The Little Tramp: A Study of Chaplin’s Iconic Character

American silent comedy was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s, namely during the 1920s. Being as creative and talented as he was, Charlie Chaplin is often regarded as the pioneer and central figure of this type of film during his time. Chaplin wrote, produced, directed, and acted as the lead role in the majority of his films, and provided inspiration for many other actors and silent comedies that followed. In many of Chaplin’s notable silent comedies from the height of his career, scenes that depict the road in various ways serve as more than just the main location of the films, as they play a much more crucial role in the development of the comedy as a whole and the characters within it. The “Little Tramp” persona that Chaplin created and made iconic is an embodiment of not only the hardships and difficulties associated with the road, but the comedy and adventure that comes along with it. In Chaplin’s The Tramp, The Kid, City Lights, and The Gold Rush, road images, the characters’ close interactions with the road, and the depiction of a vagrant tramp without any set home provide the comedic drama that has been unique and central to this renowned genre of film.

According to his autobiography, Charlie Chaplin was born in London, England on the evening of April 16th in 1889 to two parents who were both involved in performing and in stage life. Chaplin became accustomed to theater and performing in front of others at a young age as he would frequently watch his mother perform in various shows. When his mother began fall ill, Charlie would even often fill in for her if she was not feeling up to the performance. Having a mother who was in and out of mental institutions while also suffering from severe malnourishment, and a father who was an alcoholic, Chaplin had a fairly unstable and unhappy childhood. He spent some time living with his brother in the Hanwell Schools for Orphans and Destitute Children, the Lambeth workhouse, sometimes would reside with his mother, then at times with his father, but he truly lacked a settled home, not unlike the Tramp persona that he popularized in his films did. He reveals in his autobiography that his childhood was like “moving from one back-room to another; it was like a game of draughts” (Chaplin, 33). His older brother, Sydney, took it upon himself to help provide for his economically struggling family, but making ends meet and keeping a steady home was not an easy feat. Their father eventually passed away at the same time that their mother was permanently admitted into an institution for her illnesses, and the two young brothers continued to spend much of their life fending for themselves for survival and stability. Chaplin worked many jobs to make any money he possibly could for food, and he joined dancing and comedy troupes along the way, as he decided early on that he had a dream of being a performer. Chaplin’s mother “imbued [him] with the feeling that [he] had some sort of talent,” and regardless of how difficult life got for the actor and comedian, he did not give up on that (Chaplin, 41). Even at a young age, Chaplin enjoyed the art of dancing a lot, but knew that he eventually wanted to end up in comedy as he was drawn to the idea of being funny and making audiences laugh.

Chaplin’s autobiographical account reveals the bumpy road of his own life that had humble, and not so happy beginnings, but eventually led to fame, success, and stardom. He worked for several production companies and studios, some he liked better than others, and he eventually began directing his own silent films while simultaneously starring in them. During his tough childhood, his mother was and remained to be later in life a key to his success as she “illuminated to [him] a kindliest light this world has ever known, which has endowed literature and the theatre with their greatest and richest themes: love, pity and humanity” (Chaplin, 22). Chaplin often did not have enough to eat, and his family because more impoverished over time as his mother either struggled to find steady jobs or was spending time in institutions. With a father who passed away, a mother who was permanently in the hospital, and a brother who was trying to find work in any way he could to make even the smallest amount of money, Chaplin began to spend a lot of time on his own and resented and was even embarrassed by the fact that he often needed help from others, so “like a fugitive, [he] kept out of everyone’s way” (Chaplin, 71). Chaplin had a hard life, but he never lost sight of his dream of becoming an actor and comedian. He worked as a “newsvendor, printer, toy-maker, glass-blower, doctor’s boy, etc., but during these occupational digressions, like Sydney, [he] never lost sight of [his] ultimate aim to become an actor” (Chaplin, 76). Chaplin finally landed his first acting role in Sherlock Holmes and then got a role in play, and he knew his luck was about to change. He felt like “the world [had] suddenly changed, had taken [him] into its fond embrace and adopted [him]” (Chaplin, 77). From that point on he inevitably had some setbacks and downfalls along the way as each role he he was given and every wage he was promised were not always honorable, but despite this Chaplin kept adapting and moving forward, much like his iconic Tramp character does. Chaplin believed that “one either rises to an occasion or succumbs to it,” and so he always kept going (Chaplin, 100).

The birth of the “Little Tramp” character that Chaplin is known for popularizing and making iconic was a persona that the actor actually saw as embodying a lot of his own characteristics. Chaplin began working for Keystone Studios, the place where the famous Tramp was finally born. Keystone Studios was looking to start a new film, and they wanted Chaplin to play the role of a press reporter. Chaplin disliked the costume that he was supposed to wear for his role, so he decided to take matters into his own hands and create his own costume. When in the wardrobe room, he chose to dress in “baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. [He] wanted everything a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small, and the shoes large” (Chaplin, 145). Remembering that he was told he looked younger than expected, he added “a small moustache, which [he] reasoned, would add age without hiding [his] expression” (Chaplin, 145). The costume of the Tramp came together all at once in one quick moment in the wardrobe room, but Chaplin did not know in that fleeting instant how famous it would soon become. The moment the costume and makeup all came together and the actor walked on stage, the tramp was officially born. Chaplin felt that this character made him “feel the person he was” as he strutted and paraded around with the cane swinging (Chaplin, 145). The studio was instantly captivated and enthused by Chaplin’s humor and the ingenuity of the character he created and his costume. Chaplin explained the persona he had just brought to life as “a tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure. He would have you believe he is a scientist, a musician, a duke, a polo-player. However, he is not above picking up cigarette-butts or robbing a baby of its candy” (Chaplin, 146). In a way, the Tramp was Chaplin. He was a man sometimes down on his luck, moving from place to place without an established home, but still with a good heart as he always moves forward. He was a man who could adapt to any situation as a many-sided figure of determination and persistence; someone who could be something one day and something completely different the next. Chaplin really embodied the role and took it on completely when he regarded himself as “a tramp just wanting a little shelter” (Chaplin, 146). The “Little Tramp” was brought to life just as quickly as Chaplin had created him, and it became the character and role he played in a large number of his silent comedies from then on going forward. The actor and comedian believed the Tramp to be “different and unfamiliar to the American, and even unfamiliar to [himself.] But with the clothes on, [he] felt he was a reality, a living person. In fact, he ignited all sorts of crazy ideas that [he] would have never have dreamt of until [he] was dressed and made up as the Tramp” (Chaplin, 147). Chaplin eventually left Keystone Studios, the official birthplace of the Tramp, worked for various other studios, and eventually worked on making and acting in his own films in which he starred as the infamous comedic and vagrant character.

Chaplin is known for popularizing the “Tramp” persona in not only his short film, The Tramp, but in many of his other films, as well. The tramp and vagrant character that he embodies in these films is one that travels from place to place without any settled home. Often in his comedies Chaplin is searching for work on the streets for survival, without any consistent way of providing income for himself, much as he did during the younger part of his life. In the opening scene of The Tramp, Chaplin depicts this well as he is walking down a dusty dirt road without any clear direction of where he is going as he gets ran down by several cars, and eventually ends up at a farm. In the process of helping a woman fend off thieves who attempt to steal her hard-earned money, Chaplin’s Tramp character is invited into her home, where her father promises to provide him dinner once he earns his right to a meal by working out on the fields (The Tramp). The Tramp character is somewhat of a mischievous beggar, but he is also a man that means well. He proves to be a terrible field worker with little to no work ethic, and finds himself caught up with the thieves from the beginning of the film who try to steal money from the father, and attempts to trick them (The Tramp). The comedy of the film is largely seen through the lives of the vagrant and thievish characters in the film who live on the streets, and have precarious lifestyles that are dependent on the road. After the thieves run away without the stolen money and the woman whom Chaplin helped in the earlier scenes is reunited with her fiancée who returns to her, the tramp realizes it is time to depart and find his way back on the road (The Tramp). The closing scene is much like the opening one as Chaplin embarks again on the open road, most likely in search of more work to provide his next meal (The Tramp). Chaplin’s The Tramp is a silent film that depicts the road as a place of “just passing through,” as Chaplin stops and meets people along the way, has a bit of adventure, and then continues on his journey as a character who keeps moving forward.

One of Chaplin’s first full-length comedies, The Kid, further shows the actor playing the part of the Tramp, but this time he has a sidekick. In the opening scene, a troubled mother is walking down a road carrying a baby that she puts into an abandoned car on the side of the street, as she turns away to continue walking down the road (The Kid). Chaplin finds the baby with a note reading, “Please love and take care of this child,” and despite his unwillingness at first to claim the baby, he eventually decides to keep him and raise him as his own (The Kid). The film flashes forward to five years into the future, and the Tramp and the young orphaned boy have formed quite the camaraderie. The orphan has been accustomed to street life, and seems to much like the freedom that he has. When a fellow street-kid steals a toy dog that a woman, who ends up being his birth mother, gave him as a gift of charity, he begins to fight the boy and the whole neighborhood crowds around to watch (The Kid). The orphaned boy in the comedy reveals the “street-kid” culture that can be attributed to life on the road, as survival on the rough streets create a specific way of life. The most notable road image in the film occurs when the orphan is taken away by authorities and Chaplin watches him being driven away down the road as he stands on the roof of the flophouse that he and the boy have been residing in (The Kid). Chaplin jumps from the roof into the back of the car to retrieve the young boy who has become a son to him, and they walk back down the road together (The Kid). Chaplin was never actually an orphan, but he did spend some time in an orphanage with his brother at a time when his parents were unfit to raise them. The actor was accustomed to a tough life and fending for himself, andthis film reveals a familiarity with that. The road is a place of home and of shelter in this film as the tramp and the orphan both find comfort in each other, and grow to see each other as family.

City Lights is regarded as one of Chaplin’s most famous comedies, and he returns again acting as the tramp and vagrant character that audiences had began to know and love. As the main setting of the silent film, the road provides the means for the characters in the film to meet in unlikely ways, and to affect each other’s lives. City Lights presents the streets as an urban space that connects people in a way that changes the course of each of their lives in a powerful way, while also establishing an atmosphere of comedy. Chaplin meets a blind woman who makes a living by selling flowers on a street corner and immediately falls for her one day when he is aimlessly walking the streets, most likely trying to scheme his way into finding money (City Lights). In another scene, the tramp is again walking the streets without any real sense of where he is going, and crosses paths with a millionaire who is attempting to commit suicide (City Lights). The tramp stops the man and they form a friendship that lasts throughout the duration of the film. The images of the road that are present in City Lights serve as a way in which various and very different lives interconnect with each other as characters begin to affect change among the people that they meet on their journey of life. Chaplin fights in a wrestling match with a man much larger than he is and works on a farm to make money to pay for the blind woman he met on the street to get eye surgery, but ends up getting money from the generous millionaire to pay for it instead (City Lights). Chaplin in numerous situations stops the millionaire from getting drunk and committing suicide, and ends up becoming a highly regarded and trusted friend (City Lights). The tramp seems to find himself in abnormal situations that create an atmosphere of comedy, and despite any setback Chaplin’s character experiences, he perseveres and makes do with what he has, much as the actor had to do in several stages of his life.

Chaplin’s The Gold Rush is a silent comedy that focuses on the Tramp’s travels across the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains to prospect for gold in the Klondike Gold Rush. The opening scene shows Chaplin waddling through the snow in an almost balletic way as his shoes that are too big for his feet overpower him (The Gold Rush). Due to the inclement weather and blizzard, the Tramp ends up trapped in a cabin with a fellow gold prospector and a fugitive and a quarrel ensues among the three men, and eventually the fugitive is thrown out of the cabin, into the storm (The Gold Rush). In one of the most iconic scenes of the film, Chaplin’s character tries to cook a Thanksgiving meal for himself and his fellow prospector despite the fact that sources for food have been lacking in such extreme weather conditions. Considering the imagination of the Tramp, however, this does not stop him. He proceeds to boil his boot in a pot, set it on a plate on the table between him and the other man, serve the shoelace as if it were a spaghetti noodle, and cut the boot in half vertically (The Gold Rush). The man gets the top half of the boot, and Chaplin eats the other, acting as if the needles that held the shoe together are bones from meat (The Gold Rush). The Tramp is a character that adapts quickly to any situation around him and does not let any inconvenience get in his way. The scene is partially iconic due to its blatant humor and the fact that both prospectors take bites from the boot, but also because of the fact that the Tramp’s shoes are so important to his character as a whole. The shoes that are too large for his feet are what allow him to walk in the distinct way that he does, much like a duck-like waddle. His shoes are also the means for which he directly interacts with the road as they are what carry him forward and keep him moving from place to place, like vagrants do. Another iconic scene from the silent comedy is the one that takes place when Chaplin’s character asks the saloon girl whom he has fallen for to dinner at his cabin. She brings some of her friends along, and in an attempt to impress them, he takes two bread rolls and stabs each with a fork (The Gold Rush). He has the rolls dance, making them appear as shoes and the fork handles as legs (The Gold Rush). The film ends with both prospectors finding gold in their cabin and becoming richer than they ever could have imagined, however, all the Tramp can think about is finding his saloon girl (The Gold Rush). On a ship back to the states, he ends up finding her and they rekindle (The Gold Rush). Chaplin’s The Gold Rush displays the hardships associated with travelling across the Alaskan mountains and specifically the Chilkoot Pass. With the blizzard and dangerous weather conditions, the journey can prove to be somewhat hazardous, but Chaplin as the Tramp brings an atmosphere of comedy to it. The road gives the Tramp adventure, and he would not be the comedic character that he is if he did not venture on it.

In American silent comedies, and in Chaplin films in particular, the road operates as much more than just a location for the drama to take place. In highly regarded films such as The Tramp, The Kid, City Lights, and The Gold Rush, road images are extremely prevalent as a theme as they reveal in many different scenes the way in which paths cross on the road of life. In all four of the films, Chaplin plays the role of a tramp and vagrant who relies on the road for survival, as he really has no established home nor source of income. Chaplin spends the majority of his days wandering on the road, and in turn his life intersects with the lives of many others. In The Tramp, he crosses paths with a woman who needs help as thievish men are trying to steal money from her farm. Chaplin helps the woman and spends the day working in the fields, but knows when it is time for him to return once again to the road, which is where he feels he belongs. In The Kid, the road provides a way in which his life interconnects with that of the orphan, and also the way in which the orphan’s life reconnects with his birth mother’s at the end. Once an orphan and once a lonely tramp, the two become family and home to each other. In City Lights, a life on the streets makes it possible for the tramp’s life to cross with that of the blind woman who sells flowers on the road, and the millionaire who attempts suicide, and they all change each other’s lives for the better. The Gold Rush depicts characters who are connected through the prospect for gold and their journey across the Sierra Nevada mountains. In each of the four films, the interconnectedness of the road and of the streets is a means for lives to cross and to be changed. The comedy that comes from the Tramp character who travels from place to place and makes do with what he has regardless of his lack of having a settled home also contributes to the adventure associated with the road.

Works Cited

Charlie Chaplin. City Lights. 1931. Film.

Charlie Chaplin. The Gold Rush. 1925. Film.

Charlie Chaplin. The Kid. 1921. Film.

Charlie Chaplin. My Autobiography. Melville House Publishing. London. 1964. Print

Charlie Chaplin. The Tramp. 1915. Film.

Integration of Sound and Image in Chaplin’s City Lights (1931)

In 1927, The Jazz Singer, the first feature length film which synchronised singing and dialogue with pre-recorded music score and sound, was released. Within the span of less than three years, sound technology had become established in the film industry. Enter 1931, and Charlie Chaplin, one of the silent greats, had just completed City Lights, defiant in its silence in the era of sound. Yet, it would be reductive to say that Chaplin completely spurned sound technology without considering how it would add to his style (Flom, 61). The reality was that City Lights represented the beginning of Chaplin’s gradual integration into sound, and appropriation of sound into his distinctive Chaplinesque style (Flom, 63).

Critics like Eric L. Flom and Donna Kornhaber have made arguments for Chaplin’s distinctive filmmaking style, and his creative integration of sound with his pantomime style. This essay will reiterate and build on the prevailing discourse on the use of sound in City Lights (1931), through a deeper textual and theoretical analysis of the film, informed by Fran Apprich’s paper “Born into Sound”. The essay will utilise Apprich’s image-sound approach to City Lights, to explicate on how Chaplin deftly plays with silence and selective sound, the substitution of dialogue and sound, and precision of the music score in tandem with the images to underscore the alienation of the Tramp figure and to elevate the sentimental melodrama (Woal 5). Finally, the essay will present an analysis of Chaplin’s unconventional use of the shot/reverse shot convention, thus demonstrating that the powerful economy of Chaplin’s visual style dispenses the necessity of conventional use of sound and dialogue, to paradoxically allow for a more liberating unconventional use of sound.

In his paper “Born into Sound”, Apprich contends the concept of ‘neutralisation’ and ‘visibility’ which this essay will use to analyse the selective use of non-diegetic sound effects and the foregrounded ‘visibility’ of sound in silence. An image or sound could be neutralised when taken out of its original context and then spliced with another image or sound. This is presented in the film through the creative substitution of the conventional dialogue for soundtrack, non-diegetic sound effects. Furthermore, Apprich contends that the power of images can evoke an imagination of an associated sound, even in the absence of it, and that it is this imagined sound that allows for possibilities of meanings, between imagined sound and image, diegetic and non-diegetic sound, with imagined sound. The concept of visibility was based on Balaz’s belief that the normalisation of sound or music within a film, made the use of silence or the use of a singular sound set in between silence, all the more apparent. The paper will briefly reference these ideas put forth by Apprich when discussing the use of sound in the film to further the current discourse on City Lights.

In City Lights, the Tramp meets a blind flower girl, but a misunderstanding results in the blind girl thinking that the Tramp is a rich man. The Tramp then befriends a Millionaire by saving his life, but the Millionaire only recognises the Tramp as his friend in an inebriated state. Meanwhile, the Tramp continues to sustain the flower girl’s idealisation of him by borrowing money from his Millionaire friend, or by working to provide for the girl financially. In an effort to get money for the girl’s rent and to pay for an operation to restore her eyesight, he manages to borrow enough money from the Millionaire. However, upon sobering up, the Millionaire accuses him of stealing the money, and sets the police after the Tramp. The Tramp manages to get the money to the girl, but tells her that he will be going away. The police catch him and he is imprisoned for a few months. Upon his release, the Tramp tries to find the girl but she is no longer at her corner selling flowers. While walking on the street, the girl, now with sight, takes pity on him and gives him flowers. She then recognises him as her benefactor after touching his hand and hearing his voice. The film then ends on their ambiguously bittersweet reunion.

In the opening sequence, the kazoo sound substitutes the voice of the government people, who are giving a public presentation of the statues. It serves a comic effect in ridiculing political figures, but it also makes a larger conceptual point of undermining the nature of dialogue, especially the use of dialogue by people in power. It suggests that the boring political rhetoric of the leaders, unintelligible to the masses, effectively translates into gibberish in the film. Alternatively, by opening with such a scene, it can also be read as Chaplin’s snarky take on the novelty of sound in the film industry (Kornhaber 195). A close reading of the meeting sequence between the blind flower girl and the Tramp reveal the subtleties of emotions, cleverly heightened through the sensitive use of the soundtrack, silence and precise figure movement (Preminger 172). The subtle tonal shifts in the soundtrack serve to emote the characters, an affective form of linguistic that transcends the limitations of speech and dialogue. In the Tramp’s significant realisation that the flower girl is blind, the soundtrack pauses for a pregnant moment of silence. Shocked, the Tramp places the flower onto the girl’s hand. The music resumes at a slower pace, almost as if reflecting the hesitating tenderness of the Tramp’s behaviour towards the flower girl.

Following which, we note that the audience’s imagination of sound provides the premise of the film, which is the blind girl’s idealisation of the Tramp as a rich man (Davis 55). The cause of this misunderstanding is visually explained in their meeting sequence, circumventing exposition or dialogue. The Tramp enters and exits an expensive limousine to avoid a policeman, but the blind girl hears the door slam of the car which Tramp exits from, and assumes that he is a rich man. Here, the visual movement allows the audience to imagine the implied ‘sound’ of the door slam (Brownlow, Unknown Chaplin). Most importantly, it is functional to the narrative as the ensuing drama relies on the narrative plausibility of the misunderstanding. This misunderstanding is reiterated when the owner of the rich man comes back for his car, slams the door and drives off. The panning of the camera facilitates the visualisation of this mis-hearing by panning to screen left, to frame the Tramp standing next to the car before it drives off, before panning back to show the girl calling out to him. The simplicity of this mis-perception deepens the comic pathos of the blind girl’s idealisation, that is so precariously dependent on the aural construction of the Tramp as a rich man.

The soundtrack also serves a more explicit linguistic function as evident in the exchange between the millionaire and the Tramp (Kornhaber 189). When convincing the millionaire not to take his life, the Tramp launches into a mini speech, and the soundtrack accordingly changes to reflect a soothing, pleasant tune, while the inter-title states “Tomorrow the birds will sing”. After which, Tramp straightens up his posture to enact the stern pep talk; the soundtrack follows suit, sharp strains of the strings while the inter-title states “Be brave! Face life!”. The substitution of the soundtrack draws attention to the affective power of music, while the welding of music with the expressive actions creatively expresses emotions in a way that transcends conventional dialogue.

Sound effects are used selectively, serving the function of an aural close-up as it draws attention to specific points in the frame. Yet, the artistic choice of selectivity is deliberately non-naturalistic, and hence self-reflexive in its ‘visibility’. In the second party scene, Chaplin accidentally swallows a whistle, and he develops uncontrollable hiccups that sound like the whistle he ingested. The whistling interrupts the professional singer just as he is about to sing. Here, the ‘visibility’ of the whistle sound is heightened, such that it is the only sound we hear; we do not hear the surrounding party scene noises, and ironically, never actually get to hear the singer (Kornhaber 189). Thus, this visible and neutralised sound, set in conflict against the imagined bustle of the party, and made visible against the silence, underscores the comic alienation of the Tramp. As viewers, or listeners, we too cannot ‘hear’ the surrounding noises, hence, Chaplin creates this separate aural dimension that places us in sympathy with the Tramp as an outsider figure in high society (Preminger 169). It is through the use of this aural close-up that Chaplin economically conveys alienation, without the use of dialogue or conventional sound.

In the final scene, Chaplin reappropriates the usual shot/reverse shot convention to heighten the emotions of the scene, and to subtly convey the unequal power dynamic (Kornhaber 202). It is a medium shot framed from directly behind the flower girl, with the Tramp’s body facing squarely at the camera but with his eye-line matching the girl’s. The flower girl is seated, with her body at a 45-degree angle to screen left but turning to look at the Tramp, such that we only see the back of her head. As such, the angle of the camera exposes and underscores the vulnerability of the Tramp. His facial expression is fully captured, an unrestrained smile of joy upon finding her. He holds up the flower sentimentally and stares in wonder at the flower girl, whose face turned away from the camera. The camera then cuts to her, alone in a separate frame, laughing and ridiculing him in a sarcastic inter-title – ‘I’ve made a conquest!’ Visually, this represents their relationship, the flower girl is like a disinterested spectator, maintaining a safe and judgmental distance while the Tramp stands, vulnerable and exposed (Calhoon 393). Their interaction is a direct inversion of their first meeting, with the flower girl now in a position of power. This is also visually represented by her indirect eye-line match to screen left when the camera frames her, as opposed to the Tramp who faces her directly. This unnatural distortion of the usual shot/reverse shot convention create visual uneasiness, reflecting the painful and unequal power dynamic between the two characters.

It is not until the flower girl touches the Tramp’s hands, that the power dynamic is equalised. Cleverly, Chaplin then reverses the shot to represent this change visually. When she holds his hand to give him a coin and a new flower, she experiences a moment of recognition. This shot is framed more conventionally, adhering to 180-degree rule in the shot/reverse shot tradition; it is placed next to the Tramp, foregrounding his body and with the flower girl now facing him. The camera fully captures her struggle with emotions, possibly shocked, confused then moved. What follows is a brief conversation through the intertitles – ‘You?’, ‘You can see now?’ and her reply, ‘Yes I can see now.’ In this masterful sequence, Chaplin has reversed the use of sound and sight; the power of the visual representation of their internal emotions precedes the terse dialogue. Following the dialogue, the screen fades the black and the music soars – the intensity of emotions escapes speech, and finally transcends the frame itself.

Works Cited

City Lights. Directed by Charlie Chaplin, performances by Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers, United Artists, 1931.

Unknown Chaplin. Directed by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, appearances by Sydney Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Jackie Coogan, Lita Grey, Georgia Hale, Dean Riesner, Thames Television, 1993.

L. Flom, Eric. Chaplin in the Sound Era: An Analysis of the Seven Talkies. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1968.

Apprich, Fran. “Born into Sound”, Quest, Issue 2, Autumn 2006.

Kornhaber, Donna. Charlie Chaplin, Director. Northwestern University Press, 2014.

Preminger, Aner. “Charles Chaplin Sings a Silent Requiem”. Refocusing Chaplin: A Screen Icon through Critical Lens, edited by Lawrence Howe, James E. Caron, Benjamin Click. Scarecrow Press, 2013.

Davis, Therese. “First Sight: Blindness, Cinema and Unrequited Love.” Journal of Narrative Theory, Volume 33, Number 1, Winter 2003, pp. 48-62.

Calhoon, Kenneth Scott. “Blind Gestures: Chaplin, Diderot, Lessing.” MLN, Volume 115, Number 3, April 2000 (German Issue), pp. 381-402. Project Muse. Web. 19 March. 2017.

Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin. Directed by Richard Schickel. Lorac Productions, 2003.

Woal, Michael and Linda Kowall. Chaplin and the Comedy of Melodrama. Journal of Film and Video, Vol. 46, No. 3 (Fall 1994), pp. 3-15.