Photo Essays
1. Exile’s Return
2. Chaplin’s Parents
3. Hannah Chaplin’s Femmes Fatales
4. Playing Dress-Up  In The Land of Make Believe
5. Teenage Girls and Fear of Aging
6. Chaplin’s Three Teenage Wives
7. Mildred Harris
8. Lita Grey
9. Oona O’Neill
10. Chaplin’s Father
11. A Royal Lion
12. Vesta Tilley as Bertie
13. Ella Shields as Bertie
14. Making A Living
15. The Lion Comique’s Son: Dressed Like A Bum
16. Monsieur Verdoux as a Lion Comique
17. Calvero as a Lion Comique
18. The Lion Comique’s Son in the Limelight
19. Charlie as a Child
20. The Kid’s Lucky Break
21. Syd Chaplin
22. A Family Album of Theatrical Drunks
23. Chaplin’s Family Romance
24. Edna Purviance
25. Purviance’s Influence on Chaplin’s Character
26. Essanay
27. Chaplinitis
28. Chaplin’s Predecessors
29. Eye Contact: Audience-Performer Intimacy
30. Chaplin the Auteur
31. Chaplin’s Two Autobiographies
32. Going It Alone
33. The Circus
34. Autobiographical Starvation Scenes From The Gold Rush
35. Autobiographical Madness Scenes in Modern Times
36. Two British Music Hall Traditions and Topical Comedy
37. The Great Dictator
38. Fatal Attraction: Joan Barry
39. Monsieur Verdoux: Guillotine or Hatchet Job?
40. Limelight
Chaplin: A Life In Film
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 The Circus

©Roy Export

Studio still of  Charlie dressed to the nines  as  a cynical   ladykiller in Monsieur Verdoux. This unsentimental  black comedy was nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay in 1948.  Previously, in    the sentimental comedies  Chaplin made from 1914-1935 as the shabbily-attired   Little Tramp, wearing cast-off garments that hinted either at former or future pretensions of  lionly elegance, Chaplin’s gallant screen character had selflessly rescued  wistful young women in distress  from poverty, homelessness, unemployment, prostitution, incurable physical illness, loneliness, stolen babies and other  assorted  jams and pickles. All of  those rescue plots   involved unconscious autobiographical reenactments of  his    mother’s real life   trials and tribulations (see Chaplin A Life, Chapters I-VI  for details).

As a calculating serial ladykiller, Henri Verdoux, on the other hand,  seduces and  murders unsuspecting women for financial gain. At this point in his later life, 59-year-old Chaplin had finally begun    to revise   his former  childhood  over-idealization of his  ex-actress  mother at the expense of his lion comique father—a previously unresolved conflict which he would continue to explore   more fully in his next film, Limelight (1952).
© 2008 All Essay Rights Reserved.

All images from Chaplin films made from 1918 onwards, Copyright © Roy
Export Company Establishment._Charles Chaplin and the Little Tramp are trademarks and/or
service marks of Bubbles Inc. S.A. and/or Roy Export Company
Establishment, used with permission.

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