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100 Famous Charlie Chaplin Quotes

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin [Wikipedia] (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent film era. Charlie Chaplin started his film career very early on in his life. His talent to turn the tragedies of everyday people into epic comedies has made him immortal on the silver screen, and his career spanned an incredible 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and within that time became one of the most iconic figures in the film industry worldwide.

Most people nowadays will remember him for his speech in ‘The Great Dictator’, which is still regarded as one of the most inspirational movie speeches of all time!

Here’s our ultimate collection of the 100 greatest Charlie Chaplin quotes. The following quotes consist of Chaplin’s observations on his life, love, career, and the study of human nature.

100 Best Quotes From British Comedian Charlie Chaplin

“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Beauty is an omnipresence of death and loveliness, a smiling sadness that we discern in nature and all things, a mystic communion that the poet feels.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I suppose that’s one of the ironies of life doing the wrong thing at the right moment.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Patriotism is too deep a feeling to depict in the posing for a photograph.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Imagination means nothing without doing.” – Charlie Chaplin

“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.” – Charlie Chaplin

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Man as an individual is a genius. But men in the mass form the headless monster, a great, brutish idiot that goes where prodded.” – Charlie Chaplin

“As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it ‘FULFILLMENT’” – Charlie Chaplin

“The heart and the mind … what an enigma.” – Charlie Chaplin

“This is a ruthless world and one must be ruthless to cope with it.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life and death are too resolute, too implacable to be accidental.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by if you smile through your pain and sorrow. Smile and maybe tomorrow, you’ll see the sun come shining through for you.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Let us strive for the impossible. The great achievements throughout history have been the conquest of what seemed the impossible.” – Charlie Chaplin

“That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.” – Charlie Chaplin

“That’s the trouble with the world. We all despise ourselves.” – Charlie Chaplin

“We might as well die as to go on living like this.” – Charlie Chaplin

“As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART” – Charlie Chaplin

“My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life could be wonderful if people would leave you alone.” – Charlie Chaplin

“As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it ‘maturity’.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Movies are a fad. Audiences really want to see live actors on a stage.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I do not need drugs to be a genius, do not take a genius to be human, but I need your smile to be happy.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born.” – Charlie Chaplin

“As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is Love of Oneself.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” – Charlie Chaplin

“So when I cease to be I want to go back…to the sea! Oh for the life of a sardine! That is the life for me!” – Charlie Chaplin

“Time is the best author. It always writes the perfect ending.” – Charlie Chaplin

“In the creation of comedy, it is paradoxical that tragedy stimulates the spirit of ridicule; because ridicule, I suppose is an attitude of defiance: we must laugh in the face of our helplessness against the forces of nature – or go insane.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Man is an animal with primary instincts of survival. Consequently his ingenuity has developed first and his soul afterwards. The progress of science is far ahead of man’s ethical behavior.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I believe in the power of laughter and tears as an antidote to hatred and terror.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I’d sooner be called a successful crook than a destitute monarch.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.” – Charlie Chaplin

“All my pictures are built around the idea of getting in trouble and so giving me the chance to be desperately serious in my attempt to appear as a normal little gentleman.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I have many problems in my life. But my lips don’t know that. They always smile.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I’ve arrived at the age where a platonic friendship can be sustained on the highest moral plane.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life is a play that does not allow testing. So, sing, cry, dance, laugh and live intensely, before the curtain closes and the piece ends with no Applause.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Like everyone else I am what I am: an individual, unique and different, with a lineal history of ancestral promptings and urgings; a history of dreams, desires, and of special experiences, all of which I am the sum total.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I like friends as I like music; when I am in the mood.” – Charlie Chaplin

“That is all there is in life — beauty. You find that and you have found everything.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” – Charlie Chaplin

“The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I don’t believe that the public knows what it wants; this is the conclusion that I have drawn from my career.” – Charlie Chaplin

“People miss happiness by chasing after false values and repressing the feelings that make life valuable and beautiful. When you get up in the morning feeling fine your experience during just those few minutes or hours when you are reacting happily to life is an end in itself.” – Charlie Chaplin

“We think too much and feel too little.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Worry more about your conscience than your reputation. Because your conscience is what you are, your reputation is what others think of you. And what others think of you is their problem.” – Charlie Chaplin

“What do you want meaning for? Life is desire, not meaning.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I am at peace with God. My conflict is with Man.” – Charlie Chaplin

“One cannot always approach truth through reason; it confines us to a geometric cast of thought that calls for logic and credibility.” – Charlie Chaplin

“The basic essential of a great actor is that he loves himself in acting.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.” – Charlie Chaplin

“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Love is life on a higher plain of existence, working through man to unite the forces of nature into a perfect whole. It is the merging force binding every element in existence into a perfect whole.” – Charlie Chaplin

“We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I am for people. I can’t help it.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Time heals, and experience teaches that the secret of happiness is in service to others.” – Charlie Chaplin

“To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune.” – Charlie Chaplin

“You need Power, only when you want to do something harmful otherwise Love is enough to get everything done.” – Charlie Chaplin

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin

“A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Think about yourself at least once in your life otherwise you may miss the best comedy in this world.” – Charlie Chaplin

“My faith is in the unknown, in all that we do not understand by reason; I believe that what is beyond our comprehension is a simple fact in other dimensions, and that in the realm of the unknown there is an infinite power for good.” – Charlie Chaplin

“The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.” – Charlie Chaplin

“The best thing in life is to go ahead with all your plans and your dreams, to embrace life and to live everyday with passion, to lose and still keep the faith and to win while being grateful. All of this because the world belongs to those who dare to go after what they want. And because life is really too short to be insignificant.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Words are cheap. The biggest thing you can say is ‘elephant’.” – Charlie Chaplin

“But there’s something just as inevitable as death. And that’s life. Think of the power of the universe — turning the Earth, growing the trees. That’s the same power within you — if you’ll only have the courage and the will to use it.” – Charlie Chaplin

“If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.” – Charlie Chaplin

“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman, and a pretty girl.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Through humour, we see in what seems rational, the irrational; in what seems important, the unimportant” – Charlie Chaplin

“You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men!” – Charlie Chaplin

“In the light of our egos, we are all dethroned monarchs.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it. All it takes is courage, imagination … and a little dough.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Actors search for rejection. If they don’t get it they reject themselves.” – Charlie Chaplin

“You are only as good as the woman you are standing beside.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I went into the business for the money, and the art grew out of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can’t help it. It’s the truth.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Look up to the sky You’ll never find rainbows If you’re looking down.” – Charlie Chaplin

“The mirror is my best friend, because when I cry it never laughs.” – Charlie Chaplin

“It isn’t the ups and downs that make life difficult; it’s the jerks.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul.” – Charlie Chaplin

“In the end, everything is a gag.” – Charlie Chaplin

“A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Perfect love is the most beautiful of all frustrations because it is more than one can express.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life is a beautiful, magnificent thing! Even to a jellyfish!” – Charlie Chaplin

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” – Charlie Chaplin

“It’s easy to judge. It’s not so easy to understand.” – Charlie Chaplin

“We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life laughs at you when you are unhappy; Life smiles at you when you are happy; But life salutes you when you make other happy.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Brunettes are troublemakers. They’re worse than the Jews.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Why should poetry have to make sense?” – Charlie Chaplin

“You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.” – Charlie Chaplin

“The accumulating complexities of modern life, the kinetic invasion of the twentieth century finds the individual hemmed in by gigantic institutions that threaten from all sides, politically, scientifically and economically. We are becoming the victims of soul-conditioning, of sanctions and permits.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Anyone can make them cry, but it takes a genius to make them laugh.” – Charlie Chaplin

In Conclusion

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Charlie Chaplin became a star well before movies had sound. But his talent to turn the tragedies of everyday people into epic comedies has made him immortal on the silver screen as he played everything from a tramp to a buffoon dictator.

Charlie Chaplin will forever be remembered for making people laugh without saying a word. He will remain an iconic silent-film legend whose legacy will live on forever.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Charlie Chaplin quotes? Do you have any other favourite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Originally published January 14, 2020, updated June 14, 2021

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