The Trailer for ‘The Real Charlie Chaplin’ Delves Into the Icon’s Unknown Life
The trailer for The Real Charlie Chaplin, a new documentary film about the life and career of famous silent-film star Charlie Chaplin, was recently released by Showtime. The feature-length documentary, directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney (Notes on Blindness) and narrated by Peral Mackie (Doctor Who), will premiere on Showtime on Saturday, December 11, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. On Friday, November 19, the film will open in theatres at the Cinema Village in New York and the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angeles.
The documentary film will provide unprecedented access to the Chaplin archives, revealing never-before-heard recordings, intimate home movies, behind-the-scenes footage, and newly restored classic films. The film describes itself as a “recount of Chaplin’s meteoric rise from the slums of Victorian London to the heights of Hollywood superstardom, including his scandalous fall from grace,” dating back to Chaplin’s first onscreen appearance over a century ago. The film raises the question of who the real Charlie Chaplin was.
Middleton and Spinney have collaborated on a number of non-fiction projects over the last decade, and this is their second feature. They won an Emmy Award in 2014 for the short documentary film Notes on Blindness, part of a series adapted from the audio diaries of blind Australian theologian John Hull. Their first feature, the same-named film, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and was nominated for six British Independent Film Awards and three BAFTAs, winning Best Documentary in each.
According to the trailer, the film also delves into the darker aspects of Chaplin’s life, such as his estrangement from loved ones and desire to be perceived as entertaining. “I had grown up with the icon,” a female voice says over burning film footage of Chaplin, “but I had no idea who the man was.”
The Real Charlie Chaplin has received three Critics Choice Doc Awards nominations, including Best Archival Documentary, Best Narration, and Best Editing, since its initial premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, with screenings at the BFI London Film Festival, Zurich Film Festival, and Hamptons International Film Festival. Ben Limberg is producing it after seeing Notes on Blindness and taking note of the directors. He gained access to Chaplin’s personal archives through Chaplin’s estate. Along with Limberg, Passion Pictures’ John Battsek, Archer’s Mark’s Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, and Jo-Jo Ellison are producing.
A “kaleidoscopic portrait of a man who became an immortal legend,” the film has been described as a “kaleidoscopic portrait of a man who became an immortal legend.” The Real Charlie Chaplin promises to be an enthralling look into the mysterious life of the global icon. The documentary film’s trailer is available below: