Thursday, January 24, 2008

Charlie and Me

Some of my earliest and happiest childhood memories were of me and my grandfather going to the movies. Sometimes I'd drag my grandfather to see a movie of my choice, other times he'd find something and take me to it. Most famously i dragged my Grandpa and my Great Grandma, who was 90 at the time, to see THE DARK CRYSTAL. It was the last movie my great grandma ever saw, and I've always felt that was a victory for me.

Regardless my grandpa was a smart enough man to know that some things are timeless. He took me to see Bond Movies, and all sorts of war movies (Is BREAKER MORANT really appropriate for a 6 year old?) . However, the most lasting impressions for me were made by Charlie Chaplin, and Laurel & Hardy movies. To this day, my mother insists i walk like a duck because of my continuous impersonations of Charlie Chaplin. Now, as an adult with his own bowler and cane, and with all the Chaplin DVDs I could get a hold of, I'm happy to say that I've found the full length versions of some of Chaplin's most brilliant films, and some hilarious shorts online.

Explore for yourself if you like, but allow me some recommendations:


Before the famous character of the little tramp ever came to be, Charlie was making audiences roar with his hilarious stage act as a drunk. It was here where he was discovered, and in THE CURE we see precisely why Charlie was, according to Mack Sennet "The funniest stage drunk I'd ever seen"

Part 1

Part 2

The Gold Rush
This is the rerelease from 1942 where unfortunately Chaplin's own narration takes away from the original. Even then, it is a brilliant piece to watch. Look for the forks in the potatoes scene, made famous again by Johnnt Depp in BENNY AND JOON

The Kid
Beautiful, Hilarious, sentimental, and so very very of its time. It's nearly a textbook for depression era politics and issues.

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