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Notan

Who's Your Favorite: Buster or Charlie?

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Between Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, who is your favorite?

 

With all deep respect due to Mr. Chaplin, for me, it is Buster Keaton. The subtlety, simplicity, and cerebral nature of his humor never fails to elicit a belly laugh from me that comes straight from my core. I am also more sympathetic and empathetic with Buster’s characters than I am with most of Charlie’s characters.

 

Yes, I fully agree with those who suggest that Charlie was, in fact, the greater overall talent, had a greater breadth and depth of work, made more influential and iconic films, had greater longevity, and perhaps, with the co-founding of United Artists, had greater influence over the direction of the US film industry, but strictly based on the criterion of viewing pleasure, I cast my vote for Buster.

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I would have to go ever so slightly in favor of Chaplin because his body of work to me had more emotional depth of character for both him and his fellow actors/actresses in their roles onscreen. 

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I would have to go ever so slightly in favor of Chaplin because his body of work to me had more emotional depth of character for both him and his fellow actors/actresses in their roles onscreen. 

 

I absolutely agree with you about Charlie's body of work having "...more emotional depth of character..." if for nothing else than the speech he wrote and performed in The Great Dictator. I can't say that any of Buster's work achieved that depth.

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Buster! Buster! Buster!  A lot of Chaplin seems to me to be maudlin and sentimental. Very manipulative. I think he and Spielberg would get along great. I also think some of his things are very cruel…I can’t bear to watch Tillie I think it’s so nasty. But Buster was just demented, full on, pell mell comedy. And so much of it can be just surreal in his solution to something in his character’s way. The physicality of what he did was so wonderful and amazing to watch. 

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Buster and the great SEVEN CHANCES (1925) my wife and I watched last night is amazing.  His "physicality" in that movie is astounding.  What a movie!!

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My preference goes to Charlie Chaplin. In the 1920s Buster Keaton was some competition as a comedian, but Chaplin made his real masterpieces after 1930. He also created great female characters, like Paulette Goddard's gamin in Modern Times. In this film he combined his humor with serious social issues. The Tramp always struggled against authority, but was a gentleman towards the poor and miserable.

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For me, "The Navigator" with Buster Keaton is the funniest film that I have ever sat through - happily and memorably.

 

Keaton was divine, demented physicality - a genuine force of nature that could not be stopped.

 

When I see him - much older - in other, later flicks, i do not really recognize him.

 

But his unique greatness lives on.

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I'd have to say Charlie Chaplin. You can't help but smile when you see that funny little tramp walk across the screen. He never fails to make me laugh, while sometimes Buster just falls a little flat for me. Not that I don't like or respect Buster Keaton's work, I think he was very good at what he did and he does have some funny stuff, I just personally prefer Charlie Chaplin. I also deeply respect Mr. Chaplin for what he overcame in order to become a success. Wow, that guy had a rough life, but he did not give up. I really find that admirable.

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On 11/19/2014 at 3:09 PM, Notan said:

Between Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, who is your favorite?

 

With all deep respect due to Mr. Chaplin, for me, it is Buster Keaton. The subtlety, simplicity, and cerebral nature of his humor never fails to elicit a belly laugh from me that comes straight from my core. I am also more sympathetic and empathetic with Buster’s characters than I am with most of Charlie’s characters.

 

Yes, I fully agree with those who suggest that Charlie was, in fact, the greater overall talent, had a greater breadth and depth of work, made more influential and iconic films, had greater longevity, and perhaps, with the co-founding of United Artists, had greater influence over the direction of the US film industry, but strictly based on the criterion of viewing pleasure, I cast my vote for Buster.

I like the drama in Chaplin's films but I prefer the stunts in Keaton and Lloyd's films.

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