It was in 1931 that a film called “Chaplin” swept the world. The movie was based on a book called “The Psychologist”, by Rev. Dr. Quenser Newton. In this book, Newton claimed that certain behavioral traits could be inherited from our family and environment and then draw upon those traits in everyday life.
The name of the young psychiatrist who wrote the novel has come to be recognized as one of the greatest comedy writers of all time. He is, without question, a hilarious writer. His talent is well demonstrated in this charming little book. One reviewer wrote that it was like a “parable between a fairy tale and a scientific report”. This famous reviewer is not the only one to compare the book with Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.
As is usual with Verne, “Chaplins” is set in modern-day New York City. At the beginning, Inspector Harry S. Watson (Peter Sellers) is assigned to the case of a series of apparently unrelated murders. The first of these involves a dog. Naturally, this arouses the suspicion of the young man’s boss, Inspector W.H. Quincey Morris (Eddie Murphy).
Quincey and Harry investigate the crime and become the prime suspect. Quincey is eventually relieved of the murder, but Morris remains angry at the police and the press. The inspector then recruits a number of unlikely suspects. Among these are Harry’s childhood best friend, Joe Quincey, an Irish waiter whom he rescues from the street after his arrest; the blind woman from Harry’s past, Emmett Stamplee; Dr. Alice Parkinson, a practitioner of stage hypnotism; and the film director, John Gieliga (Samuel Jackson). All these men come to do the dirty work for Quincey in order to clear his name of the charges against him. The end result is a film that ranks as one of the greatest comedy films ever made…
In terms of plot, “Chaplins” takes the story in a typical fashion. It centers on a series of misunderstandings that bring about an unfortunate situation. People are either conveniently dead or simply out for revenge. Except in the final scene, where some real meaning is revealed, the movie stays true to its theme of the tragic life lived under the bars of a cruel regime. The movie is a riot of color and movement. Every scene is a showcase of the colorful imagination of its various characters.
It would be an exaggeration to say that “Chaplins” is a flippant show. On the contrary, it is a film of tremendous emotional power. The performances by the actors are backed by heartfelt performances by the supporting cast. The late George Chaplin (the most widely known of all American comedians) makes his screen debut in this film. The late actor’s calm and unhurried manner were probably the reason for his success as a comic actor.
Chaplin’s life is closely entwined with that of Charlie Chaplin. Both were born in New York City, the son of Irish immigrants. They shared a desire for comedy and soon they became world-renowned entertainers. During the late thirties, Chaplin decided to take his performance to the theatre, but he failed in his attempt to join the ranks of the established comedians.
He then made his feature film debut in “The Great Dictator”. It was a hit among both the critics and the audience. A year later, “The Great Barrier Reef” followed suit and made Chaplin famous. It was also on this same year that he met his most serious competitor, Buster Douglas.
Their association with each other came to an end at the end of World War II. After the war, however, their collaboration was revived. They worked together on “The Nutcracker” as well as “orman”. Eventually, however, the Hollywood studios became tired of Chaplin’s failures and he was asked to star in “The Kid” for which he was again nominated. The movie proved to be his last major release before his death.
There have been many rumors regarding the exact circumstances that led to the death of Chaplin. Some say that he was being poisoned by his own servant Marley. Others say that Chaplin had an unfortunate falling out with the British actor, Buster Douglas. While some suggest that both of them had a falling out over the treatment of Charles Chaplin during World War II, others say that it was merely a personal dispute. Regardless, of what exactly happened, the two stars were no longer working together and Chaplin had to move to England and live in isolation for the rest of his life.
When he passed away in 1970, however, he left an enormous legacy. His classic work continues to be shown all over the world and he has also inspired many people like King Lear and Cleopatra to become actors. As a film star, he was able to influence people who went on to become great artists.