chapter  3
24 Pages

Moscow or Manchester? Chaplin’s views on capitalism before the Depression took hold

ByRichard Carr

Chaplin's early political thoughts are worth teasing out partly because of the consistently pro-communist views that opponents would later attempt to pin on him. Although his political views in the early 1920s were mostly relatively orthodox, his art had clearly evolved. Certainly as the political establishment really went for Charlie from the mid-1930s onwards there was a more sharply defined anarchist streak to Chaplin's work and pronouncements. By 1921 Charlie's various statements and friendships had cemented the idea of him as a political figure. One early witness to Chaplin's political conversion was his great rival Buster Keaton. Chaplin's generally capitalistic stance aside, it is undeniable that he was interested in the advance of the political left across the globe. Keystone Chaplin was certainly an anarchist, and so too would be the world view of Monsieur Verdoux.