Sight and Sound - 01/01/1993
"...Downey excels in reconstructions..."
USA Today - 12/24/1992
"...A dynamic central performance..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/08/1993
"...[Downey] offers a graceful re-creation of the comic's slapstick balleticism..."
New York Times - 09/12/2008
"[E]ven before he hit 30, Mr. Downey had the ability to burrow more deeply into a character than most actors can manage after a lifetime in the business."
The life and times of Charlie Chaplin, the legendary film maker. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Actor--Robert Downey Jr.
A dramatized biography of the highs and lows in the life of one of the foremost comic geniuses the screen has ever known. Presented as the reminiscences of an elderly Chaplin, the narrative opens with the comic's impoverished East London childhood, and progresses through his vaudeville and Hollywood successes to his virtual banishment from the United States, and eventually his welcome back to accept a special Academy Award -- 20 years too late.
Family Interaction |
Co-produced by Lambeth Productions; color by Technicolor.
Robert Downey Jr. won the London Film Critics Circle Award.
Geraldine Chaplin appears in the film playing her own grandmother.
Bryan Forbes, a close personal friend of Attenborough's throughout their careers, was given screen credit as one of the scriptwriters, even though his version was not actually used.
Chaplin left the United States after he was found guilty in a paternity suit, despite the fact that the blood test that the defense presented as evidence proved that Chaplin could not be the father. While he was away, the United States government revoked his visa. It is speculated that his exile was imposed less for the paternity case than for two other reasons; first, because Chaplin was notorious for his relations with very young women, and second, because it was believed that Chaplin was active in the American Communist Party. Ironically, the very same community that turned its back on him in his time of trouble honored him as their own twenty years later with an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The film cost an estimated $30 million and was shot in three different countries: The USA, UK, and Switzerland.
Premiered on December 16, 1992 at the Cinema and Film Benevolent Fund's 47th Royal Film Performance. It opened in the US on Christmas Day, 1992.
The film contains footage from several of Chaplin's original film classics including: "The Kid" (1921), "The Gold Rush" (1925), "The Circus" (1928), "City Lights" (1931), "Modern Times" (1936), and "The Great Dictator" (1940). The vintage film footage was donated by the following archives: The British Film Institute, the John E. Allen Collections, the Shields Archive, British Movietone News, UCLA Film and Television Archive, Nancy DeAntonio, and Variety.
Graphic design by Frameline.
The Working Title for the film was "Charlie."
Rated BBFC 12 by the British Board of Film Classification.