What Did Charlie Chaplin Do for the Film Industry?

What did Charlie Chaplin do for the film industry? – It may not be finished by writing in one article.

There are far fewer people who have not heard of Charlie Chaplin’s name yet. The great actor who made the audience smile carrying with a hidden pain in his heart is named by Charlie Chaplin. This is not enough to make an introduction about him.

You are going to learn more about this great actor in this article. Keep reading till the end. Let’s start with an acquaintance.

Who is Charlie Chaplin?

Wearing a worn-out coat-tie, loose dull pants, a black derby hat on his head, a cane in his hand, an old pair of boots on his feet and a short but wide little toothbrush mustache on his lips – who doesn’t know this man! He is none other than our favorite comedy actor, Charlie Chaplin.

His immortal works of a century ago still feed us today and bring smiles to our faces. Charlie Chaplin’s name will definitely be at the top of the list of as the best and most popular film personalities of all time in the history of the world.

Early Life

Charlie Chaplin’s real name is Charles Spencer Chaplin. Although he also known worldwide as ‘Charlotte’, ‘Carlitos’, ‘The Little Trump’ etc. His date and place of birth could not be verified accurately. It mostly considered that he was born on April 16, 1889 in Walworth, London.

However, long after his death, British intelligence investigations found no evidence that Charlie Chaplin born in Britain. His birthplace, even France, may speculated to be! Again, according to information found in an old letter recovered in 2011, he landed on earth in a caravan in Staffordshire, England.

Charlie Chaplin’s childhood began with struggle as his father was absent and his mother struggled financially. Charlie Chaplin’s father was Charles Chaplin Sr. and his mother’s name was Hannah Chaplin. They both performed on stage and sang together. His parents started living separately before he was three years old. Although there was no divorce between them. Baby Chaplin lived with his mother.

Charlie Chaplin’s childhood spent in extreme poverty and misery. He had to fight with hunger and hardship. Many people do not have to go through the same experiences the entire life that he went through before he turned twelve.

Chaplin became helpless when his mother became physically and mentally ill and admitted to a psychiatric treatment center. As no one there in charge of her upbringing and care, he initially sent to an orphanage in London and later to the ‘Central London District School’ for helpless and destitute children. He was only seven years old then.

Hannah Chaplin, never fully recovered. She was mentally ill until his death. The chaplain then sent for a while to his father, who was then an alcoholic. The boy chaplain did not stay there for long. Charlie Chaplin himself tends to involve in the stage because of his parents’ involvement in the stage. Out of desperation and interest in performing on stage, at the age of eight, he joined The Eight Lancashire Lads, a group whose members were all young.

It was from here that his career began, and from the very beginning the boy Charlie Chaplin’s stage performances began to attract the attention of audiences and organizers. After that, Chaplin continued to gain fame by participating in various small stages and platforms. As a result, in later life he contracted with some of the leading filmmakers of the time to perform and make films. A new and busy chapter of his life begins. Then this sad boy named Charlie Chaplin no longer had to look back. At least in terms of money.

Career Journey

Long after entering his career, he went through many ups and downs and in 1906 he got such a golden opportunity. When he turned eighteen, the first significant turning point in his life occurred. He joined The Carno Company. In those days, this well-known British company used to make comedy dramas and exhibit them in different parts of the country and abroad. Joining this company gave Chaplin a great opportunity to prove himself to the world. He utilized the opportunity.

Impressed by his extraordinary stage performances, The Carno Company sent him to the United States in 1910 for a theatrical performance. He returned to England after spending almost two years in various parts of the United States. But a few months later he had to go to the United States again.

Contribution in Film Industry

After entering film industry, his destiny unfolds. Several U.S. filmmakers invited Chaplin to join them. After much deliberation, Chaplin was contracted to work at Keystone Studios. His weekly salary was set at 150 dollar. Making a Living was his first film under this studio. It released in 1914 starring Chaplin in the leading character.

Charlie loved his work. As his popularity grew day by day, the amount of his remuneration also increased. In the first three years, his salary increased almost tenfold! Charlie Chaplin’s famous costume ‘The Little Trump’ or ‘Wanderer’ was world famous. With the help of this costume, he has been able to portray himself as a funny character. This character wants to show royal personality but again at the same time everywhere he was humiliated step by step which makes him even more sarcastic.

At first, he acted under the direction of other directors, but later he took over the management to make independent film. As a result, he focused on a number of issues when signing his subsequent contracts with filmmakers. Such as:

i) Remuneration

He was aware of his popularity. So he hoped that the film industries would evaluate his work appropriately.

ii) Direction Responsibilities

He liked to work independently. So he would have contracted the responsibility of directing the film himself.

iii) Time

Charlie Chaplin was a ‘perfectionist’. The quality of work was important to him. That’s why he wanted also quality time not to rush.

Maintaining these conditions, he continued to sign contracts with reputed film-making companies one after another for various terms. He did not disappoint anyone. One masterpiece after another began to come out holding his hand. He was then one of the highest paid people in the world.

Remarkable Works

Information can be cited to get an idea of his contribution toward US film industry. Popularity of the chaplain and the quality of his work can’t be denied. He signed a contract with The Mutual Film Corporation in 1916, just three years after entering the US film industry. The condition is that Charlie Chaplin will make 12 films of his choice and in return he will get ‘six lac seventy thousand’ US dollars annually. He fulfilled the terms of the contract in eighteen months and gifted 12 masterpiece films to the mutual corporation.

He then signed a contract with First National Company. By their help Chaplin set up his own studio and began working more independently. Time and quality of his work increased day by day. This was his last job in the United States under a foreign company. He suddenly realized that he could build an organization of his own to work under a completely independent place. He had the ability and finally in 1919, Charlie Chaplin, along with a few other partners, formed the United Artists, a film-making company. His later films were made under this production company. Charlie Chaplin’s worldwide popularity peaked at the time.

Some of his notable films are:

Making a Living (1914)

The Cure (1918)

The Adventurer (1918)

A Dog’s Life (1917)

The Kid (1921)

The Gold Rush (1925)

The Circus (1926)

City Lights (1931)

Modern Times (1937)

The Great Dictator (1940)

Final Thoughts

A unique feature of Charlie Chaplin’s films is that, with a few exceptions, all of them are silent comedy films. Although he made mainly comedy films, later other dimensions like tragedy, romance etc. were added to his films. When he returned from America and started living in Europe again, he could not make many films due to lack of proper facilities.

After moving to Europe, he completed only two notable films – A King in New York and A Countess from Hong Kong. A special achievement of Charlie Chaplin is that he played an outstanding role in popularizing the art of acting from the theatrical stage to the television screen overnight. For this he was awarded a special honor lots of time.

It can be noticed that Charlie Chaplin’s personal experience, life philosophy and observation have come up in almost every films of him. After moving to Europe from the United States, Charlie Chaplin began living in Switzerland. There he spent last stage of his life. This unforgettable film personality died at Christmas, 1977.