Charlie Chaplin filmography

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A smiling man with a small moustache wearing a bowler hat and a tight-fitting necktie and coat
Chaplin in his "Tramp" persona

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) was an English actor, comedian, and filmmaker whose work in motion pictures spanned from 1914 until 1967. During his early years in film, he became established as a worldwide cinematic idol renowned for his tramp persona. In the 1910s and 1920s, he was considered the most famous person on the planet.[1]

Chaplin was born in London and began acting on stage at the age of nine.[2] In 1913, while on tour in the United States with Fred Karno's comedy group, he accepted a contract to work for Mack Sennett's Keystone film company. During his time at Keystone, he began writing and directing some of the films in which he starred. Chaplin signed with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company in 1915, and the year after with the Mutual Film Corporation. In 1918, Chaplin began producing his own films, initially releasing them through First National Pictures and then through United Artists, a corporation he co-founded with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith.[3] In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Chaplin was accused of being a Communist sympathiser, which he denied.[4] He remained a British subject and, while travelling to England in 1952 to attend the premiere of his film Limelight, his American re-entry permit was rescinded.[5] Chaplin eventually settled in Switzerland, where he remained for the rest of his life. He made his last two films in England.

During his lifetime, Chaplin received three awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. At the first Academy Awards ceremony, held on 16 May 1929, he was originally nominated for Best Actor and Best Director for The Circus (1928). The Academy dropped his two nominations, and he won an honorary award for writing, directing, producing, and acting.[6][7] In 1972, he returned to the United States after nearly two decades to receive another honorary award, this time for his overall achievements in cinema. The following year, Chaplin's score for Limelight received the Academy Award for Best Music. Although 20 years old by this time, Limelight had not been released in the Los Angeles area until 1972, and had not been eligible for Academy Award consideration before then.[7] Chaplin also received Academy Award nominations in 1940 for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for The Great Dictator. In 1942, Chaplin released a new version of The Gold Rush, taking the original silent 1925 film and composing and recording a musical score which was not released in 1925. The Gold Rush was nominated for Best Music (Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture). Notwithstanding the belated nomination for Limelight, his final contemporary nomination was in 1947 for his screenplay of Monsieur Verdoux.[7]

As of 2020, seven of the films Chaplin starred in have been added to the American National Film Registry: Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), The Immigrant (1917), The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), and The Great Dictator (1940). Also selected was Show People (1928), which features Chaplin in an unbilled cameo appearance.[8] For his work in motion pictures, Chaplin has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[9]

Official films[edit]

In 1964 Chaplin established his official filmography with the publication of his book, My Autobiography. The filmography consisted of 80 motion pictures released since 1914. Further detail was added to it in David Robinson's 1985 biography, Chaplin: His Life and Art, which included Chaplin's last film, A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), as the 81st entry. In 2010 the 82nd film was added with the discovery of A Thief Catcher, an early Keystone film hitherto thought lost.[10]

All of Chaplin's films up to and including The Circus (1928) were silent, although many were re-issued with soundtracks. City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) were essentially silent films, although they were made with soundtracks consisting of music and sound effects, with talking sequences in the latter film. Chaplin's last five films were all talking pictures. Aside from A Countess From Hong Kong, all of Chaplin's films were photographed in 35mm black-and-white.

Except where otherwise referenced, the release dates, character names, and annotations presented here are derived from Chaplin's autobiography, Robinson's book, and The Films of Charlie Chaplin (1965) by Gerald D. McDonald, Michael Conway, and Mark Ricci.


Chaplin appeared in 36 films for Keystone Studios, all produced by Mack Sennett. Except where noted, all films were one reel in length.

Release date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
2 February 1914 Making a Living Slicker
7 February 1914 Kid Auto Races at Venice Tramp Released on a split-reel (i.e. two films on one reel) with an education film, Olives and Trees. Added to the National Film Registry in 2020.
9 February 1914 Mabel's Strange Predicament Tramp Filmed before but released after Kid Auto Races at Venice, hence it was in this film that the Tramp costume was first used.[11]
19 February 1914 A Thief Catcher A Policeman Print discovered in 2010.[10]
28 February 1914 Between Showers Masher (The Tramp)
2 March 1914 A Film Johnnie The Film Johnnie (The Tramp)
9 March 1914 Tango Tangles Tipsy Dancer
16 March 1914 His Favorite Pastime Drinker (The Tramp)
26 March 1914 Cruel, Cruel Love Lord Helpus
4 April 1914 The Star Boarder The Star boarder (The Tramp)
18 April 1914 Mabel at the Wheel Villain Two reels
20 April 1914 Twenty Minutes of Love Yes Yes Pickpocket (The Tramp)
27 April 1914 Caught in a Cabaret Waiter (The Tramp) Two reels. Co-writer: Mabel Normand
4 May 1914 Caught in the Rain Yes Yes Tipsy Hotel Guest (The Tramp)
7 May 1914 A Busy Day Yes Yes Wife Released on a split-reel with an educational short, The Morning Papers.
1 June 1914 The Fatal Mallet Suitor (The Tramp)
4 June 1914 Her Friend the Bandit Yes Yes Bandit

[12] Co-director: Mabel Normand

11 June 1914 The Knockout Referee (Considered by some to be The Tramp) Two reels
13 June 1914 Mabel's Busy Day Tipsy Nuisance
20 June 1914 Mabel's Married Life Yes Yes Mabel's Husband (The Tramp) Co-writer: Mabel Normand
9 July 1914 Laughing Gas Yes Yes Dentist's Assistant (The Tramp)
1 August 1914 The Property Man Yes Yes The Property Man (The Tramp) Two reels
10 August 1914 The Face on the Barroom Floor Yes Yes Artist (The Tramp) Based on the poem by Hugh Antoine d'Arcy.
13 August 1914 Recreation Yes Yes Tramp Released as a split-reel with a travel short, The Yosemite.
27 August 1914 The Masquerader Yes Yes Film Actor (The Tramp)
31 August 1914 His New Profession Yes Yes Charlie (The Tramp)
7 September 1914 The Rounders Yes Yes Reveller Co-starring Roscoe Arbuckle
24 September 1914 The New Janitor Yes Yes Janitor (The Tramp)
10 October 1914 Those Love Pangs Yes Yes Masher (The Tramp)
26 October 1914 Dough and Dynamite Yes Yes Waiter (The Tramp) Two reels. Co-writer: Mack Sennett
29 October 1914 Gentlemen of Nerve Yes Yes Impecunious Track Enthusiast (The Tramp)
7 November 1914 His Musical Career Yes Yes Piano Mover (The Tramp)
9 November 1914 His Trysting Place Yes Yes Husband (The Tramp) Two reels
5 December 1914 Getting Acquainted Yes Yes Spouse (The Tramp)
7 December 1914 His Prehistoric Past Yes Yes Weakchin (The Tramp) Two reels
21 December 1914 Tillie's Punctured Romance Charlie, a City Slicker Six reels. From the play, Tillie's Nightmare, by A. Baldwin Sloane and Edgar Smith.


Chaplin wrote, directed, and starred in 15 films for the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, all produced by Jesse T. Robbins. Except where noted all films are two-reelers.

Release date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
1 February 1915 His New Job Yes Yes Film Extra (The Tramp)
15 February 1915 A Night Out Yes Yes Reveller (The Tramp) Debut of Edna Purviance
11 March 1915 The Champion Yes Yes Aspiring Pugilist (The Tramp)
18 March 1915 In the Park Yes Yes Charlie (The Tramp) One reel
1 April 1915 A Jitney Elopement Yes Yes Suitor, the Fake Count (The Tramp)
11 April 1915 The Tramp Yes Yes The Tramp
29 April 1915 By the Sea Yes Yes Stroller (The Tramp) One reel
21 June 1915 Work Yes Yes Decorator's Apprentice (The Tramp)
12 July 1915 A Woman Yes Yes Charlie / "The Woman" (The Tramp)
9 August 1915 The Bank Yes Yes Janitor (The Tramp)
4 October 1915 Shanghaied Yes Yes Charlie (The Tramp)
20 November 1915 A Night in the Show Yes Yes Mr. Pest and Mr. Rowdy
18 December 1915 A Burlesque on Carmen Yes Yes Darn Hosiery Re-issued on 22 April 1916, as an unauthorised four-reeler with new footage shot and assembled by Leo White.
27 May 1916 Police Yes Yes Ex-Convict (The Tramp)
11 August 1918 Triple Trouble Yes Yes Janitor (The Tramp) Compilation assembled by Leo White with scenes from Police and an unfinished short, Life, along with new material shot by White. Chaplin includes this production in the filmography of his autobiography.


Chaplin wrote, produced, directed, and starred in 12 films for the Mutual Film Corporation, which formed Lone Star Studios solely for Chaplin's films. All of the Mutual releases are two reels in length. In 1932, Amadee J. Van Beuren of Van Beuren Studios purchased Chaplin's Mutual comedies for $10,000 each, added music by Gene Rodemich and Winston Sharples and sound effects, and re-released them through RKO Radio Pictures.[13]

Release date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
15 May 1916 The Floorwalker Yes Yes Yes Impecunious Customer (The Tramp) Co-writer: Vincent Bryan
12 June 1916 The Fireman Yes Yes Yes Fireman (The Tramp) Co-writer: Vincent Bryan
10 July 1916 The Vagabond Yes Yes Yes Street Musician (The Tramp) Co-writer: Vincent Bryan
7 August 1916 One A.M. Yes Yes Yes Drunk
4 September 1916 The Count Yes Yes Yes Tailor's Apprentice (The Tramp)
2 October 1916 The Pawnshop Yes Yes Yes Pawnbroker's Assistant (The Tramp)
13 November 1916 Behind the Screen Yes Yes Yes Property Man's Assistant (The Tramp)
4 December 1916 The Rink Yes Yes Yes Waiter and Skating Enthusiast (The Tramp)
22 January 1917 Easy Street Yes Yes Yes Vagabond recruited to Police Force (The Tramp)
16 April 1917 The Cure Yes Yes Yes Alcoholic Gentleman at Spa (Considered by some to be The Tramp)
17 June 1917 The Immigrant Yes Yes Yes Immigrant (The Tramp) Added to the National Film Registry in 1998.[14]
22 October 1917 The Adventurer Yes Yes Yes Escaped Convict (The Tramp)

First National[edit]

Chaplin wrote, produced, directed, and starred in 9 films for his own production company between 1918 and 1923. These films were distributed by First National.

Release date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
14 April 1918 A Dog's Life Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp Three reels. Score composed for compilation, The Chaplin Revue
29 September 1918 The Bond Yes Yes Yes Tramp Half-reel. Co stars brother Sydney Chaplin
20 October 1918 Shoulder Arms Yes Yes Yes Yes Recruit (The Tramp) Three reels. Score composed for compilation, The Chaplin Revue.
15 May 1919 Sunnyside Yes Yes Yes Yes Farm Handyman (The Tramp) Three reels. Score composed for 1974 re-release.
15 December 1919 A Day's Pleasure Yes Yes Yes Yes Father (The Tramp) Two reels. First film with Jackie Coogan, future star of The Kid. Score composed for 1973 re-release.
6 February 1921 The Kid Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp Six reels. Score composed for 1971 re-release. Added to the National Film Registry in 2011.[15]
25 September 1921 The Idle Class Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp / Husband Two reels. Score composed for 1971 re-release.
2 April 1922 Pay Day Yes Yes Yes Yes Laborer (The Tramp) Two reels. Score composed for 1972 re-release. Chaplin's final short (of less than 30 minutes running time).
26 February 1923 The Pilgrim Yes Yes Yes Yes Escaped Convict (Considered by some to be The Tramp) Four reels. Score composed for compilation, The Chaplin Revue.

United Artists[edit]

Chaplin began releasing his films through United Artists in 1923. From this point on all of his films were of feature length. He produced, directed, and wrote these eight films and starred in all but the first. Beginning with City Lights Chaplin wrote the musical scores for his films as well.

Release date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
26 September 1923 A Woman of Paris Yes Yes Yes Yes Porter Chaplin has a small cameo role. Score composed for 1976 re-issue.
26 June 1925 The Gold Rush Yes Yes Yes Yes Lone Prospector (The Tramp) Score composed for 1942 re-issue. Added to the National Film Registry in 1992.[16]
6 January 1928 The Circus Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp Score composed for 1970 re-issue. The Academy Film Archive preserved The Circus in 2002.[17]
30 January 1931 City Lights Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp Added to the National Film Registry in 1991.[18]
5 February 1936 Modern Times Yes Yes Yes Yes A factory worker (The Tramp) Added to the National Film Registry in 1989.[19]
15 October 1940 The Great Dictator Yes Yes Yes Yes Adenoid Hynkel / The Barber (Considered by some to be The Tramp) Added to the National Film Registry in 1997.[20] Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Writing.[7]
11 April 1947 Monsieur Verdoux Yes Yes Yes Yes Monsieur Henri Verdoux Based on an idea by Orson Welles.[21] Nominated for Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).[7]
16 October 1952 Limelight Yes Yes Yes Yes Calvero Pulled from American screens shortly after its release when Chaplin became a political exile from the United States.[22]Academy Award for Best Music (Scoring). (Awarded in 1973 when the film became first eligible for Academy Award consideration via Los Angeles screenings.)[7]

British productions[edit]

In 1952, while travelling to England to attend the première of his film, Limelight, Chaplin learned that his American re-entry permit was rescinded. As a result, his last two films were made in England.

Release date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
12 September 1957 A King in New York Yes Yes Yes Yes King Shahdov Last starring role. An Attica-Archway production
Not released in the United States until 1972.
5 January 1967 A Countess from Hong Kong Yes Yes Yes An Old Steward A Universal Production in Panavision and Technicolor. Produced by Jerome Epstein.
Chaplin has a small cameo role.

Other film appearances[edit]

In addition to his official 82 films, Chaplin has several unfinished productions in his body of work. He made several cameo appearances as himself and was featured in several compilation films.

Uncompleted and unreleased films[edit]

Year(s) Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
1915–1916 Life Yes Yes Yes Uncompleted, although parts were used in The Essanay-Chaplin Revue (see below).
1918 How to Make Movies Yes Yes Yes Himself Never assembled, although parts were used in The Chaplin Revue (see below). Reconstructed in 1981 by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill.[23]
(untitled film) Yes Yes Yes Himself A charity film co-starring Harry Lauder.
1919 The Professor Yes Yes Yes Professor Bosco Slated as a two-reeler, but never issued.
c.1922 Nice and Friendly Yes Yes Yes Tramp Improvised sketch.
1926 A Woman of the Sea Yes Completed but never released. Chaplin had the negative burned on 24 June 1933, making it lost.
1933 All at Sea Himself An 11-minute home film shot by Alistair Cooke onboard Chaplin's boat, Panacea, and featuring Cooke with Chaplin and Paulette Goddard.[24]
1966–1975 The Freak Yes A production planned for Chaplin's daughter, Victoria.


Many Chaplin-unauthorized compilations of his Keystone, Essanay and Mutual films were released in the years following his departure from those companies. This is not an exhaustive list but does contain the most notable and widely released examples. Eventually Chaplin re-edited and scored his First National shorts for reissue in 1959 and 1975.

Release date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
31 March 1915 Introducing Charlie Chaplin Promo film intended for exhibitors to show as a prologue to Chaplin films.
23 September 1916 The Essanay-Chaplin Revue Yes Yes Ex-convict Compiled by Leo White from portions of Police and Life with new material directed by White.
1916 Zepped A 7-minute reel of this WWI propaganda short, was discovered in 2009,[25] with a second in 2011.[26] The first copy was bought on eBay and later put up for auction, but the only bid failed to reach the reserve price.[27]
May 1918 Chase Me Charlie Yes Yes A seven-reel montage of Essanay films, edited by Langford Reed. Released in England.
Circa 1920 Charlie Butts In Yes Yes Essentially a one-reel version of the second Essanay short, A Night Out, incorporating alternate takes and footage of Chaplin conducting a band at Mer Island.
1938 The Charlie Chaplin Carnival Yes Yes Yes Yes Property Man's Assistant / Tailor's Apprentice / Fireman / Street Musician Compiled from Behind the Screen, The Count, The Fireman, and The Vagabond, with additional music and added sound effects.
1938 The Charlie Chaplin Calvacade Yes Yes Yes Yes Drunk / Waiter and Skating Enthusiast / Pawnbroker's Assistant / Impecunious Customer Compiled from One A.M., The Rink, The Pawnshop, and The Floorwalker, with additional music and added sound effects.
1938 The Charlie Chaplin Festival Yes Yes Yes Yes Immigrant / The Derelict / The Inebriate / The Convict Compiled from The Adventurer, The Cure, Easy Street and The Immigrant, with additional music and added sound effects.
25 September 1959 The Chaplin Revue Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp / Recruit / Escaped Convict / Himself Compiled from A Dog's Life, Shoulder Arms, The Pilgrim, and How to Make Movies.
1975 The Gentleman Tramp A compilation documentary featuring new scenes of Chaplin at his home in Switzerland.


In addition to his own productions of A Woman of Paris (1923) and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), Chaplin made cameo appearances as himself in the following films:

Year Title Notes
1915 His Regeneration Charles Chaplin – Customer (uncredited)
1923 Souls for Sale Shown on the set of A Woman of Paris.
Hollywood Lost film.[28]
1928 Show People Added to the National Film Registry in 2003.[29]



  1. ^ McDonald, Conway & Ricci, p. 12.
  2. ^ Robinson, p. 647.
  3. ^ Robinson, p. 267.
  4. ^ Robinson, pp. 544–549.
  5. ^ Robinson, p. 572.
  6. ^ "History of the Academy Awards". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  8. ^ "Films Selected to The National Film Registry, Library of Congress 1989–2008". Library of Congress. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  9. ^ "The Hollywood Walk of Fame". Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Inc. 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2010. Note: Type in "Charlie Chaplin"
  10. ^ a b Brunsting, Joshua (8 June 2010). "Charlie Chaplin Film Found at an Antique Sale, Once Thought Lost". The Criterion Cast. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  11. ^ Robinson, p. 113.
  12. ^ Robinson, p. 122.
  13. ^ SilentComedians entry Archived 12 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Hooray for Hollywood – Librarian Names 25 More Films to National Registry" (Press release). Library of Congress. 16 November 1998. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  15. ^ "'Forrest Gump,' 'Bambi' join US film registry – Classic movies among 25 chosen for preservation by Library of Congress". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011 – via MSNBC.
  16. ^ "25 American films are added to the National Film Registry". The Prescott Courier. Associated Press. 7 December 1992. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  17. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
  18. ^ Andrews, Roberts M. (11 October 1991). "25 Films Designated For Preservation" (Fee required). St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  19. ^ "Films Selected to The National Film Registry, Library of Congress 1989–2009". Library of Congress. 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  20. ^ "Librarian of Congress Names 25 New Films to National Film Registry" (Press release). Library of Congress. 18 November 1997. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  21. ^ Robinson, pp. 519–520.
  22. ^ Robinson, p. 579.
  23. ^ "How to Make Movies". Charlie Chaplin Encyclopedia. 3 April 2010. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010.
  24. ^ Curran, John (2010). "Shot by young Alistair Cooke, home movie of Chaplin emerges after discovery". The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  25. ^ Charlotte Higgins (5 November 2009). "Collector finds unseen Charlie Chaplin film in tin sold for £3.20 on eBay". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  26. ^ "Charity shop Charlie Chaplin find could earn man £100,000". Shields Gazette. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  27. ^ "Rare Charlie Chaplin film fails to sell". BBC News. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  28. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Hollywood". Silent Era. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  29. ^ "25 Films Added to National Film Registry" (Press release). Library of Congress. 16 December 2003. Retrieved 30 September 2009.


Further reading[edit]

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