books, ‘My Autobiography’ in 1964 and its companion
volume, ‘My Life in Pictures’ in 1974. Cinematic genius that he was, Chaplin never won an
Academy Award in an acting category, his only Oscar victory being in the capacity of
composer.
Among other recognitions, Chaplin was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in
1970, that he had not been among those originally honoured in 1961 caused some
controversy.
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A statue of Charlie Chaplin was made by John Doubleday, to stand in Leicester Square in
London, United Kingdom. It was unveiled by Sir Ralph Richardson in 1981. A bronze statue
of him is at Waterville, County Kerry.

IX. Chaplin’s private life

Chaplin was married four times and had a total of 11 children. In 1918, he wed Mildred
Harris, they had a son together, Norman Spencer Chaplin, who only lived three days. Chaplin
and Mildred were divorced in 1920.
He married Lita Grey in 1924, which had two sons, Charles Chaplin Jr. and Sydney Chaplin.
They were divorced in 1927.
In 1936, Chaplin married Paulette Goddard and his final marriage was to Oona O'Neill (Oona
Chaplin), daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill in 1943. Oona gave birth to eight children:
Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Chaplin, Josephine Chaplin, Victoria Chaplin, Eugene, Jane,
Annette-Emilie and Christopher Chaplin.

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X. Last
years

Chaplin’s versatility extended to writing, music and sports. He was the author of at least four
books, My Trip Abroad, A Comedian Sees the World, My Autobiography, My Life in Pictures
as well as all of his scripts. An accomplished musician, though self-taught, he played a
variety of instruments with equal skill and facility (playing violin and cello left-handed).

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He was also a composer, having written and published many songs, among them: Sing a
Song, With You Dear in Bombay, and There’s Always One You Can’t Forget, Smile,
Eternally, You are My Song, as well as the soundtracks for all his films. Charles Chaplin was
one of the rare comedians who not only financed and
produced all his films (with the exception of A Countess
from Hong Kong), but was the author, actor, director and
soundtrack composer of them as well.
He died on Christmas day 1977, surrounded by eight
children from his last marriage with Oona O’Neill, and one
son from his short marriage to Lita Grey.

XI. Afterword

In conclusion, Charlie Chaplin was a person who lived in poverty and had to struggle during
his early life. His childhood was rough and unstable. Yet, Charlie's outstanding talents and
ingenious led him to become the unforgetable legend he will always be remembered as.
He had effect on many people's lives and he put smiles on their faces, laughter in their daily
lives. Charlie Chaplin revolutionized the entertainment industry by transforming it into a
form of art by introducing
characterization, mime,
and comedy throughout
silence. Thanks to
Chaplin, comedy began to
be centered on the
performer as opposed to
the events, which befell
him. People couldn't wait
to get home from the
stress and hardship of

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reality to sit and watch his shows.
Though Chaplin is of the silent movie era, we see his achievements carried through in the
films of today. With the arrival of the feature-length talkies, the need for more subtle acting
became apparent. To maintain the audience’s attention throughout a six-reel film, an actor
needed to move beyond constant slapstick. Chaplin had demanded this depth long before
anyone else. His rigor and concern for the processes of acting and directing made his films
great and led the way to a new, more sophisticated, cinema.

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Bibliography

ro.wikipedia.org
www.charliechaplin.com
www.IMDb.com
http://actori.acasa.ro
http://www.csse.monash.edu.au
http://www.thelittlefellow.org
“Famous people” Authors: Julian Holland and Miranda Smith

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