Chaplin

1992
CD: Epic Soundtrax EK 52986

  1. Main Theme (3:06)
  2. Early Days in London (3:45) [features music from the song "The Honeysuckle and the Bee," by William Penn and Albert H. Fitz]
  3. Charlie Proposes (4:01)
  4. To California / The Cutting Room (3:45)
  5. Discovering the Tramp/The Wedding Chase (4:01)
  6. Chaplin's Studio Opening (1:58)
  7. Salt Lake City Episode (2:11) [rerecorded from the movie City Lights]
  8. The Roll Dance (2:34)
  9. News of Hetty's Death/Smile (3:42)
  10. From London to LA (3:42)
  11. Joan Barry Trouble/Oona Arrives (2:15)
  12. Remembering Hetty (2:57)
  13. Smile (2:05) [lyric by John Turner Geoffrey Turner, Music by Charles Chaplin]
  14. The Roll Dance (1:47)
  15. Main Theme/Smile (4:48)
  16. Smile (3:38) [vocal by Robert Downey, Jr.]

r Chaplin


The Movie

I don't think screen biographies work when the time-span is too great. The best film biography that I can think of, Patton, only dealt with a 2 year period. Citizen Kane and It's a Wonderful Life were not biographies (Kane was inspired by, but true to, Hearst), so they could be structured better.

It's not a bad movie--it has its charm. But in the end I did not feel that I knew Chaplin any better than when I went in.


The Music

Chaplin himself wrote the melody for "Smile," and Barry uses it heavily in the score. "Smile" is downbeat, and Barry's later work is the same--so on the one hand it's a perfect match; on the other hand, it's a score that can make you cast a sharp eye on a bottle of sleeping pills if you're not careful. I never cared for "Smile" and I find the score unbearably depressing. It works better in the movie, but as a stand-alone album, the only reason I have it is just to complete my Barry collection.


Release Notes

The score was nominated for an Oscar. The CD release was wide and remains easy to find.