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Over the last century, Charlie Chaplin's name has become synonymous with comedy. He attained global fame through his silent films. He used the 'Little Tramp' and his other characters not just to inject humor, for there is also a strong undercurrent of socio-political commentary in his works.
To give you a demonstration of Chaplin's unparalleled repertoire as a master comedian, here are the ten most hilarious scenes from his films.
The Little Tramp intervenes in a street fight between two urchins in a neighborhood, only to take the side of the winner. He gets bullied by the loser's big brother who forces the kids to have a second bout. But, the kid once again knocks the big man's brother out despite the Tramp's best efforts. The Tramp tries to calm down the infuriated brother, but he finds him inconsolable.
Here Chaplin plays the role of convict who escapes from the prison. During the movie's opening chase sequence, the convict is on the run and is being chased by the prison guards. The scene is brilliantly choreographed and the detailing is absolutely unbelievable for a 1917 movie. The part in which a fat guard tries to match the convict's ability to climb will make you laugh endlessly.
Chaplin was the last of Hollywood's filmmakers who continued making silent films in the era of talkies. The Great Dictator was Chaplin's first proper talkie. The film can best be described as a satirical comedy on the fascist regimes of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The scene starts on a wickedly funny note with the Dictator Adenoid Hynkel, based on Adolf Hitler, imagining himself as the Emperor of the World. He picks up the globe-balloon in his room and begins to dance with it like a gymnast.
Chaplin is a soldier at the warfront. The enemy is on the charge as the little soldier enjoys some booze with his comrade. Perhaps, it is a measure to overcome fear. After a while, the soldier picks up his rifle and begins to shoot. Every time he hits his target, he updates the hit count on the slab attached to a wooden ladder with a piece of chalk. But is he really shooting down his enemy soldiers? Believe me, you don't want to miss the ending!
The Little Tramp is running for his life. He is being chased by a horse. He takes asylum in a cage. To his great shock, it turns out to be a lion's lair. But the lion is asleep. The Tramp is quick to discover a trapdoor. As the Little Tramp tries to escape the cage through the trapdoor, he finds out that an angry tiger is waiting to greet him. So he backtracks to the lion's cage. But things get worse as a dog outside the cage begins to bark at him. Unfortunately for the Tramp, the barking wakes up the lion. Watch how the Little Tramp tries to placate the King of the Jungle. The jaw-dropping tension only adds to the fun.
The dictator of Tomanian Adenoid Hynkel arrives at the railway station to greet the Bacterian Dictator Benzino Napaloni, Benito Mussolini. Napaloni refuses to step out of the train without the red carpet. After a lot of failed attempts when the red carpet finally gets laid at the right spot, Napolini steps out. What ensues is a laugh riot as the two ruthless dictators start pushing each other to get into a better frame for the photo shoot. Watch out for the deviously funny ending.
Chaplin is a factory worker who is battling to adapt to the modern times. Working on the assembly line, he is not able to keep up with the pace. He quickly becomes a nuisance for the other workers at the line. Things go from bad to worse. The end result is disastrous. The scene is vintage Chaplin.
Chaplin is a gold prospector. Desperately hungry, he decides to prepare a feast for his fellow prospector on Thanksgiving. So he ends up cooking one of his shoes. The part wherein the prospector slices the cooked shoe into two halves, one for him and one for his fellow prospector, is absolutely hilarious. Only Chaplin could make a painful scene like this one look so funny.
In the movie, Tomanian Dictator Hynkel delivers his speeches in a fake language which can be described as a parody of the German language. Talking of the scene, it is not just Chaplin's fake German but his mannerisms, facial expressions, and the body gestures that make it truly iconic. The applause that Dictator Hynkel gets from the massive crowd at the end of the scene is just an icing on the cake. I dare you not to laugh while watching this.
The Little Tramp falls in love with a beautiful flower girl. But the poor girl is blind. The kind-hearted Tramp wants to help the girl and her old mother pay the house rent but has little money to spare. To make matters worse, he gets fired. On his way out of the office, he is persuaded by a boxer to stage a fake fight. The boxer promises to split the prize money. But, fearing arrest, the boxer flees at the last moment forcing the Little Tramp to be the last minute replacement. But the Tramp is not the one to go down without a fight. So, he fights valiantly. There is a not even a single moment in here where one would stop laughing. Comic timing seldom gets better than this.
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