57 Marvelous Charlie Chaplin Quotes

Last updated on May 23rd, 2019

57 Marvelous Charlie Chaplin Quotes

Charlie Chaplin, byname of Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, (born April 16, 1889, London, England – died December 25, 1977, Corsier-sur-Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland) was an English comedian, filmmaker, and composer who is widely considered as the biggest star of the silent-film era and one of the most significant figures in the history of the film industry.

Chaplin is best known for his innovative film-making techniques and his character “The Tramp.”

Many of his motion pictures are often ranked among the greatest films of all time. Some of the most famous are The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), and Limelight (1952).

In 1972, Chaplin received an Honorary Academy Award for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century.”


Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.As quoted in his obituary in The Guardian (December 28, 1977)


Imagination means nothing without doing.From Chaplin's manuscript notes


Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it. All it needs is courage, imagination, and a little dough.Calvero (Charles Chaplin) says this to Terry (Claire Bloom) in Limelight (1952)


What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning.From a scene in Limelight (1952)


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.As quoted in The Observer (June 17, 1960)


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.From Chaplin's final speech in The Great Dictator (1940)

Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles. - Charlie Chaplin Quotes

Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.From a scene in Monsieur Verdoux (1947)


Life could be wonderful if people would leave you alone.Hannah (Paulette Goddard) says this to the Barber (Charles Chaplin) in The Great Dictator (1940)


Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease from pain.From 'Mr. Chaplin Answers His Critics'; The Comedian Defends His Ending of 'The Great Dictator' by Charles Chaplin, The New York Times (October 27, 1940)


Perfect love is the most beautiful of all frustrations because it is more than one can express.'Chapter Thirty-One,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.'Chapter Ten,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


That’s one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment.From a scene in Monsieur Verdoux (1947).


All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.'Chapter Ten,' My Autobiograpy (1964)

We think too much and feel too little. - Charlie Chaplin Quotes

We think too much and feel too little.From Chaplin's final speech in The Great Dictator (1940)


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.From Chaplin's final speech in The Great Dictator (1940)


Remember, you can always stoop and pick up nothing.Henri Verdoux (Chaplin) says this in Monsieur Verdoux (1947)


A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.Calvero (Charles Chaplin) to Terry (Claire Bloom) after she finds him drunk with friends in Limelight (1952)


Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference.Henri Verdoux (Chaplin) says this in Monsieur Verdoux (1947)


This is a ruthless world and one must be ruthless to cope with it.From a scene in Monsieur Verdoux (1947)


Men who think deeply say little in ordinary conversations.From Chaplin's manuscript notes

You'll never find rainbows if you're looking down. - Charlie Chaplin Quotes

You’ll never find rainbows if you’re looking down.From the lyrics to 'Swing Little Girl,' the song at the beginning of The Circus, which Chaplin himself sang for the film's 1969 rerelease.


If only the old and young could be the same age.From Chaplin's manuscript notes in the archives


I’m an old weed. The more I’m cut down, the more I spring up again.Calvero says this in Limelight (1952)


Time heals, and experience teaches that the secret of happiness is in service to others.Screen title in A Woman of Paris (1923)


Whether sage or fool, we must all struggle with life.'Chapter Thirty-One,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


To live in order to reason or to reason in order to live; there is the question.From Chaplin's manuscript notes


The soul of man has been given wings, and at last he is beginning to fly.The ending of The Great Dictator (1940)

Life and death are too resolute, too implacable to be accidental. - Charlie Chaplin Quotes

Life and death are too resolute, too implacable to be accidental.'Chapter Eighteen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


Knowledge inspires courage. I’m not sceptical but I’d sooner know than believe.Manuscript notes in the Charlie Chaplin archives


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.Quoted in 'Chaplin's Heart, Aims Bared in S.F. Talk' by George P. West, San Francisco Call (November 11, 1922)


In all truth there is the seed of falsehood.'Chapter Sixteen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


In the realm of the unknown there is an infinite power for good.'Chapter Eighteen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


Wisdom usually grows up on us like calluses when we are old, gnarled and bent.From Chaplin's manuscript notes


To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune.'Chapter Seventeen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)

Faith is a precursor of all our ideas. - Charlie Chaplin Quotes

Faith is a precursor of all our ideas.'Chapter Eighteen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


Humor is the ability to discern in a kindly way the folly in what is considered normal, sublime behavior, and to discern the discrepancy in what appears as a truth.From Chaplin's manuscript notes


Too much kindness and respect are given to the unseen and not enough to humanity. It seems that in our nature we loathe each other and bestow our respect and love on the abstract.From Chaplin's manuscript notes


The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.'Chapter Twenty-Two,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


Let us strive for the impossible. The great achievements throughout history have been the conquest of what seemed the impossible.From 'To Support the President's Rally for a Second Front Now!,' Madison Square Park (July 22, 1942). Quoted in 'Chapter Twenty-Six,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


There’s something just as inevitable as death, and that’s life.From a scene in Limelight (1952)


If you’re really truthful with yourself, it’s a wonderful guidance.From interview with Richard Meryman (1966)

The deeper the truth in a creative work, the longer it will live. - Charlie Chaplin Quotes

The deeper the truth in a creative work, the longer it will live.From Chaplin's manuscript notes


Wars, conflict, it’s all business. One murder makes a villain, millions a hero. Numbers sanctify.Henri Verdoux says this to a reporter before being led to the guillotine in Monsieur Verdoux (1947)


The world is not composed of heroes and villains, but of men and women with all the passions that God has given them. The ignorant condemn, but the wise pity.Charlie Chaplin: Prefatory title to A Woman of Paris (1923)


I have yet to know a poor man who has nostalgia for poverty, or who finds freedom in it.'Chapter Seventeen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


We can produce in abundance food and materials, and manufacture in mass production all the essentials and luxuries of life. Machinery should be a blessing to mankind and not a curse. Therefore, let us have shorter hours of labor and cheaper money. The purchasing power comes through wages. Then let us raise them to where each man can enjoy the blessings and the glory of science, which were not created for profit alone, but to serve humanity also.Essay 'An Idea for the Solution of War Reparations,' by Charles Chaplin (June 14, 1932)


How does one get ideas? By sheer perseverance to the point of madness.'Chapter Fourteen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


A man is what a woman makes him and a woman makes herself.From Chaplin's manuscript notes

Whomever lives, gambles with life. - Charlie Chaplin Quotes

Whomever lives, gambles with life.From manuscript notes in the Charlie Chaplin archives


Because of humour we are less overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of life.'Chapter Fourteen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


All children in some form or another have genius; the trick is to bring it out in them.'Chapter Sixteen,' My Autobiograpy (1964)


Doing something with the public in mind is doing something without your own mind.From Chaplin's manuscript notes


Let us try to understand each other’s problems, for in modern warfare there is no victory.Chaplin accepted an award from the World Peace Council (May 27, 1954)


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.From Chaplin's manuscript notes in the archives


That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.From Limelight (1952)

The world cannot be wrong if in this world there's you. - Charlie Chaplin Quotes

The world cannot be wrong if in this world there’s you.From 'This is My Song'. Music and lyrics by Charles Chaplin for A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)


That is all there is in life — beauty. You find that and you have found everything.From 'Chaplin Explains Chaplin,' an interview with Harry Carr in The Motion Picture Magazine (November 1925)