Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Director/Writer/Music: Charles Chaplin
Cinematography: Karl Struss
I do feel ashamed to acknowledge that this is the very first Chaplin’s film I have ever seen (not including numerous shorts I watched during my childhood). It is also the first Buster Keaton film for me (including his numerous shorts). I know, it is a crime, I am so desperate to find great comedies from the golden age. However, Keaton is Charles’ sidekick in the film, plus his screen time is rather limited, but still, my heart thumped hard when the two legends were sharing scenes together.
Actually the film is not a pure comedy since the plot is about an old and has-been comedian to stand up for his last performance, the bitterness just pops out and a sincere love story between an old man and a young blooming dancer is perfectly manipulated by two leads Charles and Claire Bloom, the latter renders a performance of her lifetime, she should have been much more famous.
The musical and the choreography part of the film is such a pleasure to watch and feel its power could surely establish itself as a pivotal film of Charles’ career. The magnificent score is also worth mentioning, won an Oscar in 1973 despite of a 20 years delay of theatrical release in USA.
I love the film so much because of its pathos conquers me, one cannot distinguish Calvero from Chaplin himself as I know the stage is the most ruthless place for a performer (especially when you are old and not popular anymore), meanwhile a true performer cannot bare the idea of leaving it, which is so-called the spirit and the dignity, I might not be able to fully understand it but I do respect it.