Charlie chaplin filmography

Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977) was a British film actor, comedian, director, producer, writer, musician and music composer 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. During 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while travelling to England in 1952 to attend the premiere of his film, Limelight, his American re-entry permit was rescinded.[5] Chaplin eventually settled in Switzerland, where he remained for the rest of his life.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 won an honorary award for writing, directing, producing, and acting in The Circus (1928).[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 and in 1947 for his screenplay of Monsieur Verdoux.[7]

As of 2011, 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, an 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
9 February 1914 Mabel's Strange Predicament Tramp Released after 'Kid Auto Races', but first time the Tramp costume was used.
19 February 1914 A Thief Catcher A Policeman Print discovered in 2010[10]
28 February 1914 Between Showers Masher
2 March 1914 A Film Johnnie The Film Johnnie
9 March 1914 Tango Tangles Tipsy Dancer
16 March 1914 His Favorite Pastime Drinker
26 March 1914 Cruel, Cruel Love Lord Helpus
4 April 1914 The Star Boarder The Star boarder
18 April 1914 Mabel at the Wheel Villain Two reels
20 April 1914 Twenty Minutes of Love Yes Yes Pickpocket
27 April 1914 Caught in a Cabaret Waiter Two reels
Co-writer: Mabel Normand
4 May 1914 Caught in the Rain Yes Yes Tipsy Hotel Guest
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
4 June 1914 Her Friend the Bandit Yes Yes Bandit A lost film.[11] The only known Chaplin lost film.
Co-director: Mabel Normand
11 June 1914 The Knockout Referee Two reels
13 June 1914 Mabel's Busy Day Tipsy Nuisance
20 June 1914 Mabel's Married Life Yes Yes Mabel's Husband Co-writer: Mabel Normand
9 July 1914 Laughing Gas Yes Yes Dentist's Assistant
1 August 1914 The Property Man Yes Yes The Property Man Two reels
10 August 1914 The Face on the Bar Room Floor Yes Yes Artist 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
31 August 1914 His New Profession Yes Yes Charlie
7 September 1914 The Rounders Yes Yes Reveller
14 September 1914 The New Janitor Yes Yes Janitor
10 October 1914 Those Love Pangs Yes Yes Masher
26 October 1914 Dough and Dynamite Yes Yes Waiter Two reels
Co-writer: Mack Sennett
29 October 1914 Gentlemen of Nerve Yes Yes Impecunious Track Enthusiast
7 November 1914 Musical Tramp (AKA His Musical Career) Yes Yes Piano Mover
9 November 1914 His Trysting Place Yes Yes Husband Two reels
14 November 1914 Tillie's Punctured Romance Charlie, a City Slicker Six reels
From the play, Tille's Nightmare, by A. Baldwin Sloane and Edgar Smith
5 December 1914 Getting Acquainted Yes Yes Spouse
7 December 1914 His Prehistoric Past Yes Yes Weakchin Two 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 date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
1 February 1915 His New Job Yes Yes Film Extra
15 February 1915 A Night Out Yes Yes Reveller debut of Edna Purviance
11 March 1915 The Champion Yes Yes Aspiring Pugilist
18 March 1915 In the Park Yes Yes Charlie One reel
1 April 1915 A Jitney Elopement Yes Yes Suitor, the Fake Count
11 April 1915 The Tramp Yes Yes The Tramp
29 April 1915 By the Sea Yes Yes Stroller One reel
21 June 1915 Work Yes Yes Decorator's Apprentice
12 July 1915 A Woman Yes Yes Charlie / "The Woman"
9 August 1915 The Bank Yes Yes Janitor
4 October 1915 Shanghaied Yes Yes Charlie
20 November 1915 A Night in the Show Yes Yes Mr. Pest and Mr. Rowdy
18 December 1915 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
11 August 1918 Triple Trouble Yes Yes Janitor 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.

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

First National

Chaplin wrote, produced, directed, and starred in nine 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 Three reels
Score composed for compilation, The Chaplin Revue
15 May 1919 Sunnyside Yes Yes Yes Farm Handyman Three reels
15 December 1919 A Day's Pleasure Yes Yes Yes Father Two reels. First film with Jackie Coogan, future star of "The Kid"
6 February 1921 The Kid Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp Six reels
Added to the National Film Registry in 2011.[13]
25 September 1921 The Idle Class Yes Yes Yes Tramp / Husband Two reels
2 April 1922 Pay Day Yes Yes Yes Laborer Two reels
26 February 1923 The Pilgrim Yes Yes Yes Yes Escaped Convict Four 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 date Title Credited as Notes
Composer Producer Writer Director Role
26 September 1923 A Woman of Paris Yes Yes Yes Porter Chaplin has a small cameo role
26 June 1925 The Gold Rush Yes Yes Yes Yes Lone Prospector Score composed for 1942 re-issue
Added to the National Film Registry in 1992[14]
6 January 1928 The Circus Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp Score composed for 1970 re-issue
30 January 1931 City Lights Yes Yes Yes Yes Tramp Last work credited as 'A Tramp.' Added to the National Film Registry in 1991[15]
5 February 1936 Modern Times Yes Yes Yes Yes A Worker Added to the National Film Registry in 1989[16]
15 October 1940 The Great Dictator Yes Yes Yes Yes Adenoid Hynkel / The Barber Added to the National Film Registry in 1997[17]
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor[7]
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).[7]
11 April 1947 Monsieur Verdoux Yes Yes Yes Yes Monsieur Henri Verdoux Based on an idea by Orson Welles[18]
Nominated – 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[19]
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 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 1967
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

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) 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[20]
(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 Villain Improvised sketch
1926 A Woman of the Sea Yes Completed but never released
Chaplin had the negative burned on 24 June 1933
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[21]
1966–1975 The Freak Yes A production planned for Chaplin's daughter, Victoria


Essanay produced three compilations without Chaplin's authority (to which he took legal action). Chaplin produced his own compilation in 1959 and was involved in the making of another in 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
Unauthorized by Chaplin.
1916 Zepped A propaganda piece of which a seven-minute reel was discovered in 2009.[22] Put up for sale on eBay in 2011, but failed to reach auction expectations.[23]
May 1918 Chase Me Charlie Yes Yes A seven-reel montage of Essanay films, edited by Langford Reed. Released in England. Unauthorized by Chaplin
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)
1921 The Nut Chaplin's footage does not appear in surviving prints, although one sequence that does survive features an unknown actor in Chaplin's tramp persona[24]
1923 Souls for Sale Shown on the set of A Woman of Paris
Hollywood Lost film[25]
1928 Show People Added to the National Film Registry in 2003[26]




External links

  • (Features Chaplin films online)
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