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Chaplin: His Life and Art
Charlie Chaplin (18891977) revolutionized the language of cinema and became one of the most loved performers of all time. But he was also a man plagued by loneliness and driven by the search for artistic perfection. His life was an extraordinarily dramatic one, and David Robinson explores the often tragic story of Chaplin’s alcoholic father; his mentally...
Charlie Chaplin (18891977) revolutionized the language of cinema and became one of the most loved performers of all time. But he was also a man plagued by loneliness and driven by the search for artistic perfection. His life was an extraordinarily dramatic one, and David Robinson explores the often tragic story of Chaplin’s alcoholic father; his mentally disturbed mother; his marriages to very young women; the “white slavery” case against him; and his persecution by anti-Communist forces during the McCarthy era, which ultimately forced Chaplin to leave America. Chaplin—the only biography written with full access to his archives—contains many provocative revelations about his private life, romances, business dealings, and the making of his magical films. The text is studded with unexpected gems, from the multilingual lyrics of his song in Modern Times (the first time his voice was heard on the screen) to the step-by-step choreography of his celebrated dance with the balloon globe of the world in The Great Dictator. The author tells of the many famous figures who sought Chaplin out, including Picasso, Gandhi, and Krushchev. The book vividly recreates the different worlds in which Chaplin moved: from Victorian to Edwardian London, through the glamorous birth and sad decline of Hollywood’s studio system, to the nightmare of McCarthyism, after which America once again came to adore the ”Little Tramp.”Illustrated with eighty pages of rare photographs from the family albums, Chaplin contains a detailed chronology, filmography, list of theater tours, a summary of the secret FBI file on him, and a Chaplin who’s who. This is the definitive and monumental biography of a mesmerizing artist.
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