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Top 10 Charles Chaplin Movies

By Edited Sep 3, 2015 1 1

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin is one of the most important names in the history of Hollywood and cinema in general, as well as being one of the most recognizable names of the 7th art. Even if you've never watched a Charles Chaplin movie, you have probably heard the name or seen his figure somewhere. 

Charles Chaplin

The man who went to Los Angels to start a legendary career, become a Hollywood Veteran, create the most iconic character of cinema history and inspire other actors, directors and fans-  is an example of natural talent, success at one's cost and perseverance against personal and career difficulties. 

Charles Chaplin is known for acting, writing, directing, producing and even composing many of his feature films! He was a man of many talents, strong beliefs and political views. I admire him as an artist, respect him as a person and envy his success. Read on to find out about his best works! 

A King in New York


Charlie's first film made in the UK and his last leading role. A King in New York tells of the story of a recently deposed European monarch who seeks shelter in New York City. Eventually he becomes a television celebrity by accident, and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist.

King Shahdov in A King In New York

A King in New York is a good movie, with parallels to Chaplin's own life, but is a different work from what made Charles Chaplin famous and popular. Recommended after watching his other movies first.

My Rating: 7/10

A King in New York / A Woman of Paris (2 Disc Special Edition)
Amazon Price: $89.99 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 3, 2015)
You can get this Chaplin movie for a bragain together with one of his more unknown works, A Woman in Paris.

Monsieur Verdoux


Monsieur Verdoux was a deviation from Chaplin's traditional Tramp character and a colossal flop at the box-office. This might have happened as a consequence to Chaplin's decreasing popularity at the time due to political reasons. Not to mention the strange plot of the movie.  

Monsieur Verdoux

This dark comedy tells the story of a man who finds a new way of living by marrying and murdering rich women for their money. This is not a bad movie by any means! As I've said above, it is quite a different approach to comedy as opposed to earlier works, but there are many layers in this movie hidden under sarcasm and satire. 

My Rating: 7/10

Shoulder Arms


Shoulder Arms is hardly a feature film as it is less than 1 hour, but it hardly falls into the category of a short as it is too lengthy! The movie is about the mishaps of a simple soldier who dreams of big adventures!

The Little Tramp Soldier in Shoulder Arms

I thought of Shoulder Arms as a good filler for this 10 list because it is hilarious and had a special re-release. The movie was edited with new sound and music in The Chaplin Revue (1952), and put together with 2 other of Chaplin's most famous shorts: A Dog's Life and The Pilgrim.

My Rating: 7/10

The Chaplin Revue (2 Disc Special Edition)
Amazon Price: $166.98 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 3, 2015)
Now you can find these three works together with many other older gems in The Chaplin Revue DVD release.



The Limelight, a movie from troubled times for Charles Chaplin and his last American release. Nevertheless, he had made what became a very special movie, as it was a personal reflection and an almost biographical movie, where he had worked for more than three years. 

Mr. Calvero and Terry in Limelight

The Limelight is the story about a comedian at the end of his career and the ballerina he takes under his wing. While having plenty of humour, this movie follows the bittersweet story of the main character, taking you into a very emotional journey, especially if you've got yourself familiarized with Chaplin's former movies.  

My Rating: 8/10

The Gold Rush


The Gold Rush was one of Chaplin's favorite movies and the one with which he wanted to be remembered. It makes sense as this was the first movie he started filming with a complete script!

The Little Tramp in The Gold Rush

The Gold Rush follows the misadventures of a lonely tramp in search for gold and the mishaps he goes through! The gags are hilarious as always, and there is plenty of human drama, as is usual in Chaplin's comedies.  

My Rating: 8/10

The Kid


The Kid is a comedic, but endearing story. It is another one of Chaplin's great silent works, and a smashing success at the time. This movie gave Chaplin the incentive to try new things and expand on feature films.

The Little Tramp in The Kid

particularity of The Kid is the emphasis it gives on family values, in this case the father and son love, even when disgrace and hunger are constantly at the doorstep. The Kid is a great achievement in both humour and emotion, and has the kind of quality content that those movies of the same genre should strive to achieve today. 

My Rating: 8/10


The Great Dictator


Oh The Great Dictator, what a strange and surprising experience that watching this movie was! This was my first Charlie talkie, as was his as well! The Great Dictator is no more than a satire of the times when it was filmed.

The Tramp Who Becomes The Nazi Leader

Hitler had already risen to power and the tension in Europe was stifling! Charles Chaplin at the time, felt he couldn't continue to film comedies and romances when the world was in such a state of confusion, so he used his resemblance to the Nazi leader to impersonate the Führer himself, and ease the audience joking with the situation.

The Great Dictator is a gag-fest! And still, it manages to provide us with plenty of reflective moments. To highlight the incredibly powerful speech "Hitler" gives at the end of the movie.

My Rating: 8/10

The Circus


A hilarious movie as always, but this time around, with a more romantic and touching tone. In my opinion, Chaplin has in The Circus one of his best portrayals of the Tramp, and out of this selection of 10, it is also the movie with the most interesting female lead, as well as being the Tramp's love interest.

The Little Tramp in The Circus

The gags and slapstick are great as usual, in what is one of Chaplin's more underrated works, honestly. An interesting fact: This was his only movie being awarded an Oscar... in this case for Best Music. The Circus is my favorite movie of the 20s, so if I ever make a Top 20s Movies List, you already know the 1st placer!

My Rating: 9/10

Modern Times


Regarded by many as Chaplin's funniest work as well as being one of the funniest movies of all time. I don't completely agree, but I do agree that Modern Times is one very funny and intelligent comedy, while being one of the very finest. Modern Times is slapstick comedy at its very best!


The Little Tramp in Modern Times

While being hilarious, the movie explores very interesting themes like society's industrialisation- and its dependence upon it, the search for the American dream, the hardships of friendship and the importance of determination. Certainly a movie ahead of its time and surprisingly adequate to present days.

My Rating: 9/10

City Lights


The way I see it, City Lights is Chaplin's best work, not only because it has Chaplin's greatest portrayal of the Tramp in his career, but also because of the perfect mix of hilarious and intelligent slapstick comedy with a very emotional and romantic story.

The Little Tramp in City Lights

City Lights was a silent movie being released in a new sound era. This was a risky move by Chaplin and made the success of the film doubtful at the time. However, his persistence and stubbornness prevailed and the movie remained silent (with music soundtrack). Undoubtedly, this is my favorite romantic comedy of all time and one of those few movies I can rank a perfect score.

My Rating: 10/10

I hope you enjoyed the list! Some of the movies have expired copyright, thus are public domain and belong to everyone, that's why I took the liberty to post those I could find on the list.

Charles Chaplin keeps inspiring old generations, while surprising new ones that are bold and daring enough to explore such old cinema. Fortunately, there are still minds that do not put aside the old for the new or that do not associate new with better.

Charles Chaplin is classic and eternal, and I can only be glad for having his works available for my delight! 

The End

If you liked this article, check 12 Memorable Charles Chaplin Shorts - The Time at Mutual Film Corporation, for another slice of a particular time of Charles Chaplin's life, and the legendary shorts films that made him a unparalleled comedy star.



Apr 5, 2013 3:15pm
nice and really great job
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