A King in New York ★★★

The Great Immigrant
A wanted man
As spokesman and communist.
Caught between
Commercials and fire hoses.

Not too much to say, except I laughed at the jokes. Certainly not the most dizzying or exciting of Chaplin’s sound era, and nowhere as insightful as the self-reflective Limelight. But there’s enough here that is funny, especially all the satire of commercials and television (and the connections to Lost in Translation is not just coincidence, I think). Like The Great Dictator, Chaplin isn’t as much as saying anything insightful about the McCarthy trials as much as openly mocking it by spraying them down with the hose. He also clearly doesn’t think communism is outside his mockery either – we surely aren’t supposed to take the child’s spewing of Marxist rhetoric seriously, which he clearly doesn’t understand. Not really a fan of the melancholic ending; a sort of weird appeasement when the rest of the film seems so mocking. But like I said, jokes.

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