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The Real Charlie Chaplin

A stirring new take on the life and work of one of the most elusive cinema icons, revealing a never-previously-broadcast interview.

Documentary 2021 114 mins Not rated

Director: Peter Middleton



Peter Middleton and James Spinney, directors of the critically acclaimed Notes on Blindness, have crafted an innovative and illuminating documentary about Charles Chaplin, offering new perspectives on his tumultuous life and remarkable career. Deftly blending rich archive material, from photographs to home movies, along with stunning dramatic reconstructions, the film revolves around a revelatory and previously unheard 1966 audio recording – a four-day interview Chaplin gave to Life magazine reporter Richard Meryman. Key moments in the artist’s life are investigated: his rise from the slums of Victorian London to fame in Hollywood, his fall from grace following The Great Dictator, via his troubling relationships with women, and his last marriage to Oona O’Neill. It’s a fascinating portrait and fresh insight into the life of one of cinema’s earliest stars.

Screened as part of the Create strand.