Tag Archives: Charlie Chaplin

Stanley Donen, 1924–2019

In the clip above, from the 1998 Oscars, Martin Scorsese presents that year’s winner of the Honorary Academy Award, Stanley Donen. There’s a lovely montage featuring some of the best scenes from Donen’s movies and then the man himself steps out, receives his Oscar and goes on to sing and dance! One of the best … Continue reading Stanley Donen, 1924–2019

Highlights from 90 Years of Oscars

The first Academy Awards were handed out back in 1929. The “show” looked decidedly different then – it was in fact a dinner, the ceremony itself took 15 minutes and the awards had already been announced three weeks earlier. There were also far fewer categories. The first winner was Wings (1927), a film that is chiefly … Continue reading Highlights from 90 Years of Oscars

Modern Times: His Last Silent Treat

LAUGH… CRY AND THRILL TO HIS GENIUS…! In 1931, Charlie Chaplin released City Lights and started promoting the film. His journeys that year took him to many different places. He could see the impact of the Great Depression and he also met Mahatma Gandhi, two things that would influence his next movie. During their conversations, … Continue reading Modern Times: His Last Silent Treat

The Great Dictator: Triumph of the Tramp

CHAPLIN TALKS… WHILE YOU LAUGH! Leni Riefenstahl’s now-classic documentary on the 1934 Nazi Party congress in Nuremberg, Triumph of the Will, was screened at the New York Museum of Modern Art with filmmakers René Clair and Charles Chaplin in the audience. The French director was horrified, but Chaplin started laughing. Clair recognized the intimidating propaganda … Continue reading The Great Dictator: Triumph of the Tramp

The Chaotic Era When Hollywood Found Sound

I recently finished Scott Eyman’s book “The Speed of Sound”, a chronicle of how sound transformed Hollywood in the late 1920s. This may all seem very stodgy since talkies have been around now for close to 90 years… but Eyman makes us understand not only how big a change this was, but how fast it … Continue reading The Chaotic Era When Hollywood Found Sound

10 Hollywood Icons and Their Political Awakening

A few days ago, I finished Steven J. Ross’s book “Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics”, where the writer has profiled the political careers of ten liberal and conservative Hollywood figures. He chose his subjects well, because they differ a lot from each other. Some of them were movement politicians, meaning they … Continue reading 10 Hollywood Icons and Their Political Awakening

A Countess From Hong Kong

FUN AT SEA! HIS CABIN, HIS PJ’S, HER MOVE! En route to Hawaii, U.S. diplomat Ogden Mears (Marlon Brando) ends up with a stowaway in his cabin, a Russian countess (Sophia Loren). Charlie Chaplin’s final film is a hopeless concoction conceived by him in the 1930s, a desperately old-fashioned farce with too many dull door-slamming … Continue reading A Countess From Hong Kong