Simplicity is a difficult thing to achieve.
From a meeting with Richard Meryman, 1966
Life can be wonderful if you're not afraid of it. All it needs is courage, imagination ... and a little dough.
Imagination means nothing without doing.
From Chaplin's composition notes
Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease from pain.
From "Mr. Chaplin Answers His Critics"; The Comedian Defends His Ending of 'The Great Dictator' by Charles Chaplin, The New York Times, 27 October 1940.
You’ll never find rainbows if you’re looking down.
From the verses to "Swing Little Girl", the melody toward the start of The Circus, which Chaplin himself sang for the film's 1969 rerelease.
Let us strive for the impossible. The great achievements throughout history have been the conquest of what seemed the impossible.
From "To Support the President's Rally briefly Front Now!", Madison Square Park, July 22, 1942. Cited in My Autobiography:
"A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.
From Chaplin's My Autobiography: "The mystery of Mack Sennett's prosperity was his excitement. He was an extraordinary crowd and chuckled truly at what he thought interesting. He stood and snickered until his body started to shake. This supported me and I started to clarify the character: 'You realize this individual is diserse, a drifter, a noble man, an artist, a visionary, a forlorn individual, consistently confident of sentiment and experience. He would have you accept he is a researcher, an artist, a duke, a polo-player. Notwithstanding, he isn't above getting cigarette-butts or ransacking a child of its treats. Furthermore, obviously, if the event warrants it, he will kick a woman in the back—yet just in extraordinary resentment!' I carried on this path for ten minutes or more, keeping Sennett in nonstop laughs. 'Okay,' he said, 'get on the set and see what you can do there.'"
Perfect love is the most beautiful of all frustrations because it is more than one can express.
From My Autobiograpy: "Schopenhauer said joy is a negative state — yet I oppose this idea. Throughout the previous twenty years I have understood what bliss implies. I have the favorable luck to be hitched to a magnificent spouse. I wish I could expound more on this, yet it includes love, and amazing adoration is the most excellent of all dissatisfactions since it is beyond what one can communicate. As I live with Oona, the profundity and excellence of her character are a ceaseless disclosure to me. Indeed, even as she strolls in front of me along the restricted walkways of Vevey with straightforward poise, her perfect little figure straight, her dim hair smoothed back showing a couple of silver strings, an abrupt rush of adoration and reverence comes over me for all that she is — and a bump comes into my throat."
I'm a citizen of the world.
"'For what reason haven't you become a resident?' said another voice. 'I see no motivation to change my identity. I see myself as a resident of the world,' I replied." - Charlie Chaplin cites this exchange in "My Autobiography" from the public interview for Monsieur Verdoux, which occurred just after its debut in New York. Instead of coordinating their inquiries at the actual film, the antagonistic columnists examined Chaplin about his political feelings, nationalism, charge undertakings and refusal to receive American citizenship.
Chaplin is likewise cited in "My Father, Charlie Chaplin" by Charles Chaplin Jr.: "I view myself as a resident of the world, an internationalist… I simply have been brought into the world in London, England. It might have been Burma or China or Timbuktu, I'd in any case be how I am. I'd keep my first citizenship in light of the fact that, being a good fortune, it wouldn't have any genuine importance. In any case, any place I live I'll adjust to the standards, laws and guidelines of that country."
In a 1942 discourse at "Craftsmen's Front to Win the War" at Carnegie Hall, Chaplin proclaimed, "I'm not a resident, I needn't bother with citizenship papers, and I've never had energy in that sense for any nation, yet I'm a loyalist to mankind overall. I'm a resident of the world. In the event that the Four Freedoms mean anything after this conflict, we don't fret over whether we are residents of some country."
Furthermore, in a reaction to an examiner from the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1948, Chaplin said, "I see myself as much a resident of America as any other person and my incredible love has consistently been here in this nation [… ] simultaneously I don't feel I am associated to any one specific country. I believe I am a resident of the world. I feel that when the day comes and we have the hindrances down, etc so individuals go back and forth all around the planet and be a piece of any country, and I have consistently felt that about citizenship."
Life is a beautiful, magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish.
From a scene in Limelight
We think too much and feel too little.
From Chaplin's last discourse in The Great Dictator.
Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.
From a scene in Monsieur Verdoux.
I hope we shall abolish war and settle all differences at the conference table.
In light of columnist for his perspectives on the fate of humanity at his 70th birthday celebration, April 16, 1959. "I trust we will cancel war and settle all distinctions at the meeting table… I trust we will abrogate all the hydrogen and nuclear bombs before they nullify us first."
If you're really truthful with yourself, it's a wonderful guidance.
From 1966 meeting with Richard Meryman
The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.
From My Autobiography : "The saddest thing I can envision is to become acclimated to extravagance. Every day I ventured into the Carlton resembled entering a brilliant heaven. Being wealthy in London made life an energizing experience each second. The world was a diversion."
I suppose that’s one of the ironies of life – doing the wrong thing at the right moment.
From a scene in Monsieur Verdoux.
All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.
From "My Autobiography":
"'General society doesn't arrange fresh office when your name shows up as they accomplish for mine.'
'Perhaps,' said Sennett, 'however without the help of our association you'd be lost.' He cautioned: 'Look what's going on to Ford Sterling.'
This was valid, for Ford had not fared very well since leaving Keystone. Yet, I told Sennett: 'All I need to make a parody is a recreation center, a police officer and a lovely young lady.' As a self evident reality I had made a portion of my best pictures with pretty much that get together.'
The more profound reality in an innovative work, the more it will live.
From Chaplin's composition notes
The deeper the truth in a creative work, the longer it will live.
From Limelight (1952): Terry (Claire Bloom) to Calvero (Charles Chaplin) after he advises her of his destruction in the entertainment biz.
What a sad business, being funny
From My Autobiography, on the formation of The Gold Rush: "In the making of satire, it is incomprehensible that misfortune animates the soul of scorn; since disparage, I assume, is a demeanor of rebellion: we should giggle notwithstanding our defenselessness against the powers of nature — or go crazy."
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