Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd

September 8, 2007

Here’s what the AllMusicGuide has to say about the Beatles: “Moreover, they were among the few artists of any discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did and the most popular at what they did.”

It’s true.  Any other artists you can think of that were both the best and the most popular?  In class was mentioned Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg (maybe not right now, but when he made Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List).  But it’s hard to think of others.  But back in the 1910’s and 20’s the world had not one, but three filmmakers that fit this description.

So this last week we’ve been watching short films and clips from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd.  80 years later, and their genius is still unmistakable, and they can still make a roomfull of jaded media-gorged teenagers laugh.

Here’s some online films:

Buster Keaton: “Sherlock Jr.”

“One Week”

Buster Keaton montage

Harold Lloyd:

“Harold Lloyd, the Third Genius” intro

“The Flirt” clip

Charlie Chaplin:

“The Immigrant”, “Easy Street”, and others

“The Gold Rush”

There’s plenty of other clips out there, so check ’em out.  On monday we’ll be writing a response comparing and contrasting the three comedic giants.


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