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Top 10 Charlie Chaplin Films November 13, 2009

Posted by Daniel Stephens in : Comedy, 1940s, 1950s, Drama, Top 10s, Film reviews, Short Film , add a comment

In my latest Top 10 list I look at Charlie Chaplin’s best films from his early short silent work to the longer feature-length “talkies”.

Charlie Chaplin was not just a silent movie actor, he was an icon of early cinema. Chaplin was a writer, director, performer, producer, as well as composer, and the co-founder of revolutionary studio United Artists.

He learnt his knack for comedy working in travelling vaudeville shows, performing with musicians, magicians, dancers, comedians, and even animals. His live material would be honed directly for the cinema when he started making films for Keystone Studios in the early 1910s. Early two-reel films, which Chaplin wrote and directed such as “The Tramp” and “Easy Street”, showed plenty of potential in the man who had yet to see his thirtieth birthday. His films were based on slapstick routines that were very carefully orchestrated and performed. His unique talent had a richness of character and a rebellious yet caring heart. Read More

Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1946) August 11, 2006

Posted by Daniel Stephens in : 1940s, Drama, Film reviews, Thriller/Suspense, Crime , add a comment

Dir. Alfred Hitchcock; screenplay by Ben Hecht; starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains

One of Hitchcock’s simpler stories is pure cinematic entertainment from start to finish. He somehow seamlessly draws together the tale of love-torn couple Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman with Claude Rains’ Nazi mastermind and Bergman’s introduction to the world of espionage and intrigue, as if it was a perfectly natural experience we all have to go through. Who else could turn an ice-box with gradually decreasing numbers of Champagne bottles into dramatic narrative, underpinning it with Grant and Bergman sneaking around like naughty teenagers looking for a secret place to make out? This is certainly one of Hitchcock’s finest movies.

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