Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema

Overview

Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977), an immortal of the silver screen, was perhaps the greatest comic genius the world has known. To this day his beloved creation the Tramp remains the most universal representation of humanity in the history of film. Noted film historian and silent-comedy authority Jeffrey Vance has drawn on exhaustive research and interviews with those who knew Chaplin to produce this definitive illustrated account. Composed with full access to the Chaplin family archives, the book chronicles his entire...
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Overview

Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977), an immortal of the silver screen, was perhaps the greatest comic genius the world has known. To this day his beloved creation the Tramp remains the most universal representation of humanity in the history of film. Noted film historian and silent-comedy authority Jeffrey Vance has drawn on exhaustive research and interviews with those who knew Chaplin to produce this definitive illustrated account. Composed with full access to the Chaplin family archives, the book chronicles his entire complex life story and his creative process in 500 photographs, many of them rare and recently discovered, newly printed from the original negatives especially for this volume.Describing the appeal of the Tramp, Chaplin wrote: “This fellow is many-sided—a tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.” The description also befits the artist himself, who endured a deprived childhood in late-Victorian London, numerous romances and four marriages, and political persecution during the anticommunist witch hunts, while leaving a legacy of 75 remarkable years of creative accomplishment. This third Abrams book by Jeffrey Vance on silent-film comedians coincides with the major international video/DVD release of newly restored Chaplin films.

Author Bio: Jeffrey Vance, a film historian and authority on silent-film comedy who has been involved in the restoration of many silent films, is the author of Abrams' Buster Keaton Remembered and Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian. He collaborated on two previous books on Charlie Chaplin. Vance lives in Los Angeles.

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Editorial Reviews

David Freeman
a significant addition to our knowledge of Chaplin...a revealing album.The Los Angeles Times
Evan Williams
straightforward, fair, rich in anecdote and detail...the definitive pictorial record of the artist's life and work.
The Australian (Australia)
Howard Maxford
a deft amalgam of biography, film history, and criticism...All told, a ravishing tribute to one of the cinema's true pioneers.
Film Review (UK)
Roger Clarke
a lavishly appointed book, and an excellent photo-biography.
—The Independent (UK)
The New York Times
… this gorgeous, unwieldy slab of a book succeeds in being several books at once: filmography, biography, critical appraisal and family album … Vance, who has written books on Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, is generous in quoting the many fine writers who have interpreted Chaplin's art (chief among them Chaplin himself), but his judicious text is as fascinating as the photographs. — David Walton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810945326
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 9.37 (w) x 12.25 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
The Chaplin Image 8
The Early Years 18
Keystone: The Tramp Is Born 28
Essanay-Chaplin Brand 38
Mutual-Chaplin Specials 54
First National and First Marriage 82
United Artists 136
A Woman of Paris 140
The Gold Rush 154
Marriage to Lita Grey 168
The Circus 176
City Lights 192
Modern Times 210
Paulette Goddard 230
The Great Dictator 234
Joan Barry Scandal 252
Marriage to Oona O'Neill 258
Monsieur Verdoux 264
Limelight 280
Chaplin and Politics 296
Exile 304
A King in New York 316
A Countess from Hong Kong 330
Chaplin and Music 342
The Final Years 350
Chaplin Interviewed 360
Notes 368
Bibliography 375
Filmography 381
Index 391
Acknowledgments 398
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