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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 04:44 AM

Charlie Chaplin was run out of America and left isolated for his politics.

A lot of people bringing him, and his movie, The Great Dictator, up with the whole The Interview mess - but it's important to not forget the real history behind Chaplin.

Born in Britain, Chaplin had received an American visa and spent most of his film making years over here - even founding United Artists, which was the first-ever major movie production company to be controlled by filmmakers and not businessmen. However, during the Red Scare of the 1950s, defined by Joseph McCarthy, Chaplin was pegged as a Communist sympathizer due to his left-leaning politics. While in England for the premiere of his movie, Limelight, Chaplin was informed his visa for re-entry into the United States would be denied.

For twenty-years, he spent his life in exile of sorts from the United States. His popularity waned considerably here. Once one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of film, Chaplin was now seen as a pariah by many of the same Americans who had supported him a decade or so prior.

Chaplin never did see the same success he witnessed at the height of his career.

In 1972, twenty-years after his banning from the United States, we somewhat righted a wrong - the Academy Awards gave him an Honorary Oscar.

During his introduction, Chaplin received a twelve-minute standing ovation - the longest in Academy history.

Here is part of it:

Mr. Chaplin denied ever being a communist. He did, however, call himself a peacemonger.

While The Interview's banning is appalling and a gross overreaction, it's important to put it into true context.

The Interview is no The Great Dictator. And Seth Rogen and James Franco are no Charlie Chaplin.

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Reply Charlie Chaplin was run out of America and left isolated for his politics. (Original post)
Drunken Irishman Dec 2014 OP
MADem Dec 2014 #1
jakeXT Dec 2014 #2
MADem Dec 2014 #3
Bluenorthwest Dec 2014 #4

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 05:14 AM

1. Charlie Chaplin had other issues, as well. His politics were problematic, yes, but he

also had a prediction for under-aged and precocious young girls. He managed to avoid problems by marrying the young ladies in question. One later wrote a "tell all" book that made it pretty clear he engaged in behavior that would nowadays be called predatory.

He got involved in an ugly paternity suit in the early years of WW2 (he was not the father of the child, he had been intimate with the mother of the child, who had mental issues, and even though a blood test excluded him, he was found responsible nonetheless and ended up with a support judgment against him). The case lasted for a long time and brought with it some very bad publicity.

So, it wasn't "just" his politics, it was his personal life that attracted negative notice, as well.

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:40 AM

2. The underage thing was always a problem for Americans in Britain.. see Jerry Lee Lewis

Meeting the star at the airport, Tanfield noticed that there was a very young girl in The Killerís party. Tanfield asked whom she might be.

"Iím Myra," answered the girl. "Jerryís wife."

Tanfield was astonished. "And how old is Myra?" he asked Jerry Lee.

"Fifteen," the singer replied, obviously thinking that sounded suitably mature.

It wasnít. Despite Lewisís assertions that Myra was "a grown woman", as far as Britain was concerned, she was below the age of consent.

The headlines the next day were not good for the starís first day in Britain.

But they were about to get much worse when it was quickly discovered that Lewis, 22 at the time of the wedding, had been lying.

Myra wasnít 15. She was 13, and, therefore, absolutely not a "grown woman"

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1021569/Great-Balls-Scandal-How-Jerry-Lee-Lewis-marriage-13-year-old-wrecked-career.html

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Response to jakeXT (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 10:05 AM

3. Yes--it's one of those things that crosses the pond - it's a character issue.

It was not by any means the controlling reason that sent Chaplin to Europe, but it played a not-insignificant role.

He was a genius, though. Complex and flawed, certainly, but a genius.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:55 AM

4. "In the end, everything's a gag." -Charlie Chaplin


I am fairly certain that Chaplin would not see any merit in the notion that some critic's view of a piece of work was relevant to any censorship of that piece of work. The Great Dictator is no Hamlet, Chaplin was no Shakespeare. Shakespeare was no Sophocles.....is this how it works, there is some scoring method and only those counted as great genius are accorded the right to communicate?

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