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Chaplin's autobiography?

Posted: May 2nd, 2007, 3:16 pm
by bobhopefan1940

To whom ever could help me, I had the chance to pick up this book. I was wondering if anyone here had read it and might recommend it. I flipped through it and it had some wonderful pictures in it...

Posted: May 2nd, 2007, 4:50 pm
by Mr. Arkadin
I borrowed it from the library a long time ago and read it. It was a good read and I learned a lot.

Posted: May 2nd, 2007, 7:53 pm
by bobhopefan1940
Mr. Arkadin wrote:I borrowed it from the library a long time ago and read it. It was a good read and I learned a lot.

Thanks, I appeciate your oppinion on it. I'm going to pick It up when I go back to the shop 8)

Posted: May 3rd, 2007, 12:30 pm
by jdb1
I read it too, a long time ago. I remember it being interesting - rather formally written, as Chaplin tended to be in matters about himself.

Bear in mind that he was one of the world's great egomaniacs, and had a difficult time giving anyone one else other than himself credit for anything good in his life. As I recall, he did not name names in many cases, especially in recounting various affairs, and certain business dealings, so if you are really interested, you'll have to read other people's accounts of such incidents in his life.

Nevertheless, he was a man who went places and did things, and he had a very long and eventful life.

I can't remember now if it was Shelly Winters or Hedy Lamarr, in memoirs, who told of attending a party at Chaplin's house, when Chaplin was with Paulette Goddard. His behavior, in the company of his supposed peers, was pretty childish - but then, that's one way to get attention focused on yourself, isn't it?

Posted: May 3rd, 2007, 6:16 pm
by Mr. Arkadin
Yes, I think it's very important to read autobiographies and regular biogaphies hand in hand because no one wants to think of themselves as bad and some times they tend to "color" the facts a bit (sometimes a GREAT bit).

However, they are often the only people who can tell you what was in their minds when they did something or why they thought of this or that. So they can provide good insight. Just don't take everything they say as gospel truth. The best view is often from multiple points.

Posted: May 3rd, 2007, 9:32 pm
by bobhopefan1940
Thanks for the posts, guys. I've never read any biographies of stars I like because I fear it will disappoint me... Sometimes I'd just rather watch them on screen, then hear about their personal experiences ;) If I buy this one, it will be my first.

Posted: May 6th, 2007, 10:13 pm
by pktrekgirl
Chaplin's autobiography is good. But if you want a more 'objective' read about Chaplin, try to get ahold of a book called CHAPLIN, by David Robinson. Robinson is Chaplin's official biographer and had the best access to Chaplin's personal papers as well as sundry relatives. He is sympathetic to Chaplin, but doesn't whitewash anything either.

These two books together will give you a great idea about Chaplin's life. :)

Posted: May 6th, 2007, 10:37 pm
by bobhopefan1940
Hi PK! Thanks for the info, I will check it out. :D

Posted: May 7th, 2007, 11:41 am
by pktrekgirl
^ And by the way, CHAPLIN is a really huge book (the hardback is about 3 inches thick)...and if you are not up for that, David Robinson actually has several books out about Chaplin. Some much shorter.

The thing do remember though, is 'David Robinson'. If it's written by him, it is likely a good (and certainly reliable) read. :) Which is important with Chaplin, because alot of people with alot of agendas have written books about him. Including several sundry relatives/ex-relatives. ;)

Posted: May 7th, 2007, 12:42 pm
by bobhopefan1940
Yes, I saw it was pretty thick but had alot of images in it, which interested me! I found it in the back of an antiques store really cheap, I just have to go back and get it. Thanks so much, I will look out for David Robinson. I knew I could get some good oppinions on the whole thing here ;)

Posted: January 20th, 2008, 10:15 am
by charliechaplinfan
:D I've just finished reading Charles Chaplin's autobiography. It is a fascinating read, it gives an insight in to the mind of the man behind the Tramp. He's very fond of using long words. Pola Negri says that when she was dating him he would read a dictionary every day to pick up five new words. I can believe it reading this book.

:D To hear his account of his childhood is like reading Victorian novel. The deprevation and uncertainly that clouded his early years is so sad. Perhaps it is sadder because he climbed out of his penury but many others never did.

:D The people Chaplin met, Ghandhi, Churchill, Herbert Hoover, Roosevelt, Edward VIII, Earl Mountbatten. The list is endless and his account of his meetings with these famous personages make it worth the read.

:D The other thing that surprised me a little is how outspoken he is with his political views. I'm not passing comment on what they were but they certainly weren't extreme, more humanitarian. Despite running into trouble for his supposed views in the past, he doesn't hide from making his feelings known. Perhaps this is his chance to put his views forward, perhaps he is trying to make the point that he was misunderstood but he's certainly not apologetic for holding them.

:D Although entertaining, there are elements of his life he doesn't talk about. His second wife, he has two children with her and for their sakes he will not say anymore. I applaud him for this, it's advice rarely taken today. He doesn't talk about his film The Circus which I found frustrating because it is a fine film. He doesn't talk much about Paulette, also frustrating as I wanted to know more about her. I would agree with what has been said. Read this book, it's a very good autobiography. If you're left wanting more read David Robinsons book on Chaplin-Chaplin- His Life and Art.