chapter  9
22 Pages

A citizen of the world

ByRichard Carr

As someone who never assumed American citizenship, Chaplin was always on shaky ground when uttering his controversial political opinions. When Charlie boarded the Queen Elizabeth in New York on 17 September 1952 to sail to London to promote Limelight, he was taking a considerable risk. Charlie called himself a citizen of the world – and of humanity. And he was. This chapter outlines the circumstances in which his physical exile from America, and his leap into 'the world', began. In 1951, the Soviet-sponsored World Council of Peace awarded Charlie Chaplin its International Peace Prize. Other than making one truly terrible film, A Countess of Hong Kong (1967), Charlie's final years were full of plaudits, composing music to overlay some of his silent films and, ultimately, something of a reconciliation with America. Three years later Charlie was awarded the prestigious Erasmus Prize in Amsterdam.