Charlie Chaplin's Legacy - Smile & Peace - Guiding Light to Love Others

Charlie Chaplin was not just a screen writer, composer, actor, comedian, his life, his laughter continue to serve even today as our guiding light to love humanity. He left a timeless legacy of bringing us smiles and a guiding light to love others. The movies, the music he gave to us and to the world is timeless. We must not get lost in the fun and frolic, we must remember especially as Americans that an important part of his life was spent in exile because he spoke openly about pre-judgments. His living contribution is his last chapter in his career - his goals for humanity for unity and non-discrimination.

In his last two movies he was openly satirical of American society and as a direct result of his opinions, in 1952 Charlie Chaplin was barred from returning to the US. Our US history must be remembered along with our present and past pre-judgments. What this entertainment genius gave to the world is also a great mirror of who we were as Americans at that time in history. We cannot grow unless we remember who we were - else we will slip back into that abyss.

Charlie Chaplin and Mahatma Gandhi

Charlie Chaplin and Mahatma Gandhi
Charlie Chaplin and Mahatma Gandhi

Chaplin Museum - Spring 2012

Charlie Chaplin Museum to open in Switzerland in Spring 2012. The website is in French so if you hit translate before you enter the website - I used Firefox and Google, you will bring up two pages - one in French and one in English.

As the website explains it:

"Soon, in the heart of the Swiss Riviera, a museum space surprising dedicated to Charlie Chaplin and his work.

More than 3,000 m technology² spaces of discoveries, experiences and emotions using the symbiosis of House, film, multimedia and virtual worlds.

Three hours of a sensitive, dramatic, funny and poignant journey ....offer a view of one of the most beautiful scenery of Lake and mountains of Switzerland.

An amazing journey in time.
A unique, sensitive and spectacular immersion experience!"

Charlie Chaplin Exhibit London Film Museum

You Must Be the Change You Wish to See In The World

Quote from Mohandas K. Gandhi


Chaplin's legacy: "The airplane and the radio have brought us closer to together...cries out for universal brotherhood...love of humanity..."

Please find below is my personal thoughts along with a collage of great video and music clips. Try each one and enjoy! And of course like Chaplin I hope this brightens your day, you learn and grow and you SMILE!

Charlie Chaplin Stamp

Charlie Chaplin Stamp
Charlie Chaplin Stamp

Charlie Chaplin & Mohandas K. Gandhi - Two Great Heroes

Charlie Chaplin was known the world over for making people smile. His career is denoted by laughter. And as a composer, he stuck with that theme writing one of the greatest songs of all times "Smile". Smile has been recorded by every great singer from Barbara Streisand to Sammy Davis to Nat King Cole. I was told of Charlie's talent but never really understood - until now. It gives me great pleasure to share with you the works of this amazing creative genius.

After watching the film, Chaplin (1992- 5 Star movie - truly a must see!) with Robert Downey Jr. and Geraldine Chaplin (Charlie's daughter plays his mother in the film). I have a new admiration for this artist. Incidentally his daughter Geraldine portrayed his mother in the movie and if you thought Geraldine looked familiar - remember back to Doctor Zhivago where she played Tonya Doctor Zhivago (1965)- yes, she was the stunningly beautiful brunette who starred as Tonya. At the very end of this hub I have included a tribute video clip of Geraldine Chaplin.

Upon closer review, I believe Charlie Chaplin's greatest legacy was not the laughter that he left with us, not the most famous song entitled "Smile" but with his humanitarian efforts expressed so eloquently in his final films.

Charlie Chaplin always personified the change he wished to see in the world. His lasting legacy extends beyond the great comedic silent movies he created, directed, produced and acted in. His lasting legacy is even grander than his stellar career. His lasting legacy is his his humanitarian efforts towards peace.

Charlie Chaplin Stamp

Charlie Chaplin Stamp
Charlie Chaplin Stamp

Gandhi's Imprisonment & Chaplin's Exile

Gandhi and Chaplin lived their lives honestly. And for their honesty, both they and their families suffered.

Gandhi spend over 6 years in jail over the span of his lifetime (1869-1948). Chaplin in 1952 was not allowed to disembark his ship (after a European excursion) and return to America. Mahatmas Gandhi (meaning Great Soul).

"To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest." Gandhi.

Gandhi, an expatriate lawyer, fought his entire life non-violently for civil rights and independence of India from foreign dominance. Gandhi actively sought to ease poverty, expand women's rights, build religious and ethnic amity. Gandhi was commonly referred to a Mahatma Gandhi (aka Great Soul). Gandhi was shot three times on the way to prayer meetings.

Chaplin spoke through his movies and his humor. His message was clear and echoed the non-discrimination work of Gandhi especially in his final films. Chaplin's own poverty in England and the discrimination he personally experienced in his youth helped him create "The Little Tramp" that so poignantly touched all of us even today.

Two great men, traveling different paths, different worlds, different cultures with similar beliefs - forever changing the landscape of mankind - for the better.


Charlie Chaplin Stamp

Charlie Chaplin Stamp
Charlie Chaplin Stamp

"Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty."

Gandhi aptly stated "Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty." so too Chaplin made the effort, took on the expense to create films that at the time were not "politically correct". He spoke up in support of others. His voice was heard across the world and subsequently he was barred from re-entry to America. While born in England, he lived and worked in America from 1910 until 1952. His final years through 1977 were spent in Vevey, Switzlerland, located on the north side of Lake Geneva.

The magic of the internet and Hub Pages allows us to bring together snapshots of the impact this great man left with us. His influence upon the great singers such as Nat King Cole, Barbara Streisand, and Michael Jackson. Even in the early 1900s before the advent of the internet, Chaplin was as loved overseas as he was here was here the United States.

With the establishment of the Chaplin museum and the digitizing of the great works of Chaplin, while the comedic genius is self evident, I hope we remember the full scope of his life, his childhood povery and his exile from a country that loved him and still does very dearly.

In the film " Chaplin" with Robert Downey Jr, it was highlighted that Chaplin wisely understood the impact he had on the world and stated his silent films served the other "9/10ths of the world" also!

This wise man not only knew comedy, he knew mankind and the global impact he would make upon history.


"Smile" Sung by Nat King Cole, Composer Chaplin

Greatest Comedians

Greatest Comedians Meg Ryan Will Smith Charlie Chaplin Jim Carrey Lucile Ball in I love Lucy Mike Myers as Austin Powers Adam Sandler Shirley Temple and Jenna Elfman.    Photo Courtesy of http://chaplinstamps.blogspot.com/
Greatest Comedians Meg Ryan Will Smith Charlie Chaplin Jim Carrey Lucile Ball in I love Lucy Mike Myers as Austin Powers Adam Sandler Shirley Temple and Jenna Elfman. Photo Courtesy of http://chaplinstamps.blogspot.com/

Smile - Though Your Heart is Aching

(A portion of the lyrics are provided below)

Smile even though it is breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow...

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You'll see the sun come shining through...

If you just light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile
If you smile through your fear and sorrow...

If you just smile that's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.

"A day without a laugh is a wasted day." - Charles Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin Stamp

Charlie Chaplin Stamp
Charlie Chaplin Stamp

World's Greatest Comedian/Entertainer

Charlie Chapllin is recognized as one of the world's greatest comedians accompanying other such greats as Meg Ryan, Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Lucile Ball, Mike Myers (Austin Powers), Adam Sandler, Shirley Temple and Jenna Elfman.

We need to fully recognize our history. We need to know, understand the ills of the past in order to create a future that is worthy of these great heroes that continue to touch us even today.

I pray the words of these two great men are remembered for the sake of our own humanity. We have advanced beyond the technology of the silent movies to "talkies" to cell phones and to the internet. Hopefully, we as mankind, have advanced in our understanding and kindness to one another also.

Charlie's Standards of Excellence

While Charlie made his fortune with laughter from a character derived of an English tramp or drunkard, in real life, he dressed impeccably constantly shown elegantly dressed in suits complete with pocket silk and sometimes even a formal top hat. The beauty of Charlie was beyond his debuneer looks, it was in the smiles we placed upon our faces.

A Summary of Chaplin's Life

Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 in England, traversed to the US and debuted on screen in 1914. He was best known for his silent movies and his creation of a "Tramp", often described as one of the best drunks ever acted, A comedian loved by audiences worldwide and admired and mimics by others. One of his great songs "Smile" has been song by no less than a dozen great American artists. Later in life, he was accused of being a socialist and not allowed to return the United States. He lived the remainder of his life in Switzerland, overlooking the Alps and Lake Geneva. He died at his manor home in Vevey Switzerland on December 25, 1977. In 1952 he was not allowed re-entry to the United States. Reportedly, his wife Ooma renounced her US citizenship.

Michael Jackson Music with Chaplin Photos

MicHaEL JAcKsOn ~or~ Charlie CHapliN mOOnwalk? (Billie Jean) + Buster Keaton & ...

This video showcases the merging of two great artists. The influence Chaplin had on Michael Jackson is very apparent.

This video gave me a much greater appreciation for both Michael Jackson and Charlie Chaplin.

Simply amazing! And fun to watch too! I promise you will enjoy and of course SMILE!

Rockin with Chaplin

High energy rock music set to dozens of great Chaplin movie clips.

Very entertaining!

The best of the best! SMILE!

"It is good to see ourselves as others see us."

History is important to learn because it teaches us without cuts and bruises. The denial of this American icon as an American citizen, the denial of citzenship in a "neutral" country for over 25 years, speaks volumes about our human evolution.

As Mohandas K. Gandhi stated "It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us. This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in good heart whatever they might have to say."

Charlie Chaplin's movies with political satire are an important reflection of historical America. While these movies have been deemed "significant" to be preserved. The real preservation is in the American citizens remembering what we once were, to keep our standards high and remember keenly his words, his life and his actions.

Chaplin's Career - Chapter 1 Silent Films

1925 The Gold Rush - Silent Film Chaplin is most famous for are his silent comedies, especially The Gold Rush, City Lights, and Modern Times. Gold Rush was one of the first. In 1942 Gold Rush was re-released with sound. One of the many famous scenes in Gold Rush was a house teetering on the edge of a cliff, before its occupants, Chaplin and the prospector, manage to scramble out.

1931 City Lights - Silent Film The character that Chaplin created, The Little Tramp is broke and homeless and runs into a drunken millionaire. The millionaire is best friend with the Tramp only when he is under the influence. The millionaire does lend the Tramp his Rolls Royce. The Tramp of course meets a girl but it is a poor blind girl who is selling flowers on the street. The Tramp falls in love with the flower girl and when the girl mistakes him for a millionaire he attempts to keeps up the charade.

1936 Modern Times - Silent Film with Political Statement In this film, Charlie makes a political statement about the hardship of economic poverty during the time of the industrial revolution. The Little Tramp is an assembly line worker who suffers a mental breakdown from the hardships of both mental and physical toil and trauma. Once unemployed, he suffers even more traumas including jail. In 198, the Library of Congress deemed this movie culturally significant and was selected for preservation.


Chaplin's Career - Chapter 2 Sticking with Silent Movies

1931 & 1936 Sticking with Silent Movies

Technology for "talkies" arrived around 1925 yet actor and director Charlie Chaplin continued with silent film. He went on to direct and act in two great films City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) - both silent movies even in the era of talkies!. Some critics contend these two movies are two of the very vest films ever made in the history cinema.

The Jazz Singer (1927) was the first feature film to use recorded sound and dialogue. And yet, Chaplin continued with silent film.


Charlie's Own Words

Chaplin's Career - Chapter 3 Movies with Political Statements

1941 The Silent Star Finally Speak Up in "The Dictator" His message in the movie "The Dictator" was one of his first speaking roles. Unfortunately, his message of peace was misinterpreted by the witch hunt of the McCarthy era in the United States. This misinterpretation of his plea for peace and unity resulted in Charlie Chaplin not being allowed to return to home in 1952. Imagine having lived in the United States since 1910, over 42 years and not being able to return to the "land of freedom".

On March 7, 1941, the movie "The Great Dictator", a satirical rending of Nazi Germany, a movie in which Charlie wrote, directed, and acted and even spoke with a satirical rending of Nazi Germany. His famous speak and plea for peace is provided in a video clip below.

Charlie lived his final years in Switzerland because both his homeland England and his place of decades of stardom, the United States rejected him. Ironically, Switzerland also would not accept him as a citizen. In the final years of his career, he made movies "The Dictator" and the "King of New York" as political statements for peace and unity. The silent star spoke up in "The Dictator" and exclaimed his desire for universal brotherhood.

1957 The King in New York - A Political Statement  Always the innovator, always speaking up honestly, always a defender of the little guy, in this film The King in New York, Chaplin remained true to his fashion, Chaplin's film was the first to expose through satire the paranoia and political intolerance that was denoted throughout the 1940s and 1050's.

Perhaps this film was a too bitter of a pill for the US to swallow, too many wounds and hitting too close to home. This film has been hailed both as a masterpiece and as a throw-a-way. Hard for me to lend an opinion, it is difficult to find here in the US. Would love to hear what others think who have seen this film. Knowing Chaplin's standard of excellence, I must admit I would be disappointed the film were deemed too cynical for the category of masterpiece.

I hope the Chaplin Project and Netflix together are able to offer this film to the US marketplace.

Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin

On March 4, 1975 Charlie Chaplin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and became Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, KBE (Knight Commander of the order of British Empire). According to Wikipedia, only the two highest awards bestow the title and privilege of "Sir".

Other notables distinguished by knighthood include John Lennon who was knighted a MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire, and Bill Gates and film director Steven Spielberg.

Brad Paisely When I Get Where I'm Going with Chaplin Photos

Stunning Song - Fitting Tribute to Chaplin

Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton - what a great duo and this song "When I Get Where I'm Going" is a beautiful tribute to those loved ones we have lost. I completely loose my composure on the words in the song where he details his poignant memories of "Grand Daddy".

Charlie Chaplin's gentleness and love for mankind is so reminiscent of my own Grandfather. While my Grandmother was always "politically correct" in both action and spirit, Grandfather's spirit was more broad minded.  He would have broadly smiled albeit silently loving America's freedoms and would have privately commended Chaplin for speaking up.

What a resounding career Chaplin gave us to echo throughout the decades of American history. What a tribute to the freedom that our forefather's fought so gallantly for us and our own grandchildren.  When we as a human race get to where we are going - we too will be able to speak up honestly.

Charlie Chaplin Photo

Charlie Chaplin Photo
Charlie Chaplin Photo

Charlie Chaplin Photo

Charlie Chaplin Photo
Charlie Chaplin Photo

Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton When I Get Where I'm Going

When I Get Where I'm Going

When I Get Where I'm Going

On the far side of the sky

Yeah, when I get where I’m going

There will be only happy tears

I will shed the sins and struggles that I have carried all these years

And I will leave my heart wide open

I will love and have no fear

Yeah, when I get where I’m going

Don’t cry for me down here

I am gonna walk with my Grand Daddy

And he will match me step for step

And I will tell him how I missed him every minute since he left

Then I'll hug his neck

Yeah, When I get where I'm going

There will only be happy tears

I will shed the sins and struggles that I have carried all these years I love and have no fear

When I get where I'm going Don't cry for me down here

So much pain and so much darkness This world we stumble through

All these question I cannot answer So much work to do

But when I get where I'm going

And I see my maker’s face

I'll stand forever in the light of his amazing grace

Yeah, when I get where I'm going

There will only be happy tears

I love and have no fear


Comments on Charlie Chaplin 9 comments

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing this Hub and the really great information. I had the great privilege of meeting Michael Chaplin and his wife Patricia and their children when they were living in France. What a remarkable family they are. Patricia's father is the wonderful artist Patrick Betaudier who also lives in France and who I also met and spent some time with. Great person.

Thanks again

Love and peace

Tony


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Surely one of the true geniuses of the 20th Century. And that song! One of the all time greats, as you say. I enjoyed your fine piece. It is informative, entertaining, and has great flow.


ocoonocoon profile image

ocoonocoon 6 years ago

Wow, great article! That's a thorough review of Chaplin's life. I think it's pretty amazing that an artist who was active in film so long ago can still affect people through his movies now. I've never laughed so hard as when I've seen some of his films. He definitely knew how to appeal to the "universal."


KellyEngaldo 6 years ago

Dear Ocoonocoon,

Thank you for stopping by! I was never a fan until I learned about the man and now I fully understand the artistic talent and the innovations he created.

I am thrilled to be able to report that Netflix now carries all of his movies!

You are absolutely correct - he appealed to the "universal" - he is truly a timeless classic. I cannot wait to hear more about his museum in Switzerland.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Chaplin was a wise and funny man -- and extremely talented. Thanks for this fine review of a great man. I didn't know he wrote "Smile." It's a wonderful song.


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

Yes, isn't that fascinating! Appropriate for Charlie to share his jokes to make us smile and to share a song about the smile on our face. Thank you for shopping by! I miss reading your Hubs - off to see your creations. You are one of my top favorites.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Our nation has done some silly things but to dismiss CC like they did is evidence of the sickness that permeates the leadership. Buster Keaton was incredible too. Great job! Great videos!


lilian1 profile image

lilian1 5 years ago from Hertfordshire England

I loved Charlie Chaplin !! a comic genius great hub !


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

Mickey Dee,

Charlie Chaplin is an artist to be remembered throughout history and the treatment the US gave him MUST be remembered and NEVER repeated.

I would have never explored CC without HP - it was HP that lead me to CC and forever enriched my life.

lilian1,

Oh, Charlie Chaplin was a comic genius - but also a great musician - I could not believe the breadth and depth of his work.

Imagine being isolated to a foreign country and writing songs - songs that endure today! God has a pathway for all of us and learning the history of the past is a great way for us to grow and learn.

Charlie left us with music, laughter and clear path of moral guidance for political tolerance - ironic in a democratic nation. Even more ironic that CC was British. Learning comes in many forms and many moments. I never cease to see one more nuance in life's complex circumstances.

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    Comments on Geraldine Chaplin 1 comment

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    Lisa Luv 7 years ago from Conneticut, USA

    I loved this informative whimsicle write up! Thank You!

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      Geraldine Chaplin in Doctor Zhivago 1942

      Tribute to Geraldine Chaplin - Played Tonya in Doctor Zhivago

      Here is a great video clip about the role that Geraldine Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin's daughter) played in the great movie Doctor Zhivago. Below are the words of the person who brought this video clip to YouTube:
      "marxfan8
      April 05, 2008
      I'm about to admit a very unpopular opinion: I've never cared for "Doctor Zhivago", mainly because I feel too sorry for Yuri (Omar Sharif)'s wife Tonya (the lovely Geraldine Chaplin) to care about ... I'm about to admit a very unpopular opinion: I've never cared for "Doctor Zhivago", mainly because I feel too sorry for Yuri (Omar Sharif)'s wife Tonya (the lovely Geraldine Chaplin) to care about his affair with Lara (Julie Christie). Call me unromantic, call me priggish, but that's just how I feel (plus, I find the movie as a whole boring).

      Still, I wanted to make a video dedicated to "Doctor Zhivago"'s most underrated and, in my opinion, sympathetic character.

      The song is "Missing" by Evanescence"

      Charlie Chaplin

      © 2009 Kelly Kline Burnett

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