Top 100 Charles Chaplain Quotes on Life

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Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, The Tramp, and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
Chaplin’s childhood in London was one of poverty and hardship, as his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, and he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19, he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, which took him to America. He was scouted for the film industry and began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios. He soon developed the Tramp persona and formed a large fan base. He directed his own films and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay, Mutual, and First National corporations. By 1918, he was one of the best-known figures in the world.

In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the distribution company United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films. His first feature-length film was The Kid (1921), followed by A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928). He initially refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue. He became increasingly political, and his first sound film was The Great Dictator (1940), which satirised Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, and his popularity declined rapidly. He was accused of communist sympathies, and some members of the press and public found his involvement in a paternity suit, and marriages to much younger women, scandalous. An FBI investigation was opened, and Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland. He abandoned the Tramp in his later films, which include Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952), A King in New York (1957), and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967).

Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films. He was a perfectionist, and his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture. His films are characterised by slapstick combined with pathos, typified in the Tramp’s struggles against adversity. Many contain social and political themes, as well as autobiographical elements. He received an Honorary Academy Award for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century” in 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work. He continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator often ranked on lists of the greatest films of all time.

“Imagination means nothing without doing.”—Charles Chaplain

“Simplicity is a difficult thing to achieve.”—Charles Chaplain

“Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it.”—Charles Chaplain

“All it needs is courage, imagination and a little dough.”—Charles Chaplain

“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease from pain.”—Charles Chaplain

“Let us strive for the impossible.”—Charles Chaplain

“You’ll never find rainbows if you’re looking down.”—Charles Chaplain

“The great achievements throughout history have been the conquest of what seemed the impossible.”—Charles Chaplain

“Perfect love is the most beautiful of all frustrations because it is more than one can express.”—Charles Chaplain

“A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.”—Charles Chaplain

“Simplicity of approach is always best.”—Charles Chaplain

“I am a citizen of the world.”—Charles Chaplain

“Life is a beautiful, magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish.”—Charles Chaplain

“We think too much and feel too little.”—Charles Chaplain

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.”—Charles Chaplain

“A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.”—Charles Chaplain

“I feel I am privileged to express a hope.”—Charles Chaplain

“If you’re really truthful with yourself, it’s a wonderful guidance.”—Charles Chaplain

“The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.”—Charles Chaplain

“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.”—Charles Chaplain

“The deeper the truth in a creative work, the longer it will live.”—Charles Chaplain

“I suppose that’s one of the ironies of life – doing the wrong thing at the right moment.”—Charles Chaplain

“What a sad business, being funny.”—Charles Chaplain

“We must laugh in the face of our helplessness against the forces of nature — or go insane.”—Charles Chaplain

“What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning!”—Charles Chaplain

“The free thinker travels light along the road to truth.”—Charles Chaplain

“In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.”—Charles Chaplain

“We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that.”—Charles Chaplain

“I am at peace with God. My conflict is with man.”—Charles Chaplain

“Machinery should be a blessing to mankind and not a curse.”—Charles Chaplain

“Whomever lives, gambles with life.”—Charles Chaplain

“I have discovered that ideas come through an intense desire for them.”—Charles Chaplain

“The persecution of any minority is inhuman and unnatural.”—Charles Chaplain

“How does one get ideas? By sheer perseverance to the point of madness.”—Charles Chaplain

“Beauty is the spirit of all things.”—Charles Chaplain

“My happiest days are those in which I do good work.”—Charles Chaplain

Top 100 Charles Chaplain Quotes on Life

“I am trying to express a beauty that embraces not only physical characteristics and scenes, but the true fundamental emotions of humanity.”—Charles Chaplain

“Beauty is what I am after.”—Charles Chaplain

“Making fun is serious business.”—Charles Chaplain

“Remember, you can always stoop and pick up nothing.”—Charles Chaplain

“This is a ruthless world and one must be ruthless to cope with it.”—Charles Chaplain

“Too much kindness and respect are given to the unseen and not enough to humanity.”—Charles Chaplain

“Men who think deeply say little in ordinary conversations.”—Charles Chaplain

“That which is apparent ends. That which is subtle is never-ending.”—Charles Chaplain

“Wisdom usually grows up on us like calluses when we are old, gnarled and bent.”—Charles Chaplain

“The pursuit of happiness can only be had from within ourselves and the interest of others.”—Charles Chaplain

“I’ve arrived at the age where a platonic friendship can be sustained on the highest moral plane.”—Charles Chaplain

“Despair lulls the mind into indifference.”—Charles Chaplain

“In the realm of the unknown there is an infinite power for good.”—Charles Chaplain

“Life and death are too resolute, too implacable to be accidental.”—Charles Chaplain

“Acting essentially requires feeling.”—Charles Chaplain

“Let’s call them years of a friendly misalliance.”—Charles Chaplain

“Faith is a precursor of all our ideas.”—Charles Chaplain

“Art was an additional emotion applied to skillful technique.”—Charles Chaplain

“I have yet to know a poor man who has nostalgia for poverty.”—Charles Chaplain

“I am interested in life.”—Charles Chaplain

“The world cannot be wrong if in this world there’s you.”—Charles Chaplain

“A man is what a woman makes him and a woman makes herself.”—Charles Chaplain

“I am an individual and a believer in liberty.”—Charles Chaplain

“I’m an old sinner. Nothing shocks me.”—Charles Chaplain

“Action is more generally understood than words.”—Charles Chaplain

“It is always the unexpected that happens, both in moving pictures and in real life.”—Charles Chaplain

“I have that priceless quality of being curious about life and things which keeps up my enthusiasm.”—Charles Chaplain

“Because of humour we are less overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of life.”—Charles Chaplain

“Fortune and ill-fortune drift upon one haphazardly as clouds.”—Charles Chaplain

“Education is the path to revelation.”—Charles Chaplain

“Whether sage or fool, we must all struggle with life.”—Charles Chaplain

“There is a fraternity of those who passionately want to know.”—Charles Chaplain

“Cold, hunger and the shame of poverty are more likely to affect one’s psychology.”—Charles Chaplain

“All children in some form or another have genius; the trick is to bring it out in them.”—Charles Chaplain

“I am successful because I work hard and pay attention to detail.”—Charles Chaplain

“One cannot do humour without a great sympathy for one’s fellow man.”—Charles Chaplain

“I am an artist, not a politician.”—Charles Chaplain

“To live in order to reason or to reason in order to live; there is the question.”—Charles Chaplain

“Beauty is the object or the consciousness which amplifies the feeling of universality in man.”—Charles Chaplain

“I think of my work constantly.”—Charles Chaplain

“It is only beauty we seek in life, whether it be through laughter or tears.”—Charles Chaplain

“Beauty lies in everything, both good and evil, though only the discriminating, such as the artist and the poet, finds it in both.”—Charles Chaplain

“You can do anything if you don’t have a vulgar mind.”—Charles Chaplain

“Doing something with the public in mind is doing something without your own mind.”—Charles Chaplain

“Knowledge inspires courage.”—Charles Chaplain

“The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly!”—Charles Chaplain

“Most all our worldly troubles are only drifting bubbles. Most all our cares and sorrows are gone with our tomorrows.”—Charles Chaplain

“I don’t want to create a revolution – I just want to create a few more films.”—Charles Chaplain

“If only the old and young could be the same age.”—Charles Chaplain

“I’d sooner know than believe.”—Charles Chaplain

“I can’t even read a book or have a conversation without trying to find a good comic effect in the most serious part of it.”—Charles Chaplain

“The silent picture is a universal means of expression.”—Charles Chaplain

“If I talked I would become like any other comedian.”—Charles Chaplain

“I see no tragedy in the loneliness of old age, only the convenience of it.”—Charles Chaplain

“In all truth there is the seed of falsehood.”—Charles Chaplain

“People miss happiness by chasing after false values and repressing the feelings that make life valuable and beautiful.”—Charles Chaplain

“That’s all any of us are – amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.”—Charles Chaplain

“I’m unconscious while I’m acting. I live the role and am not myself.”—Charles Chaplain

“When I’m not making pictures, I’m thinking of them, and when I’m not thinking of them, I’m dreaming of them.”—Charles Chaplain

“I neither believe nor disbelieve in anything.”—Charles Chaplain

“That is all there is in life — beauty. You find that and you have found everything.”—Charles Chaplain

“It is pure instinct with me — dramatic instinct.”—Charles Chaplain

“Comedy must be true to life.”—Charles Chaplain

“The desire for peace is universal.”—Charles Chaplain

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