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Charlie Chaplin's Last Dance by Fabio Stassi
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Charlie Chaplin's Last Dance (2012)

by Fabio Stassi

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Epigraph
Among his guests was Jascha Heifetz, the celebrated violinist. Everybody was clamorous to have Heifetz play the violin. He picked up Chaplin's violin and started to play and he was astounded, as were the rest of the company, to find nothing but insane dissonance issue from the strings. Chaplin smiled, took his fiddle from Heifetz's hands and played a bit of Bach with his left hand. All the strings were on backward.'You see,' said Chaplin, 'I am a being made inside out and upside down. When I turn my back on you in the screen, you are looking at something as expressive as a face. I am back foremost.'New York Times Book Review and Magazine, 12 December 1920
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And there was always someone turning the crank...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 184627527X, Paperback)

'A day without laughter is a day wasted.' It is Christmas Day when Charlie Chaplin receives a visit from Death. The great actor is 82 years old, but not yet ready to face the final curtain. Desperate to see his teenage son grow up, the actor strikes a deal: if he manages to make Death laugh, he will win an extra year of life. As he awaits his final, fatal encounter, Chaplin composes an impassioned letter to his son, in which he attempts to tell him about his past, from his impoverished childhood in England (with an alcoholic father and a mother who went mad) to the heights of success on the silver screen in America, via stints in the circus and vaudeville, and odd jobs as a newspaper hawker, printer, boxer and embalmer. As well as being the story of the evolution of a comic genius, this is the story of the evolution of cinema and how a beam of light on a white screen fired the imagination of an entire nation. As in his silent films, Charlie's adventures are simultaneously tragic and comic. The narrative flickers at a frenetic clip from false starts and early failures to eventual triumph in the magical moment when - before the eyes of a stupefied film crew - Charlie became the Tramp: with a little moustache, a shuffling slantwise walk, a cane and a dusty bowler hat, one of the most iconic figures of the golden age of cinema was born.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 08 Nov 2015 06:39:14 -0500)

It is Christmas Day when Charlie Chaplin receives a visit from Death. The great actor is 82 years old, but not yet ready to face the final curtain. Desperate to see his teenage son grow up, the actor strikes a deal: if he manages to make Death laugh, he will win an extra year of life. As he awaits his final, fatal encounter, Chaplin composes an impassioned letter to his son, in which he attempts to tell him about his past, from his impoverished childhood in England, with an alcoholic father and a mother who went mad, to the heights of success on the silver screen in America, via stints in the circus and vaudeville, and odd jobs as a newspaper hawker, printer, boxer and embalmer.… (more)

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