Charlie Chaplin (1951)

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cc 290 During the filming of "The Gold Rush," the writer Jim Tully worked in close association with the comedian. Tully "exposed" his employer in several articles and sketches. He has this to say about Chaplin's political leanings: "He was often criticized by radicals who wanted him to be more revolutionary. . . . On no political fence longer than a bird, those citizens who would make a better world often caused him amusement. . . . If he did not agree entirely with the social system, he saw its many good points, and though talkative of changes he would make them slowly, or rather, leave them to others. He caught things quickly, the snob in Karl Marx—the hy- pocrisy of Napoleon; and the confusion within himself." Tully added this observation: "If Chaplin pitied the poor in the parlors of the rich, it was often hurt self-interest instead of compassion." When the Mexican artist Diego Rivera told Jim Tully that Chaplin had given fifty thou- sand dollars to the Communist cause, an item never veri- fied, the writer quipped, "It must have been money of the Madera regime" (meaning that it was worthless). According to "A Comedian Sees the World," one of his few (and ghost-written) articles, Chaplin was at one of Lady Astor's Cliveden salons in 1931. Each guest made a speech on ways of dealing with the depression in Eng- land. A reduction of the role of government in the life of the nation was put first in Chaplin's speech. "The world is suffering from too much government and the expense of it. I would have government owner- ship of banks and revise many of the laws and those of the Stock Exchange. I would create a government Bureau of Economics, which would control prices, interests and profits. ... I would issue scrip to alleviate the expense of the budget. . . . My policy would stand for inter- nationalism, world cooperation of trade, the abolition of the gold standard, and world inflation of money. . . . My policy would stand for the reduction of the hours of