Movie Review Flashback- Chaplin

01 Chaplin film

Chaplin, directed by Richard Attenborough, tells the story of the silent era actor Charlie Chaplin in a flashback perspective that follows his life as a boy to an old man. 

The film follows Charlie Chaplin from when he performed on stage in England to when he traveled to the United States of America. He becomes an overnight success as a silent era slapstick comic. 

With the help of Douglas Fairbanks, he founds United Artists. Soon, however, after producing a film poking fun at America’s immigration policy, he draws the ire of J. Edgar Hoover who becomes a thorn in Chaplin’s side the rest of his life. 

Despite that, and with numerous failures at love, Chaplin manages to rise above all and make people laugh. 

This 1992 movie takes so many liberties with Chaplin’s life and history in general. For instance, Joe McCarthy was a Senator, but the film tried to tie him to the House on Un-American Activities. House and Senate, two different entities. That being said, Robert Downey Jr. was amazing as Chaplin. He definitely did an amazing job at portraying a conflicted actor. At the time, I’m sure Downey was going through some of that himself. 

FAVORITE QUOTE: I do not have that honor. 

PARENTAL CONCERN: Strong language, some sexual content


  • Robert Downey Jr., as Charlie Chaplin
  • Marisa Tomei as Mabel Normand
  • Geraldine Chaplin as Hannah Chaplin, Charlie’s mother
  • Paul Rhys as Sydney Chaplin, Charlie’s half-brother
  • John Thaw as Fred Karno, British music-hall impresario
  • Moira Kelly as Hetty Kelly, Charlie’s first love & Oona O’Neill, Charlie’s final wife
  • Anthony Hopkins as George Hayden, Charlie’s biography editor
  • Dan Aykroyd as Mack Sennett, an early Hollywood film producer
  • Penelope Ann Miller as Edna Purviance, a young Hollywood actress
  • Kevin Kline as Douglas Fairbanks, a leading man in early Hollywood movies
  • Matthew Cottle as Stan Laurel, a Hollywood comedian
  • Maria Pitillo as Mary Pickford, a leading lady in early Hollywood movies
  • Milla Jovovich as Mildred Harris, a young Hollywood actress and Charlie’s first wife
  • Kevin Dunn as J. Edgar Hoover, head of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Deborah Moore as Lita Grey, a young Hollywood actress and Charlie’s second wife
  • Diane Lane as Paulette Goddard, a young Hollywood actress and Charlie’s third wife
  • Nancy Travis as Joan Barry, a young Hollywood actress
  • James Woods as Joseph Scott, a California attorney
  • David Duchovny as Roland Totheroh, Chaplin’s long time cameraman

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