Chaplin: A Life

Chaplin: A Life

4.5 2
by Stephen Weissman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


“Chaplin is arguably the single most important artist produced by the cinema,” wrote film critic Andrew Sarris. Born in London in 1889, Charlie Chaplin grew up in dire poverty. Severe alcoholism cut short his father’s flourishing career, and his beloved mother first lost her voice, then her mind, to syphilis. How did this poor, lonely child,

Overview


“Chaplin is arguably the single most important artist produced by the cinema,” wrote film critic Andrew Sarris. Born in London in 1889, Charlie Chaplin grew up in dire poverty. Severe alcoholism cut short his father’s flourishing career, and his beloved mother first lost her voice, then her mind, to syphilis. How did this poor, lonely child, committed to the Hanwell School for the Orphaned and Destitute, become such an extraordinary comedian, known and celebrated worldwide? Dr. Stephen M. Weissman brilliantly illuminates both the screen legend himself and the turbulent era that shaped him.

Editorial Reviews

Geraldine Chaplin

Always provocative and at times heart-warming . . . an important addition to an understanding of my father's genius and art.

Publishers Weekly

Weissman, professor at the Washington School of Psychiatry, examines Charlie Chaplin's life and work from a psychoanalytical perspective. Believing in "using a life to read a film and a film to read a life," Weissman focuses on Chaplin's childhood and early career, giving scant attention to his later adult life. Most telling is the relationship with his mother. Her madness, brought on by starvation and syphilis, Weissman believes, manifests itself in Chaplin's films with a recurring theme: the rescue of a downtrodden female. For example, City Lights is a "childhood rescue fantasy" of saving his parents, while Limelight is filled with references to his alcoholic father. Weissman uncovers the source for the "shabby gentility" of the Little Tramp, as well as the development of that extraordinary character. En route, he paints an engaging if narrowly focused portrait of how a cinema artist is created and how he practices his craft. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611450408
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,242,935
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Geraldine Chaplin
Always provocative and at times heart-warming . . . an important addition to an understanding of my father's genius and art.

Meet the Author

Stephen Weissman, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at George Washington University. He is also the author of His Brother’s Keeper: A Psychobiography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Chaplin: A Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poor charlie died on christmas