Charles Spencer Chaplin is most lovingly known to all of us as Charlie Chaplin. The English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer rose to fame with his silent movies. His storytelling was sans dialogues, and his buffoon act evoked laughter from people of all ages.
Chaplin created some iconic feature films in his film-making lifetime that spanned over 50 years during the 1900s. He mesmerised audiences across the world with his stories and on-screen persona. His feature films, including Modern Times, The Gold Rush and City Lights, have been immortalised in cinema history. The unforgettable part of his filmography, however, is his silent short films.
He said a big story in a short film, and that too, silently! He made 65 short masterpieces in eight years — each no more than 25 minutes long. On-screen, Chaplin was absurdly funny, but off it, he was a maverick genius. His film-making style was surprising to many, especially to his producers. He used to take an extravagant amount of time to make a feature, often making his producers pull their hair.
For his short films, he worked with studios like Keystone, Essanay, Mutual and First National. His association with these studios is remembered as the silent-cinema era’s most creative period. Chaplin created some of his most iconic masterpieces with Essanay Studios — starting with Kid Auto Races at Venice, in 1914.
By the time he churned out his last short in 1922 — Pay Day — his fame had reached insurmountable heights. His films were always blessed with humour that seemed to be spilling out in desperate situations. Be it romance, a regular day at work or saving a damsel in distress, Chaplin’s magical wand worked every single time.