Although he’s been dead for nearly 40 years, the legend of Charlie Chaplin continues to live on.
Critics still debate his legacy — as in, was Buster Keaton the real comedy giant of the early 20th century? — but few doubt Chaplin’s standing as the most internationally famous movie star Hollywood ever produced.
As classic movie fans, we suspect you may be convinced that there’s not much new to be learned about Chaplin today. Perhaps you’re right. Nonetheless, we’ve tried with this week’s Monday Quiz to unearth some details about this great pioneer that you may have missed. We’ve actually tried to outwit you, not an easy task.
In any case, try our Chaplin Quiz. It was inspired by various sources including author-filmmaker Richard Schickel’s 2006 compilation of the writings of several Chaplin observers, from Grahame Green to Alexander Woolcott. (Answers tomorrow.)
1) Question: To which classic literary figure was Chaplin most often compared? a) Marquis de Sade; b) Charles Dickens; c) Karl Marx; or d) George Eliot.
2) Question: Chaplin had his share of enemies in Hollywood during his career. Which of the following were NOT considered Chaplin foes? a) Hedda Hopper; b) Buster Keaton; c) Howard Hughes; d) Mack Sennett.
3) Question: Which one of the following was NOT a Chaplin partner in the original formation of movie studio United Artists? a) Douglas Fairbanks; b) D.W. Griffith; c) Lon Chaney; or d) Mary Pickford.
4) Question: Chaplin was Jewish but kept this quiet to advance his career. a) True; or b) False.
5) Question: Which one of the following loudly claims that he wrote the screenplay for Monseur Verdoux, the 1947 comedy in which he stars as a smoothie who murders rich women for their money? a) William Wyler; b) Alfred Hitchcock; c) Orson Welles; or d) John Huston.
6) Question: Chaplin’s signature creation of “the Little Tramp” was a smash hit from the moment it first appeared. a) True; or b) False?
7) Question: Who was the very young child actor who appeared with Chaplin in 1921’s The Kid? a) Freddie Bartholomew; b) Jackie Coogan; c) Sydney Chaplin; or d) Shirley Temple.
8) Question: In which Chaplin film was “the little tramp’s” voice finally heard? a) The Gold Rush; b) The Circus; c) Modern Times; or d) Limelight.
9) Question: How many times was Chaplin married? a) four times; b) eight times; c) twice; or d) three times.
10) Question: What did Chaplin have in common with playwright Eugene O’Neill? a) Both had a way of masking dark subjects in dark humor; b) Both received Nobel Prizes; c) O’Neill’s daughter Oona married Chaplin; or d) Both were notorious cheapskates.