Whenever you think of comedy, Charlie Chaplin is probably the first artist that comes to your mind. Considered one of the greatest comic artists of all time, Chaplin redefined cinema with his motion pictures in the early 1900s. So as a tribute on his 128th birth anniversary, here are the five best films of the legendary actor-filmmaker who always knew how to put a smile on our face.
One of the earliest works of Chaplin, it is also the most hard-hitting. Chaplin plays a street tramp in the movie, who ends up taking care of an infant, whom he names John. However, after a few years, when child services get to know that he is raising a child, they take John to an orphanage. If there is anyone who knows how to create comedy from a tragedy, it’s Chaplin.
This one documented a time when everyone was trying to make it rich. Chaplin was back as the tramp once again in the harsh winter of Klondike. He is shown as living in a tiny shack, which eventually begins to collapse during a severe storm. Chaplin always made sure to make movies as funny as possible with an underlying thoughtful message, as was the case with this one. Chaplin had declared several times that ‘The Gold Rush’ was the one movie for which he wanted to be most remembered.
This one has a few interesting twists as it shows our hero as a destitute who falls in love with a blind flower girl. He wishes to get her sight restored and also happens to befriend a millionaire at the same time. However, the problem is that the millionaire is chummy with him only when he’s drunk. So Chaplin goes about his hilarious plan of getting what he wants. ‘City Lights’ shows Chaplin’s romantic side and was his one of his most famous works.
‘Modern Times’ is Chaplin’s take on the Great Depression of the 30s. Chaplin plays a factory worker who is fired, jailed and released as a hero due to certain unforeseen circumstances. This one has traces of political satire in it as it implies that it was machines that put people out of work and brought about the Depression in the first place.
The most political of all his films, ‘The Great Dictator’ was a direct attack on Adolf Hitler and his Nazi ideology. Chaplin played the dual role, one of a fascist dictator and the other of a humble barber. Due to circumstances, the barber ends up in the shoes of the dictator and is forced to make a speech. The said speech is considered to be one of the greatest monologues of all time.