Scott Eyman on his new book, 'Charlie Chaplin Vs. America'
I watched a couple of the Chaplin movies in my quest to watch all of the AFI 100 movies, and during Gold Rush, I said out loud, "People thought this was funny?" It was rough, AND I knew I had 2 more Chaplin movies to go.
City Lights and Modern Times are masterpieces, credit where due.
Scott Eyman's rendition of events is, uh, "controversial". I think you can get a much better understanding of Chaplin by reading Joyce Milton's biography of Chaplin, "Tramp". Anyone who watches "The Great Dictator" will see that the film is both anti-Nazi and anti-war. That is the whole point of Chaplin's eight minute speech that ends the film. "Workers, throw down your weapons!" Though not a communist, Chaplin was in fact following the Communist Party line AGAINST U.S. support for Great Britain. Chaplin didn't become a supporter of U.S. involvement until after Pearl Harbor. As for support for the "Second Front", among the strongest advocates of an invasion of Europe by 1943 at the latest was General Marshall, who was actively planning a 1943 D-Day until FDR told him to wait a year.
Sorry, this book was a whitewash of Chaplin, who was jumping into bed with 15 and 16 year olds whenever he could. He also said, and I quote, "I had a most violent crush on a girl only ten or twelve. I have always been in love with young girls, not in an amorous way. … It was funny: not in a sex way—I just loved to caress and fondle her—not passionately—just to have her in my arms.”
Thanks for a wonderful interview. I would love to hear more of the unknown history of movies and the people behind them.
Upon reflection, I do not think I have ever actually seen one of Chaplin's movies in its entirety. Now I am kind of curious. I did not realize how large a role Chaplin played in the early film indistry. TY.
Thank you, Sonny, for introducing me to Mr. Eyman's works. Not only is his Chaplin title heading my way, his bio of John Wayne is also. Very informative and entertaining.
"Of course, if he made better movies..." Did I misinterpret something? Did your guest say that about Woody Allen?! Because I'm hard pressed to understand what the hell he's talking about.
As a p.s. - Charlie Chaplin’s estate in Switzerland is now a fairly well attended museum/tourist attraction. Also I can definitely understand the anti Woody Allen sentiment. Didn’t he make the same movie over and over and over? First few times very funny, then just no. And I prefer men who don’t marry their freaking step-daughters.
Do you think that "Saturday Night Live" bridges, and that isn't quite the right word, the stand up of Mort Sahl and the visuals of Charlie Chapin'a idea of comedy? Scott Eyman may have answered the question.