Charlie Chaplin’s 100th Year of Movies

Posted on February 2, 2014 at 8:00 am

One hundred years ago this week, British music hall star Charlie Chaplin made his first Hollywood film, the silent “It’s a Living.”

It would be a little while before his classic character of the little tramp really came together.

He became an international superstar without saying a word.  He had unparalleled physical wit and timing.

He could make you laugh and break your heart at the same moment.

Here the blind girl who thought he was a millionaire when she could not see, and knew him only by the touch of his hand, discovers that he is a poor man who gave up everything to pay for the operation to restore her sight.

His movies are still timely for their commentary on society.

Robert Downey, Jr. played him brilliantly in the biopic “Chaplin.”

I also recommend Stephen Weissman’s superb biography, Chaplin: A Life.

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The Corporate Villain in Movies — My First Appearance on Ebert Presents

Posted on April 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I was thrilled that my first appearance on Ebert Presents At the Movies was a discussion of corporate villains on screen from 1909 to the present — why they are so popular and how the portrayals have evolved to reflect changing times.  It was inspired by the piece I wrote for Bnet at the end of last year about the corporate villain in the movies of 2010.  Thanks to all who wrote to say they watched and especially those who said I inspired them to track down some of these films so they can see them.  Enjoy!

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