Chaplin: A Life

Chaplin A Life Born in London in Charlie Chaplin grew up in dire poverty Both his parents were in show business but severe alcoholism cut short his father s flourishing career and his beloved mother first lo

  • Title: Chaplin: A Life
  • Author: Stephen Weissman
  • ISBN: 9781559708920
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Born in London in 1889, Charlie Chaplin grew up in dire poverty Both his parents were in show business, but severe alcoholism cut short his father s flourishing career, and his beloved mother first lost her voice, then lost her mind to syphilis Charlie at age seven was committed to the Hanwell School for Orphans and Destitute Children How then did this poor, lonely chilBorn in London in 1889, Charlie Chaplin grew up in dire poverty Both his parents were in show business, but severe alcoholism cut short his father s flourishing career, and his beloved mother first lost her voice, then lost her mind to syphilis Charlie at age seven was committed to the Hanwell School for Orphans and Destitute Children How then did this poor, lonely child become such an extraordinary comedian, known and celebrated worldwide Chaplin cut his teeth in British music halls, but it was America that made him At age twenty five, he was touring here with a vaudeville troupe when his talents caught the eye of entertainment entrepreneur Mack Sennett, who spirited him off to California and signed him to a film contract Chaplin became Sennett s star comedian, and by twenty eight the actor had become a millionaire and the world s greatest celebrity Weissman traces Chaplin s life and the sources of his genius in fascinating detail, demonstrating how his tragic childhood shaped his personality and his art Infamous for his politics and his scandalous sex life, Chaplin was a much complex and contradictory character than has hitherto been known Weissman brilliantly illuminates both the screen legend and the turbulent era through which he lived and worked.

    417 Comment

    • Сергей Бережной says:

      Вейсман был психоаналитиком Чаплина в течение 20 лет, но в этой книге нет ни личных впечатлений о встречах с великим актёром, ни, тем более, сенсационных подробностей в нарушение «тайны исповеди». Судя по всему, Вейсман, который читал многие изданные биографии своего пациен [...]

    • Anthea Carson says:

      Charlie Chaplin isn't just part of Hollywood history, he IS Hollywood History. Any depiction of Hollywood could likely include his hat and cane image. An impression of Charlie's character, the little tramp, one hundred years later would still be immediately recognized. I never had much of an interest in him but I certainly knew who he was, and I would imagine that's how most people feel about Charlie Chaplin. On a whim, and because it was free on Netflix I watched the movie Chaplin with Robert D [...]

    • John P says:

      This is not a traditional biography in that the author tries to psychoanalyze Chaplin after the fact using his films and other historical records for input. It is not especially well-written, leaving me confused in a couple spots. Also the book takes its sweet time chronicling Chaplin's childhood on up to about 1914 and then in just a relatively few pages speeds disappointingly in fast-forward to the end.The pictures are fascinating - I wish there were more. (And of course there are oodles on th [...]

    • GoldGato says:

      The life of Charlie Chaplin is given the once-over here by a psychoanalyst, which brings a new perspective to the usual celebrity bio. He is responsible for unearthing the possibility that Chaplin's mother had syphilis and this is why she was interred in a mental institution in the early 1900s.While I can confirm this book was a page-turner, it isn't really a full life biography of Chaplin. The majority of the book focuses on the silent film star's childhood and parents. It then quickly dispense [...]

    • Kristina Hoerner says:

      I was not impressed by this new bio of Chaplin. The author's big story was the claim that Chaplin's mother's mental health issues were related to untreated syphilis. I would have thought that someone else would have discovered that in her medical history before now. I did not get drawn into the style of writing and the story only goes up to 1915, leaving out a lot of life for a man that lived into the mid 1970s.

    • Robert says:

      A disappointing retelling Chaplin's early years (mostly before he started in films) from familiar sources. Stick with Chaplin's own autobiography.

    • Brian says:

      I’m normally wary of biographies that attempt to put their chosen subject “on the couch.” I know it’s tempting, when writing about artists, writers, or other creative people to try to view their work through the gauze of life experience, explaining their art in the context of childhood traumas, distant parents, or failed relationships. There are some no-brainers out there, certainly — one could hardly write about Edgar Allan Poe or Vincent Van Gogh, to name only two, without looking in [...]

    • Iceman says:

      Se há personagem que todos conhecemos é, indiscutivelmente, Charlot, o “Adorável Vagabundo” que encantou gerações e que, cem anos depois do seu surgimento, continua a fazer rir quem assiste aos seus mudos filmes.Charles Spencer Chaplin nasceu no dia 16 de Abril de 1889 em Londres. Filho de dois actores que chegaram a ser bastante conhecidos e apreciados (Hannah Chaplin e Charlie Chaplin Sénior), teve um início de infância dourado que brutamente terminou quando, aos 7 anos, se viu rec [...]

    • Robert says:

      While reading this often riveting account of Chaplin's personal life and professional career, I was reminded of a passage in Walt Whitman's poem, "Song of Myself": "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." That can certainly be said of Chaplin who overcame a truly miserable childhood, mastered the skills needed to achieve extraordinary success on stage, completed an especially difficult transition from performing in front of a live audience [...]

    • Yasmin says:

      This book was very, very disappointing. Mr.Weissman took the reader as far as Charlie Chaplin's career with Essanay and then came to a surprising halt. He touched very briefly with the later movies and Chaplin's exile but not much more than that. He didn't really tell the reader anything new other than Hannah Chaplin's illness may have been a result of what could be assumed a sexually transmitted disease. But he gives no real evidence that she went or not to South Africa or how long that she was [...]

    • Stephanie says:

      I should start out by saying that this is not a straightforward biography. It was written by a psychoanalyst and as he is explaining Chaplin's life, he mentions the movies where a theme, event, or emotion was put into the films.I didn't know anything about Chaplin's life before reading this, nor did I know very much about his films. It made me want to view them for the first time.While Weissman described Chaplin's early life in detail, once he got up to the point in his life where he was making [...]

    • Scooter Chick says:

      One of the best and most compassionate books about Chaplin qritten, with the approval of his family. Intro written by his daughter Geraldine Chaplin, explaining how and why they felt that Dr. Weissman's (a well respected analyst) study needed to be published.For Chaplin scholars, an excellent read, I highly recommend it. I have studied Chaplin, and read every book by or about him, for 45 years, and this book gave me even more respect for him and how he succeeded over adversity, both personally a [...]

    • Karen says:

      An interesting look at Mr. Chaplin from a psychoanalytical viewpoint, dealing primarily with his childhood influences. His father and mother were both stars on the London music hall stage, but both were also very troubled human beings. Charlie, Sr. was an alcoholic and Hannah developed syphilitic psychoses. It's amazing that Charlie came out of this at all, much less to world acclaim. The author, however, does not deal with Charlie's personal life at all, just the impact that his childhood had o [...]

    • Paula Hebert says:

      I had just read Sunnyside and so was was curious to know more about Chaplin, so when I saw this book in the library I picked it up. It's written by a psychologist, and so relates all of Chaplins work to his early life and parents,which were traumatic to the extreme. although very informative, it is very dry, like reading a patient's file. It could have used a little more style, in my view. but if you are interested in Chaplin, you'll enjoy the info.

    • Karenbike Patterson says:

      The first half of the book focused on Chaplin until he went out on his own. His mother was an actress turned mental patient and his father was an actor turned alcoholic. Charlie and his brother Syd were foraging for food, turned into an orphanage and kicked out of the house by their step mother. When he got started in music halls his life got better and he hit it big in his early twenties. The rest of the book focuses on how he developed his craft by using his experiences as a child.

    • Sarah says:

      I was looking forward to reading this book. I heard about it on NPR and Faith Middleton raved about it. I love Chaplin's films and I wanted to learn more about him, but this book was just so depressing. It read like a research paper, which is fine if you're in the mood for that kind of stuff, but I wanted to get more out of it.

    • Dkeslin says:

      Written by a psychiatrist, Stephen Weissman. this look at the motivations and early life experience as a poor lad in London with an alcoholic stage father and a struggling mother, reveals the influences that made Chaplin the greatest and most successful comic in cinematic history. Great writing and analysis. A wonderful look at the early years of film development and the silents.

    • Jinny says:

      Everything I always wanted to know about one of the most influential people of the 20th century. It is no surprise the man composed music that he could not even read. The author shows obvious reverence for Chaplin's genius, handles his subject with tenderness. I walked away from this book feeling like I knew more about this man than I was ready for.

    • Rose Ann says:

      Not particularly well written, not particularly well-organized. Didn't finish it. The author's writing style was a barrier. Even though Chaplin's own daughter wrote the intro for it, I would not recommend the book.

    • Diego says:

      We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.Chaplin, made me see life from a totally different point of view. Thanks for that.

    • Fernando says:


    • AnnaRae Martin says:

      Need more details but, glad of daughters approval :)

    • Tom says:

      Interesting psychoanalytic account of Chaplin's life and work, with a lot of interesting detail about his childhood.

    • Priya Pushparaj says:

      The author clearly hates Chaplin. He has enjoyed playing 'detective' over this man's life

    • Eduardo Henrique says:

      Desinteressante em sua maior parte.

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