Chaplin (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes


Chaplin (1992)



Critic Consensus: Chaplin boasts a terrific performance from Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, but it isn't enough to overcome a formulaic biopic that pales in comparison to its subject's classic films.

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Movie Info

Robert Downey, Jr. gained widespread praise for his uncanny performance as the legendary Charlie Chaplin in this otherwise disappointing biography. Told in flashback, the film consists of Chaplin's responses to questioning by fictional publisher George Hayden, who wants to know about the parts left out of the legend's autobiographical book.

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Robert Downey Jr.
as Charles Spencer Chaplin
Anthony Hopkins
as George Hayden
Kevin Kline
as Douglas Fairbanks
Kevin Dunn
as J. Edgar Hoover
Dan Aykroyd
as Mack Sennett
Moira Kelly
as Hetty/Oona O'Neill
Paul Rhys
as Sydney Chaplin
John Thaw
as Fred Karno
Marisa Tomei
as Mabel Normand
Penelope Ann Miller
as Edna Purviance
Diane Lane
as Paulette Goddard
Nancy Travis
as Joan Barry
James Woods
as Lawyer Scott
Hugh Downer
as Charlie (age 5)
Tom Bradford
as Charlie (age 14)
Matthew Cottle
as Stan Laurel
David Duchovny
as Rollie Totheroh
Francesca Buller
as Minnie Chaplin
Peter Crook
as Frank Hooper
Donnie Kehr
as Sound Engineer
Michael Blevins
as David Raskin
Nicholas Gatt
as Sydney (age 9)
Bill Paterson
as Stage Manager
Deborah Moore
as Lita Grey
Anthony Bowles
as Conductor
Howard Lew Lewis
as Workhouse Official
P.H. Moriarty
as Workhouse Official
Alan Ford
as Warder
Liz Porter
as Matchgirl
Marcus Eyre
as Policeman
Anwar Adaoui
as Lambeth Kid
Ben Bilson
as Lambeth Kid
Matthew Cartwright
as Lambeth Kid
Ian Covington
as Lambeth Kid
Adam Goodwin
as Lambeth Kid
Milly Gregory
as Lambeth Kid
Sam Holland
as Lambeth Kid
Josh Maguire
as Lambeth Kid
Daniel Sherman
as Lambeth Kid
Luke Strain
as Lambeth Kid
Frankie Sullivan
as Lambeth Kid
Karen Salt
as Little Girl
Gerald Sim
as Doctor
Andre Bernard
as Yankee Doodle Dancer
Graham Sinclair
as Master of Ceremonies
Karen Lewis
as Yankee Doodle Dancer
Andree Bernard
as Yankee Doodle Dancer
Carole Jahme
as Yankee Doodle Dancer
Jacqueline Leonard
as Yankee Doodle Dancer
Claire Perriam
as Yankee Doodle Dancer
Theresa Petts
as Yankee Doodle Dancer
David Gant
as London Maitre d'
Mary Healey
as Mrs. Karno
Malcolm Terris
as Stallholder
Phil Brown
as Projectionist
Ena Baga
as Pianist
Mario Govoni
as Swiss Butler
David Mooney
as Wedding Photographer
C.J. Golden
as Bride's Mother
Raymond Lynch
as Bride's Father
Mike Randelman
as Groom's Mother
Mike Peluso
as Groom's Father
Caroline Cornell
as Wedding Guest
Ann Fairlie
as Wedding Guest
Paul Hayes
as Wedding Guest
Dennis Vero
as Wedding Guest
Nick Corello
as Masseur
Richard Fast
as Bronco Billy Anderson
William Hunt
as US Maitre D'
Maria Pitillo
as Mary Pickford
Brad Parker
as Party Photographer
Yoshio Be
as Chauffeur
David Totheroh
as Cameraman
Jack Totheroh
as Cameraman
Jack Ritschel
as William Randolph Hearst
Heather McNair
as Marion Davies
Laura Bastianelli
as Dinner Guest
Joy Claussen
as Dinner Guest
Paul Bruno Grenier
as Dinner Guest
Marykate Harris
as Dinner Guest
Charles Howerton
as Dinner Guest
Jason Logan
as Dinner Guest
Renata Scott
as Dinner Guest
Robert Peters
as 'Great Dictator' cinematographer
Mike Villani
as Dinner Guest
Jerry Jenson
as Hotel Porter
Alan Charof
as Federal Marshal
Dana Craig
as Federal Marshal
Kennedy Grant
as Federal Marshal
Ken Magee
as Federal Marshal
Ben Whitrow
as Station Master
Edward Crangle
as Young Autograph Hunter
Mark Vegh
as Barman
Caroline Guthrie
as Courting Couple
Lawrence Lambert
as Courting Couple
Robert Stephens
as Ted the Drunk
Tim Chaplin
as Working Man
Nick Edmett
as Working Man
David Finch
as Working Man
Mark Long
as Working Man
Tommy Wright
as Working Man
Leonard Kirby
as Young Fan
Sean O'Bryan
as Lewis Seeley
Donald Elson
as Prop Man
Sky Rumph
as Charles Chaplin, Jr. (age 7)
Bradley Pierce
as Sydney Chaplin, Jr. (age 6)
William Dennis Hunt
as US Maitre d'
Norbert Weisser
as German Diplomat
Vicki Frederick
as Party Guest
Gene Wolande
as Party Guest
Iris Bath
as Party Guest
Thomas K. Belgrey
as Party Guest
Tom Preston
as Party Guest
Mary Stark
as Party Guest
Annie Waterman
as Party Guest
Noah Margetts
as Clapper Boy
Rhett Smith
as Tennis Party Guest
Michael A. Goorjian
as Adult Charles Chaplin Jr.
Michael Cade
as Adult Sydney Chaplin Jr.
Phil Forman
as Reporter
Jerry Giles
as Reporter
Howard Hughes
as Reporter
Jayson Kane
as Reporter
John Otrin
as Reporter
Paul Sinclair
as Reporter
Ralph Votrian
as Reporter
Emma Lewis
as Production Assistant
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Critic Reviews for Chaplin

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (16)

Downey has a perfect ear for the Chaplin accent, the way it climbed from Cockney to minced posh, and a perfect boot and fist for the slapstick; the one thing he doesn't have is an eye on his own brilliance.

January 3, 2018

For all the movie's undisputed competence, grand and inspired moments are thin on the ground.

February 27, 2008 | Rating: 3/5

With this reverential biopic, director Richard Attenborough has cranked out a many-reel, talky talkie.

February 27, 2008

A lot of loving care (but not much thought) went into this white elephant, and considering how fascinating a figure Chaplin is it's never exactly boring, but your time would be much better spent looking at any of Chaplin's pictures.

February 27, 2008

Attenborough's very traditional biopic is a disappointment.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Actually, it's a pretty bad movie, but Robert Downey Jr. is so great that you can forget nearly all of the clunky storytelling.

October 21, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Chaplin


A stupendous biopic centered on the life of the perfectionist genius obsessed with his work that was Charles Chaplin, and it boasts a spectacular production design, a marvelous script, a beautiful score and Robert Downey Jr. in one of his most amazing performances.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Robert Downey jr. brings Charlie Chaplin to life in this near flawless biopic, Chaplin. Chaplin tells the story of the first Hollywood icon, Charlie Chaplin. Robert Downey jr. delivers as the famed actor. He gives a stunning, perfect performance of this icon of cinema. Chaplin is one of the best biopics I've seen in quite some time. There is a good mix of humor and drama in this story. The film recounts some of the greatest moments in Charlie Chaplin's life, such as his debut in silent films, the release of his legendary The Great Dictator and his welcomed return to Hollywood. Chaplin is a well crafted biopic that has superb performances. I thought that this was a terrific film, and I don't understand why the film has gotten so much criticism. I felt like this was a great film that really captured the essence of this troubled genius. This film is another example as to why film critics are wrong. Downey Jr's performance was flawless and he really delivered something special on-screen. You looked at him, and you saw Charlie Chaplin. If you're looking for a terrific biopic, Chaplin is the one. I've seen many films based on the lives of famous people, and Chaplin is one of the better biopics around. This is a brilliant film that really delivers something great for the viewer. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and I'm sure every die-hard Charlie Chaplin fan will enjoy Robert Downey jr.'s performance as the Little Tramp. A wonderful picture.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Not a huge success upon release and I'm not really sure why as this lavish epic is thoroughly interesting, charming and well made. Taken a from a point of narration by Chaplin during an interview with a fictional character played by Hopkins the film simply takes you through Chaplin's life from one event to another although with many gaps. I'm not completely up with the life of Charlie but I have read that the film does take artistic license with the truth and of course skips allot of history. This really can't be faulted as my personal view from someone who knows very little about his life is 'does that matter?' The film shows much of his upbringing from the dirty streets of Victorian London to his first jobs in the US, his breaking through into the business, becoming rich and world famous and his problems upon returning to the UK after the the first World War. Most of his big films are also covered in the bio and show just how much swing he had during his reign, the issue he had with controversial ideas and how his close friendships with top stars of the time like Doug Fairbanks helped him. The film looks excellent in every sense and every scene but clearly the main attraction is Downey Jr and his portrayal of Chaplin. Not only does he genuinely look like Charlie but he manages to mimic the moves, walk, facial expressions and even the comedic slapstick Charlie amazed us with in his movies. To watch Downey making the classic films within the main film you would actually think Chaplin was still alive today starring in his own bio, amazing work to get it right. Other cast members all add to the superb film both in their looks and portrayals, an amazing line up of known stars from both the US and the UK ranging from Dan Aykroyd to Diane Lane to John Thaw to Milla Jovovich. Kevin Kline is probably one of the better casting choices as he really does seem to belong in that kind of era, born at the wrong time methinks hehe and his lovely showcase as Fairbanks shows this. As with any film of this nature some sequences are maybe over the top and heavy handed to create that teary eyed emotion but I guess that is to be expected and required to a degree. Never the less a worthy film from Attenborough that has been forgotten and easily sits in the top twenty of all time bio pics.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

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