He made the world laugh all by himself. | DXDF,Grand Orient Wax Figure

June 04, 2024

Childhood is supposed to be happy.

But he spent it trying to survive.

He spent it selling newspapers, flowers, and working as a barber.

But later he became

The king of comedy is still unsurpassed

He is Charlie Chaplin

"Sophisticated" tramp

The black humour of the king of comedy

A big bowler hat, a pair of big-headed shoes, a bit of moustache, a pair of fat suit trousers, a waving cane ...... This is the image of the gentleman tramp left by comedy uncle Chaplin on the silver screen.

With his unique comedic style and deep social insight, he not only amused the world, but also became a symbol of film art and culture. His works have transcended the limits of time and space and have become timeless classics.

In his films, there is a clear-cut worldview of love and hate, sympathy for the unfortunate fate of the underclass characters, the sadness of fate, the indomitable perseverance in the undercurrent, and a firm hopefulness for life and the future, and there is always a lot of touching power to attract the audience. Laughing with tears, mourning but not hurt, resistance to pressure and fall, when people add courage and hope.

In The Gold Rush, the tramp chews on his shoelaces like spaghetti, carefully identifies the studs like a fishbone, and nibbles the heels of his leather shoes with the same aplomb as he would a fine fish.

The scene of a man with elegant manners eating a leather shoe in the same way as he eats a fine Western meal is both humorous and moving. Keep decent and dignified even when you are poor and hungry, and always find a way to keep yourself calm and relaxed in poor and vicious circumstances, without giving in or losing your mind.

In the film Modern Times, Chaplin satirised the social problem of unlimited labour exploitation by capitalists in a humorous way. Workers on the assembly line in a big factory have no personality, their every move is watched by the capitalists, and they are remotely warned even when they take a short break.

The capitalists even used automatic feeding machines for the workers during lunch time in order to compress their time so that they could continue working. The male protagonist also suffers a mental disorder as a result of the capitalist's over-exploitation and is admitted to a mental hospital.

In those days of pantomime, Chaplin's films were hilarious and comical, but more importantly, he conveyed the emotions and experiences of the underclass through comedy. Whether it was poverty, love, unemployment or social injustice, Chaplin was able to present these themes to the audience through comedy.

He once said, The intrinsic root of humour is not pleasure, but sorrow. This statement is equally true of him. The funny and entertaining man of the screen has tasted all the pains of life along the way.

"Undertones" of poverty from childhood

Charlie Chaplin was born on 16 April 1889 on East Walworth Street in the Southwark area of London, England, when his mother, who lived off of running shows and selling songs, had no time to get to the hospital and gave birth directly on the street.

Chaplin's parents, both musicians but with meagre incomes, divorced when he was very young and he and his brother were raised by his mother alone. But then his father died of alcoholism and they were left without his support.

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The reality of poverty made Chaplin start to ‘earn a living’ since he was a child, selling newspapers, flowers, and working as a hairdresser. But even so, Chaplin could not change the family's poverty.

Faced with an unsupportable life, Chaplin's mother developed mental problems and was sent to a mental hospital, while Chaplin and his brother were sent to an orphanage.

His impoverished childhood was tough, but it also provided him with rich material for his later performances and creations. And that's why, later, his work resonated with the underclass.

Gold will always shine

Introduced to acting when he was still a child, Chaplin joined a theatre company called Lancashire shortly after his father's death, and made his debut as a cat in a dance drama, a role that gave him his first opportunity to elicit laughs through acting.

In 1903, at the age of 14, Charlie decided to return to the stage, encouraged by his brother. He succeeded in joining a travelling theatre company and over the next few years Charlie Chaplin performed in a number of theatre companies, gradually building a reputation for himself on the stage in London's West End.

In 1908, at the age of 19, Chaplin became a leading comedian in the Carnot Theatre Company and began to perform comedy through parody.In 1912, Chaplin was offered a tour of the United States, and this trip saw his fame soar.In the earliest days, he was paid only $150 per week for his performances, but by 1915, his salary had risen to $1,250 per week. And in 1916 it jumped to $10,000 a week, plus additional bonuses.

Such fame and income made the United States feel threatened, and on Chaplin's return to London to perform, the U.S. Attorney General announced that Chaplin's entry visa had been cancelled.

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Since 1919, Chaplin's independent productions such as Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, etc., Chaplin's superb performing arts, deep sympathy for the lower class labourers, bitter satire on the ills of capitalist society, and relentless flogging of Hitler.

But it was that humorous performance that left behind countless timeless classics, and it was such a hilarious image that created the comedy legend of the black-and-white silent film era. And, of course, Chaplin got the highest acting honours.

In 1929, Chaplin received a special award at the first Academy Awards for his performance in The Circus.

In 1972, the 44th Academy Awards Committee honoured Chaplin with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his enormous contribution to the 20th century film industry.

In 1975, Chaplin was knighted by the Queen of England and became known as Sir Charles, an official recognition of his artistic achievements.

In 1978, Chaplin said goodbye to the world and passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Chaplin was the perfect blend of comedy and tragedy

He cured the poor people of his time

‘of the poor people of his time.

This seemingly weak tramp

But he could fight back against life

And make a poor man's life a lot of fun.

It's a very tangible, real energy for the audience.

For the audience, it's a very tangible, real energy.

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