Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Charles Chaplin

Charles Chaplin
(8 titles, tied for 11th with 5 others – 8th overall in points at 37,417 – just after Spielberg and just ahead of Fellini)

These are all the films of Chaplin’s that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.

1. Modern Times (1936) #9
2. City Lights (1931) #28
3. Gold Rush, The (1925) #48
4. Great Dictator, The (1940) #131
5. Kid, The (1921) #226
6. Monsieur Verdoux (1947) #560
7. Limelight (1952) #684
8. Circus, The (1928) #894

I’m not a big fan of Chaplin’s, one viewing of each film has been enough for me. His reknown is probably more as an actor (and his character) than as a director. I liked the silent films of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd a lot more, those made me laugh. I tend to agree with this statement by my favorite director Stanley Kubrick: “No one could direct a film in a more pedestrian manner than Charles Chaplin.” He seems to depend more on sentimentality and pathos than cinematic art; in his world the story is everything, the art of film is secondary and often irrelevant (maybe he's right). For me, literature is for stories, films need to be visually interesting or unique, or I’d rather read the original author’s story.

His best film, Modern Times, got him sued by the producer of the French classic À Nous la Liberté (1931) (to the dismay of director Rene Clair, a Chaplin admirer) for stealing a lot, including entire scenes. The weight of Chaplin’s studio financially got the suit by the much smaller French company decided in their favor. Still, he’s managed to maintain popularity for decades, and has five films in the top 250, quite a feat.

See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

1 comment:

M said...

Your comments on the Modern Times case seem biased. Chaplin always maintained he never saw the French film, as did his whole studio staff, and it was not proven otherwise. They settled out of court after many years - hardly what you said.