Chaplin

I clearly remember the first time I saw a Charlie Chaplin film.

Up until that point, I honestly had no interest in ever investigating his films because for some reason I thought they would be boring - being silent films.

A friend of mine in Florida has always loved Charlie Chaplin and had several of his movie posters framed in her apartment. I would always look at them and think, “I wonder why she likes Chaplin so much?”

Until finally she told me that I just HAD to rent one of his classic films called, City Lights, to REALLY understand why she admired his work so much.

Well….one day I did rent City Lights, and it was at that moment I also fell in love with Chaplin.

She was right. He was a genius.

Chaplin had a way of expressing so much emotion through his face and eyes, that he really didn’t need to speak in order to convey.

You simply felt the emotion through his body language.

He was both a brilliant comic and dramatist.

Also, a musician.

Since then, I’ve rented many of his others films and have enjoyed them all. However, City Lights will always be my favorite because it was my first. Plus, it’s such a beautiful and touching story.

But I have to admit, it felt odd at first watching a silent film because I immediately noticed that I had to pay very close attention with my eyes because there was no audible dialogue. Yet after some time, I found myself magically drawn into the film; understanding the simplistic power of just a few printed words on the screen.



Many years ago, I saw the movie Chaplin starring Robert Downey Jr. and really got a sense of who Chaplin was, not only as an actor and director, but also the man. Downey did an AMAZING job embodying Chaplin. Watching him as Chaplin is like watching Chaplin himself. To this date, I still think it’s Robert Downey Jr.’s finest and most challenging performance. If you ever get the chance to rent it, I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did - even if you know nothing about Chaplin or his movies. It’s a gorgeous film, in which the last 15 minutes leaves you touched beyond belief.

I just recently watched it again, therefore the reason for this post.

Please allow me to share a few Chaplin films.



City Lights (my favorite!)



City Lights (ending)



Modern Times (also starring his once wife, Paulette Goddard)



Modern Times



Gold Rush



Gold Rush (eating his own boot - HILARIOUS!)



The Kid (what a tearjerker this one is. and look at the EYES on that kid!)



Charlie Chaplin himself.


I leave you with a tender musical tribute to Sir Charles Chaplin.


Smile, written by Chaplin and sung by the great Nat King Cole.




Wishing you many SMILES this weekend everyone!

X

48 comments

  1. Hi everyone…

    I’ve got a very early morning at work again today (traveling out of the city), therefore will be responding to comments and visiting your blogs later in the day.

    Thank you for your understanding and patience.

    Have a wonderful weekend…..
    X

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  2. Unfortunately, I've only ever watched a few scenes. When he was cooking up his boot and then eating it... so funny. And the lion cage scene and him running up the pole. ha! OH, and the shoe dance was so cool. That's the one Johnny Depp did in 'Benny and Joon' with the bread on the forks.
    Yes, Chaplin is definitely quite entertaining.
    However, like movies with subtitles, silent films can be difficult for some to sit thru. Of the two, I tend to prefer subtitles. But I can certainly see his brilliance when I've checked out some clips of his work.
    Love those old b&w photos!

    Enjoy your weekend. xo

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  3. Awwww that was a lovely video. Smiles, by Nat King Cole, suited the film perfectly. I loved them both. Brilliant pictures too, and you're right, Chaplin was exceptionally expressive even when he wasn't acting. Thanks for this post, Ron, I enjoyed it immensely. Have a spectacular weekend. Hope your weather is as brilliant as ours.

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  4. I actually had to take a film course in college that was nothing but Charlie Chaplain. I learned so much and fell in love with his work......there is nothing like him anywhere.

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  5. Charlie Chaplin was a genius! I don't think I've seen City Lights, but I'm always transfixed when I see him on TV.

    My dad did a mean impression of him :)

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  6. I must admit to never having seen either an actual Charlie Chaplin film or the movie starring Robert Downey Jr. Shame on me! Thirty lashes with a wet noodle!

    "To this date, I still think it’s Robert Downey Jr.’s finest and most challenging performance."

    I dunno, Ron...I'm kinda partial to the one in which he broke into his neighbor's house while high and went to sleep in their bed. He should've won an Oscar for that!!

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  7. speaking of genius, how wonderful was Nat King Cole!
    I really loved that video Ron, thanks

    I once saw a documentary about Chaplin and at the end they show a clip of him walking away with his cane and his signature walk and I just burst into tears
    that was how much emotion had built up from his performances

    I agree with you about Downey's portrayal of Chaplin
    it was inspired and genuine and brilliant

    you make me smile

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  8. Hiya Crystal Chick~

    "When he was cooking up his boot and then eating it... so funny. And the lion cage scene and him running up the pole. ha! OH, and the shoe dance was so cool."

    Yup! You've seen some of his BEST!

    I need to rerent "Benny and Joon" because I don't remember that scene with Johnny Depp. And speaking of another brilliant actor, Johnny Depp is the BOMB!

    "like movies with subtitles, silent films can be difficult for some to sit thru. Of the two, I tend to prefer subtitles."

    Yes. And it's ironic you mentioned movies with subtitles because they're kinda the same way as silent films. You really have to WATCH them closing with your eyes in order to follow along. I have to be in the 'mood' to watch them.

    Thanks for stopping by, neighbor. Always FAB to see ya!

    Have terrific weekend! Our weather is suppose to be flawless!

    X

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  9. Hello Valerie~

    So glad you enjoyed the video.

    It took me TWO days to find it on You Tube because they have a MILLION videos on Chaplin. But this one seemed to capture his essence.

    Out of everyone who has ever sung Smile, Nat King Cole is my favorite. SMOOTH. My father and mother always Nat King Cole music playing in our home on the weekends.

    Wasn't Chaplin faaaaaabulous? What a life he lead!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a lovely weekend.

    Yes, we're suppose to be getting cooler temps. this weekend here. And thank God, because it's been so warm and humid.

    X

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  10. Hey there Katherine~

    " I actually had to take a film course in college that was nothing but Charlie Chaplain. I learned so much and fell in love with his work...."

    OMG...how COOL! I don't know that many people who have the same admiration as I do for Chaplin, so it's nice to hear.

    "there is nothing like him anywhere."

    You said it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Katherine. Have a SMILE of a weekend!

    X

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  11. Hey there Babs~

    "Charlie Chaplin was a genius."

    Wasn't he BRILL-IANT?

    Oh, you've got to rent City Lights if you can find it. It's truly an amazing film because it blends his awesome talent of comedy and drama. The final scene is so tender.

    "My dad did a mean impression of him."

    I would LOVE to have seen it!

    An actor friend of mine in Florida did an amazing impersonation of Chaplin, that he actually got hired by Universal Studios theme park to perform.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend! Have a super weekend!

    X to you and Mo!

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  12. Howdy Mark~

    "I must admit to never having seen either an actual Charlie Chaplin film or the movie starring Robert Downey Jr. Shame on me! Thirty lashes with a wet noodle!"

    *thirty lashes*

    HAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Listen, knowing how much you enjoy films, I have a feeling you would LOVE Chaplin. So, if you ever get a chance (and feel like it) please rent it. It's AWESOME!

    "I dunno, Ron...I'm kinda partial to the one in which he broke into his neighbor's house while high and went to sleep in their bed. He should've won an Oscar for that!"

    OMG...what movie is that? Do tell, because I would love to see it.

    Thanks for stopping by, buddy! Have a faaaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X

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  13. Hey there Lady Dianne~

    "speaking of genius, how wonderful was Nat King Cole!
    I really loved that video Ron, thanks"

    I AGREE! There is no one, and I mean NO ONE, who sang like that man! Smooth as silk! My father and mother loved Nat King Cole, so we had his records playing every weekend!

    "I once saw a documentary about Chaplin and at the end they show a clip of him walking away with his cane and his signature walk and I just burst into tears
    that was how much emotion had built up from his performances"

    Yes! I know the final scene you're talking about - it's from Modern Times. And I agree....tearjerker!

    "I agree with you about Downey's portrayal of Chaplin
    it was inspired and genuine and brilliant"

    ALLELUIA! Finally! Someone else who saw Chaplin! I was beginning to think I was the ONLY person who saw that film. He was nominated for Best Actor, but lost that year. In fact, the movie really didn't do well at the box office. What a shame :(

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady.

    And YOU make me smile too :)

    X ya bunches!

    Have a great weekend!

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  14. Hi everyone...

    I think something is up with Blogger (AGAIN), because I've had a few emails saying you had trouble leaving a comment or that your comment disappeared.

    Thank you for letting me know. I too have had trouble leaving comments on other Blogger blogs this week.

    Therefore, if you did leave a comment and don't see it here, Blogger ate it.

    I sincerely apologize
    .

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  15. *sigh*

    I'm replaying Nat King Cole--he's one of my favorites. And this clip along with the tune....fantastic.

    I'm going to suggest the movie to himself--he's the movie watcher in the house. But I'll settle in for this one. Silly me--lover of things gone by, dontchaknow.
    My father was a Chaplin fan and I never could make the time, growing up. It wasn't until after he passed away that I 'forced' myself to try to sit and appreciate the art. It didn't take much 'forcing'......talk about one of those 'pay attention' cuz you don't have a clue unless you DO' deals.
    I got it. And I've had a great appreciation for the silents as a result.
    Chaplin--how could you not with that face and that animated way about him?

    k...definitely the movie!

    Enjoy the weekend, sir!
    I intend to do that myself. :-)

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  16. Hiya Mel~

    OMG...I JUST this second left a comment on YOUR blog - HA!

    "I'm replaying Nat King Cole--he's one of my favorites. And this clip along with the tune....fantastic."

    Thank you. Isn't it just lovely? Nat King Cole was the GREATEST! And his rendition is perfect for this clip!

    "I'm going to suggest the movie to himself--he's the movie watcher in the house. But I'll settle in for this one. Silly me--lover of things gone by, dontchaknow"

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! And I have a feeling that not only will himself love it, but also YOU! It's one of those touchy/feely movies that takes you on an amazing journey through Chaplins' life. You'll LOVE it!

    "It didn't take much 'forcing'......talk about one of those 'pay attention' cuz you don't have a clue unless you DO' deals.
    I got it. And I've had a great appreciation for the silents as a result."

    BRA-VA, Mel! So glad you experienced and enjoyed the GENIUS of Chaplin!

    Thanks oodles for stopping by, dear lady! Enjoy your weekend!

    (((( Mel )))))

    X

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  17. Ron, thanks so much for writing about this movie! I love "City Lights." I cried my eyes out the first time I saw it and I'm so glad that I was alone at the time. I actually got to see again several years ago at a theater in Hartford, CT with a full orchestra playing Chaplin's music. And I didn't care who saw me crying! That last scene is so beautiful it literally took my breath away. ("Can you see me now?") And Nat KingCole does the best version of "Smile" ever. I don't think many people today appreciate the importance of silent films. There's a great war movie called "The Big Parade" that I recommend most highly and of course, there's Chaplin's and Buster Keaton's work. Also, there's a fabulous series simply called "Hollywood" that came out in 1980 which traces the history of American silent films. Check it out if you get the chance--http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080230/
    Have a great weekend, buddy!

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  18. good evening ron........chaplin was always sort of creepy to me, like a clown and i hate clowns...something seemed sort of perverse to me but i was only a child when he would be on tv sometimes....later i saw a few that were real tear jerkers! what is most amazing to me is how handsome a man he is in 'real life'! cool post, my friend. xoxox and you have a lovely weekend too.

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  19. i live downey despite his troubles and will look him up in this movie as i can see him really doing a masterwork with chaplin! and i have never heard of it at all.....maybe off my radar! xoxox and hope this isn't eaten...mine were eaten i was told on my blog too by some............blogger is so well-run, no? sigh.....

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  20. i left a comment about downey but....oh well, maybe you'll get it. xo

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  21. I remember this Charlie Chaplin movie where he plays Hitler and bounces the balloon-globe all over his office... so hilarious! (The subject of course is everything but light or easy.)

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  22. Bonjour Susu~

    "I remember this Charlie Chaplin movie where he plays Hitler and bounces the balloon-globe all over his office... so hilarious! (The subject of course is everything but light or easy.)"

    Brava! Yes, I saw that one too. It's called The Great Dictator. And you're right, it was everything but light and easy. That was one of his more serious films mocking Hitler. Brilliant film.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, beautiful lady. Hope you're enjoying a wonderful October weekend!

    Ciao....X

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  23. Good morning Linda~

    "........chaplin was always sort of creepy to me, like a clown and i hate clowns...something seemed sort of perverse to me but i was only a child when he would be on tv sometimes....later i saw a few that were real tear jerkers!"

    Yes, I definitely see WHY thought that because in a way, that's why I was not initially drawn to his films myself. As a kid, I also thought he was kind of creepy. Later, as an adult, my whole perception of him changed.

    "what is most amazing to me is how handsome a man he is in 'real life'!"

    Yup, he was a handsome man, but you never really knew it until you saw a photo of him sans The Little Tramp costume.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my dear friend. Always a delight to read your comments.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    :)

    ((((( Linda )))))

    xoxoxox

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  24. Hello again Linda~

    "i live downey despite his troubles and will look him up in this movie as i can see him really doing a masterwork with chaplin! and i have never heard of it at all.....maybe off my radar!"

    I love Downey too! And if you ever get the chance to see Chaplin, I really think (as an artist yourself) you'll enjoy it. Chaplin had a VERY challenging life as a child (also in his adulthood). Downey did an AMAZING job in the role.

    Yes, for the past few days I've been havng issues leaving comments on Blogger blogs. I have a feeling that Blogger is getting ready to change their commenting format because I've been noticing odd things going on when I leave a comment. Hopefully, they're changing it for the better because this format SUCKS!

    Thanks for stopping by, Linda!

    X

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  25. Yes, Linda...got BOTH your comments!

    Thanks for stopping back and letting me know!

    (((( Linda )))))

    xoxoo

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  26. Hey there Rob~

    First, thank you SO MUCH for stopping back and recommenting. You're the best! Also, thanks for your email letting me know about comments.

    "I love "City Lights." I cried my eyes out the first time I saw it and I'm so glad that I was alone at the time. I actually got to see again several years ago at a theater in Hartford, CT with a full orchestra playing Chaplin's music. And I didn't care who saw me crying! That last scene is so beautiful it literally took my breath away. ("Can you see me now?")"

    OMG...I can't even imagine how INCREDIBLE it must have been to see City Lights with a FULL orchestra! And I have to agree with you, I CRIED my eyes out too during the final scene. "Can you see me now?" What a tearjerker!!! While searching for a clip for this post, I found several videos showing that scene, and I was initially going to use one of them, but thought it would be a bit difficult for those who didn't know the film (or Chaplin) to get the full impact. Therefore, I chose the Smile video clip instead because it summarized his career beautifully.

    "And Nat KingCole does the best version of "Smile" ever. I don't think many people today appreciate the importance of silent films."

    I agree! In fact, when I first saw this You Tube clip, I cried because Nat King Cole (singing Smile) is SO touching. No one sings it like him!

    "There's a great war movie called "The Big Parade" that I recommend most highly and of course, there's Chaplin's and Buster Keaton's work. Also, there's a fabulous series simply called "Hollywood" that came out in 1980 which traces the history of American silent films."

    Thank you so much for letting me know about BOTH of those because I will definitely check them out. I don't think people fulling understand the power in silent films.

    Again, Rob, thank you for stopping back and recommenting. MUCHLY appreciated and enjoyed!

    Have a grrrrrrrrrrreat weekend, buddy!

    Or as your grandmother use to call you....Charlie Chaplin!

    X

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  27. Ron, what a lovely tribute to Charlie Chaplin. I really knew nothing about him before this post. Now you have me curious. I will look for the movie Chaplin because I enjoy Downey's work.

    Great song too!

    Smiles.

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  28. Hola Denise~

    Thank you, girl. Glad you enjoyed.

    If you do get the chance to see Chaplin, I know you will enjoyed it. Downey is utterly AMAZING!

    Isn't the song touching? One of my favorites!

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you're having a super weekend.

    Smiles....X

    P.S. I got your other comments, but deleted them. Thank you for your email.

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  29. never seen a chaplin film before - doubt i could watch a silent film for long.

    that last picture is him,wow. he didn't look half bad and i never would have recognized him without his mustache and hat.

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  30. Robert Downey Jr. = BRILLIANT as Chaplin. One of the best movies I've ever seen.

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  31. Hey V Girl~

    "never seen a chaplin film before - doubt i could watch a silent film for long."

    I really think you would enjoy the movie Chaplin, but I do understand about watching a silent film. It's weird at first, but you kinda into it after a bit.

    "that last picture is him,wow. he didn't look half bad and i never would have recognized him without his mustache and hat."

    Isn't it AMAZING how different he looks without the makeup, mustache and hat? He was actually a handsome man.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl! Hope you're having a FAB weekend. Hasn't the weather been flawless?

    X

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  32. Hiya Meleah~

    "Robert Downey Jr. = BRILLIANT as Chaplin. One of the best movies I've ever seen."

    Yaaaaaaaaaay! You're the second person who's left a comment who has seen the film! Isn't Downey BRILLIANT? He should have won the Academy award that year :(

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my Libra friend. Hope you're having a great weekend!

    X

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  33. Oh my gosh, Ron, I've NEVER seen a photo of the REAL Charlie Chaplin before! What a handsome man - dashing!

    I'm not a movie person, so I can't relate to any of these, except that I'm probably not a movie person because I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to sitting for more than the length of a sitcom. There's no way I could pay attention to a silent film and REALLY watch it, like you mentioned!

    Hope your weekend is drier than mine (and I'm not talking booze!)

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  34. Greetings Bijoux~

    " I've NEVER seen a photo of the REAL Charlie Chaplin before! What a handsome man - dashing!"

    Isn't it amazing how different he looks without his "Little Tramp' costume? Dashing indeed!

    "I'm not a movie person, so I can't relate to any of these, except that I'm probably not a movie person because I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to sitting for more than the length of a sitcom. There's no way I could pay attention to a silent film and REALLY watch it, like you mentioned!"

    Yes, I have another reader who is also the same when it comes to movies, so I can totally understand. And most definitely a silent film would be VERY challenging to watch.

    "Hope your weekend is drier than mine (and I'm not talking booze!)"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA! HILARIOUS!!!!

    It's actually been gorgeous this weekend so far. Coolish temps. and lots of sunshine. I can't WAIT for Fall to fully come in!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Hope you're having a nice weekend and that all is going well with your house.

    X

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  35. Sadly, my local video store just went under. I have never seen a Charlie Chaplin film, but now I want to. Thank you for your tender smiles Ron.

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  36. Good evening ~

    "Sadly, my local video store just went under."

    OMG, yes, my local video store just recently closed too! Isn't it the pits? I guess I'm gonna have to go NETFLIX.

    Well, if you ever get the chance to rent one of his films, I think you may enjoy it - knowing your sensitive and creative soul. Chaplin had a way of really touching the heart.

    Thank you so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend!

    Smiles....X

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  37. The Kid was the very 1st Chaplin movie that I saw at a very young age, I believe I was 5 or 6 years at the time and loved it. This guy was a real genious. Have a wonderful Sunday Ron!

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  38. Hello again Tatiana!

    Thank you for stopping by this blog too.

    "The Kid was the very 1st Chaplin movie that I saw at a very young age, I believe I was 5 or 6 years at the time and loved it."

    Wasn't The Kid faaaaaaaaaaabulous? I don't recall who portrayed the kid, but whoever he was he was such an incredible actor for his age. His eye's were so expressive!

    Like Chaplin!

    Have a wonderful Sunday too!

    X

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  39. There is so much win in this post! Chaplin was *amazing*, and I'm continually blown away by his work. I'm glad you mentioned The Great Dictator in your comments. The speech at the end is nothing less than mesmerizing.

    Oddly enough I watched a documentary on Buster Keaton last night. He and Chaplin are two people who permanently changed the way in which films are made. I'm thankful that people of their caliber not only existed but made an indelible mark in cinema history.

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  40. Howdy Herman~

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! Another Chaplin fan!!!!!!!

    Woot! Woot! Woot!

    "Chaplin was *amazing*, and I'm continually blown away by his work. I'm glad you mentioned The Great Dictator in your comments. The speech at the end is nothing less than mesmerizing."

    Yes, wasn't he AMAZING? And you're right, wasn't that speech he made at the end of The Great Dictator mesmerizing? Brilliant!

    "I'm thankful that people of their caliber not only existed but made an indelible mark in cinema history."

    Ditto, buddy! Both Chaplin AND Keaton were there at the beginning of cinema!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your throughts and feelings to this post. MUCHLY enjoyed!

    Hope you had a super weekend!

    X to you and the family!

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  41. I should make the effort to watch one of his films. He's one of the pioneer actors and I have never taken the time to watch his work.

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  42. Hey there Jeff~

    GREAT to see ya, bud! Thanks for stopping by! In fact, I was thinking about you last week and wondering how you were doing. Hope all is well and that you're enjoying this Fall season!

    Chaplin is AMAZING! But it wasn't until I actually watched one of his films did I really appreciate his genius. If you ever get the chance to see one of his films, I highly recommend City Lights as your first.

    Have a great week!

    X

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  43. I remember being in a film class in high school where we had to watch films and then write about them. We watched Modern Times. I don't think I appreciated it as a teenager as much as I would now. I'd like to see the Robert Downey film. Thanks for the recommendation. Now, I just need to find someplace to rent it. You know how that goes.

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  44. Hey Jen~

    "We watched Modern Times. I don't think I appreciated it as a teenager as much as I would now."

    Oh, how COOL! But, you're right because I know as a teenager I wouldn't have appreciated it as much either.

    Isn't Modern Times FLAWLESS????

    I think if you can FIND a place to rent, Chaplin, you'll really enjoy it!

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a great week!

    X

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  45. "I dunno, Ron...I'm kinda partial to the one in which he broke into his neighbor's house while high and went to sleep in their bed. He should've won an Oscar for that!"

    OMG...what movie is that? Do tell, because I would love to see it.

    Actually, that movie was called "real life", Ron. RDJr. made the headlines back in the 90s when that happened!

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  46. Thanks Mark!

    I'll look for it! Can't wait!

    Thanks for stopping back, buddy! Have a great day!

    X

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  47. Oh my gosh, YES! He was so brilliant and I totally agree, that it was Downey's finest work. I love him!

    Thanks for the song. Brought a smile and a tear..

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  48. Hiya Chrissy~

    Did you see Chaplin too???? YAHOOOOOOOO! Another one! And wasn't Downey fanfreakintastic??

    He really showed that he DOES have talent!

    Glad you enjoyed the song, girl. It brought a smile and tear to my eyes too. Isn't it a great song?

    Have a great week.....X

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