Charlie Chaplin filmography

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 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and, while travelling to England in 1952 to attend the premiere of his film Limelight, his American re-entry permit was rescinded.[5] Chaplin eventually settled in Switzerland, where he remained for the rest of his life.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 2019, six of the films Chaplin starred in have been added to the American National Film Registry: 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

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 dateTitleCredited asNotes
2 February 1914Making a LivingSlicker
7 February 1914Kid Auto Races at VeniceTrampReleased on a split-reel (i.e. two films on one reel) with an education film, Olives and Trees.
9 February 1914Mabel's Strange PredicamentTrampFilmed 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 1914A Thief CatcherA PolicemanPrint discovered in 2010.[10]
28 February 1914Between ShowersMasher
2 March 1914A Film JohnnieThe Film Johnnie
9 March 1914Tango TanglesTipsy Dancer
16 March 1914His Favourite PastimeDrinker
26 March 1914Cruel, Cruel LoveLord Helpus
4 April 1914The Star BoarderThe Star boarder
18 April 1914Mabel at the WheelVillainTwo reels
20 April 1914Twenty Minutes of LoveYesYesPickpocket
27 April 1914Caught in a CabaretWaiterTwo reels. Co-writer: Mabel Normand
4 May 1914Caught in the RainYesYesTipsy Hotel Guest
7 May 1914A Busy DayYesYesWifeReleased on a split-reel with an educational short, The Morning Papers.
1 June 1914The Fatal MalletSuitor
4 June 1914Her Friend the BanditYesYesBanditThe only known Chaplin lost film.[12] Co-director: Mabel Normand
11 June 1914The KnockoutRefereeTwo reels
13 June 1914Mabel's Busy DayTipsy Nuisance
20 June 1914Mabel's Married LifeYesYesMabel's HusbandCo-writer: Mabel Normand
9 July 1914Laughing GasYesYesDentist's Assistant
1 August 1914The Property ManYesYesThe Property ManTwo reels
10 August 1914The Face on the Bar Room FloorYesYesArtistBased on the poem by Hugh Antoine d'Arcy.
13 August 1914RecreationYesYesTrampReleased as a split-reel with a travel short, The Yosemite.
27 August 1914The MasqueraderYesYesFilm Actor
31 August 1914His New ProfessionYesYesCharlie
7 September 1914The RoundersYesYesReveller
24 September 1914The New JanitorYesYesJanitor
10 October 1914Those Love PangsYesYesMasher
26 October 1914Dough and DynamiteYesYesWaiterTwo reels. Co-writer: Mack Sennett
29 October 1914Gentlemen of NerveYesYesImpecunious Track Enthusiast
7 November 1914His Musical CareerYesYesPiano Mover
9 November 1914His Trysting PlaceYesYesHusbandTwo reels
14 November 1914Tillie's Punctured RomanceCharlie, a City SlickerSix reels. From the play, Tillie's Nightmare, by A. Baldwin Sloane and Edgar Smith.
5 December 1914Getting AcquaintedYesYesSpouse
7 December 1914His Prehistoric PastYesYesWeakchinTwo reels


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 dateTitleCredited asNotes
1 February 1915His New JobYesYesFilm Extra
15 February 1915A Night OutYesYesRevellerDebut of Edna Purviance
11 March 1915The ChampionYesYesAspiring Pugilist
18 March 1915In the ParkYesYesCharlieOne reel
1 April 1915A Jitney ElopementYesYesSuitor, the Fake Count
11 April 1915The TrampYesYesThe Tramp
29 April 1915By the SeaYesYesStrollerOne reel
21 June 1915WorkYesYesDecorator's Apprentice
12 July 1915A WomanYesYesCharlie / "The Woman"
9 August 1915The BankYesYesJanitor
4 October 1915ShanghaiedYesYesCharlie
20 November 1915A Night in the ShowYesYesMr. Pest and Mr. Rowdy
18 December 1915A Burlesque on CarmenYesYesDarn HosieryRe-issued on 22 April 1916, as an unauthorised four-reeler with new footage shot and assembled by Leo White.
27 May 1916PoliceYesYesEx-Convict
11 August 1918Triple TroubleYesYesJanitorCompilation 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 dateTitleCredited asNotes
15 May 1916The FloorwalkerYesYesYesImpecunious CustomerCo-writer: Vincent Bryan
12 June 1916The FiremanYesYesYesFiremanCo-writer: Vincent Bryan
10 July 1916The VagabondYesYesYesStreet MusicianCo-writer: Vincent Bryan
7 August 1916One A.M.YesYesYesDrunk
4 September 1916The CountYesYesYesTailor's Apprentice
2 October 1916The PawnshopYesYesYesPawnbroker's Assistant
13 November 1916Behind the ScreenYesYesYesProperty Man's Assistant
4 December 1916The RinkYesYesYesWaiter and Skating Enthusiast
22 January 1917Easy StreetYesYesYesVagabond recruited to Police Force
16 April 1917The CureYesYesYesAlcoholic Gentleman at Spa
17 June 1917The ImmigrantYesYesYesImmigrantAdded to the National Film Registry in 1998.[14]
22 October 1917The AdventurerYesYesYesEscaped Convict

First National

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 dateTitleCredited asNotes
14 April 1918A Dog's LifeYesYesYesYesTrampThree reels. Score composed for compilation, The Chaplin Revue
29 September 1918The BondYesYesYesTrampHalf-reel. Co stars brother Sydney Chaplin
20 October 1918Shoulder ArmsYesYesYesYesRecruitThree reels. Score composed for compilation, The Chaplin Revue.
15 May 1919SunnysideYesYesYesYesFarm HandymanThree reels. Score composed for 1974 re-release.
15 December 1919A Day's PleasureYesYesYesYesFatherTwo reels. First film with Jackie Coogan, future star of "The Kid". Score composed for 1973 re-release.
6 February 1921The KidYesYesYesYesTrampSix reels. Score composed for 1971 re-release. Added to the National Film Registry in 2011.[15]
25 September 1921The Idle ClassYesYesYesYesTramp / HusbandTwo reels. Score composed for 1971 re-release.
2 April 1922Pay DayYesYesYesYesLaborerTwo reels. Score composed for 1972 re-release. Chaplin's final short (of less than 30 minutes running time).
26 February 1923The PilgrimYesYesYesYesEscaped ConvictFour reels. Score composed for compilation, The Chaplin Revue.

United Artists

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 dateTitleCredited asNotes
26 September 1923A Woman of ParisYesYesYesYesPorterChaplin has a small cameo role. Score composed for 1976 re-issue.
26 June 1925The Gold RushYesYesYesYesLone ProspectorScore composed for 1942 re-issue. Added to the National Film Registry in 1992.[16]
6 January 1928The CircusYesYesYesYesTrampScore composed for 1970 re-issue. The Academy Film Archive preserved The Circus in 2002.[17]
30 January 1931City LightsYesYesYesYesTrampAdded to the National Film Registry in 1991.[18]
5 February 1936Modern TimesYesYesYesYesA factory workerAdded to the National Film Registry in 1989.[19]
15 October 1940The Great DictatorYesYesYesYesAdenoid Hynkel / The BarberAdded to the National Film Registry in 1997.[20] Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Writing.[7]
11 April 1947Monsieur VerdouxYesYesYesYesMonsieur Henri VerdouxBased on an idea by Orson Welles.[21] Nominated for Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).[7]
16 October 1952LimelightYesYesYesYesCalveroPulled 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

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 dateTitleCredited asNotes
12 September 1957A King in New YorkYesYesYesYesKing ShahdovLast starring role. An Attica-Archway production
Not released in the United States until 1972.
5 January 1967A Countess from Hong KongYesYesYesAn Old StewardA Universal Production in Panavision and Technicolor. Produced by Jerome Epstein.
Chaplin has a small cameo role.

Other film appearances

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

Year(s)TitleCredited asNotes
1915–1916LifeYesYesYesUncompleted, although parts were used in The Essanay-Chaplin Revue (see below).
1918How to Make MoviesYesYesYesHimselfNever assembled, although parts were used in The Chaplin Revue (see below). Reconstructed in 1981 by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill.[23]
(untitled film)YesYesYesHimselfA charity film co-starring Harry Lauder.
1919The ProfessorYesYesYesProfessor BoscoSlated as a two-reeler, but never issued.
c.1922Nice and FriendlyYesYesYesTrampImprovised sketch.
1926A Woman of the SeaYesCompleted but never released. Chaplin had the negative burned on 24 June 1933, making it lost.
1933All at SeaHimselfAn 11-minute home film shot by Alistair Cooke onboard Chaplin's boat, Panacea, and featuring Cooke with Chaplin and Paulette Goddard.[24]
1966–1975The FreakYesA 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 dateTitleCredited asNotes
31 March 1915Introducing Charlie ChaplinPromo film intended for exhibitors to show as a prologue to Chaplin films.
23 September 1916The Essanay-Chaplin RevueYesYesEx-convictCompiled by Leo White from portions of Police and Life with new material directed by White.
1916ZeppedA 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 1918Chase Me CharlieYesYesA seven-reel montage of Essanay films, edited by Langford Reed. Released in England.
Circa 1920Charlie Butts InYesYesEssentially 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.
1938The Charlie Chaplin CarnivalYesYesYesYesProperty Man's Assistant / Tailor's Apprentice / Fireman / Street MusicianCompiled from Behind the Screen, The Count, The Fireman, and The Vagabond, with additional music and added sound effects.
1938The Charlie Chaplin CalvacadeYesYesYesYesDrunk / Waiter and Skating Enthusiast / Pawnbroker's Assistant / Impecunious CustomerCompiled from One A.M., The Rink, The Pawnshop, and The Floorwalker, with additional music and added sound effects.
1938The Charlie Chaplin FestivalYesYesYesYesImmigrant / The Derelict / The Inebriate / The ConvictCompiled from The Adventurer, The Cure, Easy Street and The Immigrant, with additional music and added sound effects.
25 September 1959The Chaplin RevueYesYesYesYesTramp / Recruit / Escaped Convict / HimselfCompiled from A Dog's Life, Shoulder Arms, The Pilgrim, and How to Make Movies.
1975The Gentleman TrampA 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:

1915His RegenerationCharles Chaplin – Customer (uncredited)
1923Souls for SaleShown on the set of A Woman of Paris.
HollywoodLost film.[28]
1928Show PeopleAdded 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. "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. 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. 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. 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

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