Charlie Chaplin Speaks! and he’s talking to you.
It was headline news when Chaplin’s first “talkie”, “The Great Dictator”, premiered in October of 1940, and it seems the Tramp had a lot to say. I am a life-long film fan and being raised on the backlot of a Hollywood studio, I guess it’s only natural. I grew up watching movies and watching them being made. My father worked at M-G-M, our family friend ran the film library. I spent hours looking thorough old clips and screen tests (including my mother’s), viewing them as the celluloid was hand cranked through a Movieola or pressed into service by a warm projector. I’ve tried to give my sons some cinematic context for their lives, and despite the “Is this another old move, Mom?” protests, they are always happy we spent the time together when the final credits roll. I’ve seen them light up when they understand a reference to “Vertigo, grab a light pole and attempt a graceful swing around it, Gene Kelly style. They have the dubious honor of knowing all the words to “Shipoopi”, although Gabe insists it’s ‘Grab her buns when she isn’t lookin’. Chaplin, Keaton, Hitchcock, Wilder, Capra, Lumet and so many others; they have been the profits of my life. Sir Charles delivers a heartfelt and timely message here in the final speech of “The Great Dictator”. Enjoy.