Learn about Life in the 1920s

Charlie Chaplin - Master of Slapstick Comedy

Charlie Chaplin is still loved today for his slapstick comedy routines back in the day of silent movies. His comedy is timeless and appeals to the modern generation just as much as it did to film viewers back in the 1920's and 1930's silent movie era.

Charlie Chaplin, City Lights
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In 1899 when Charlie was only nine he went to school in Manchester, England for a couple of months while he was performing in the northern parts of England, so he started very young in show business. His years of experience allowed him to make the most of the opportunities presented once the motion picture industry came into being.

Originally from England, Charlie Chaplin had been touring the United States in a vaudeville act called "Karno's Pantomine Company" when his big break came. He was spotted by Adam Kessel who offered him $150 per week to work in Hollywood movies.

He first appeared in a film in late 1913 called "Kids Auto Races" where he appeared in his baggy pants and cane. These became his trademark and helped make him recognizable even before people learned his name.

Interestingly, Charlie Chaplin produced and starred in some of the last silent movies to be made. "City Lights" was released in 1931 and "Modern Times" in 1936. Although they were silent movies they had synchronized sound effects and music.


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