Charlie Chaplin is one of the greatest movie stars of all time, and perhaps its greatest comedian. His career runs from the silent era, when he built his reputation, well into the period in which movies had sound and color. His career lasted over seven decades. He was not just an actor. He directed and produced a number of films. He also composed the music for several. There is really no one he can be compared to in the modern film era.
In several of his early films, Chaplin created the role he would become famous for, the Little Tramp. With his signature tight jacket, bowler, baggy pants and cane, the Tramp was the hero of many of Chaplin’s movies. Audiences in the early 20th century loved the character’s plucky optimism and seeming ability to overcome the odds.
To determine Charlie Chaplin’s worst movie, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on ratings from IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, and Tomatometer and audience scores from Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, for all 11 of the feature films he directed over his 53-year cinematic career.
Chaplin in some respects was ahead of his time. He ventured into political commentary in “The Great Dictator,” which pokes fun at Hitler and other dictators of the 1940s. The movie ends with Chaplin’s searing monologue supporting democracy and imploring people to love one another, words that resonate even today. “Modern Times” is his satire of industrialization.
For all his success, Chaplin’s life was not without controversy, however. His marriages to and bitter divorces from women much younger than him brought rebukes from conservatives. In 1952, he was blocked from re-entering the U.S. by opponents of his politics, and he moved to Switzerland. Chaplin’s only color film, “A Countess from Hong Kong” (1967), was a box-office bust.
In 1972, however, Chaplin returned to the United States to receive an honorary Oscar. Three years later, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him. In 1977, Chaplin died, leaving behind a rich cinematic legacy and an incalculable influence on film comedy to come.
The worst Charlie Chaplin move was “A Countess from Hong Kong.” Here are the details:
- IMDb user rating: 6.0/10
- Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 42/100
- Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 43/100
The star power of Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren failed to boost the critical reception that greeted this romantic comedy on shipboard, the last film that Chaplin wrote, produced, directed and scored. (He appears only briefly, as an elderly ship’s steward, the last time he was to be seen on screen.) Critics and audiences alike found it bland and repetitious, though famed French director François Truffaut reportedly considered it among Chaplin’s best.
Click here to see all of Charlie Chaplin’s best and worst movies.
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