The Charlie Chaplin Festival

My mom died yesterday, on Memorial Day, and she was born in 1922. I don't think she was a big moviegoer, but she did mention seeing some Chaplin as a girl.

While not the best quality, these 4 shorts are vintage Tramp.

In recent decades, it has become chic to put Buster Keaton and even Harold Lloyd ahead of Chaplin in the Silent Comedy Trinity of greats. And, I love all three, having seen them all on the old Joe Franklin tv show in NYC, in the 1970s- along with the Keystone Kops, Fatty Arbuckle, Laurel and Hardy, etc. But, in truth, most of this is a backlash against Chaplin's supposed sentimentalism. Yes, The Great Dictator ends in a sappy fashion (however well wrought the final speech is).

The shorts show an almost vicious Tramp, and, while Lloyd was the more thrill seeking of the trio, and Keaton the more cerebral, they all played off of Chaplin's virtuoso schticks and balletic moves.

Chaplin was king, for a reason- he was simply better at more comedic things than anyone. As proof, of the Holy Trinity, only his career did not tank in the sound era. He was versatile, as well as funny.

Note the great gaslight scene in, I believe, Easy Street! Sentiment my ass.

Long live King Charlie!