Charles Chaplin's 1952 film is overlong, visually flat, episodically constructed, and a masterpiece—it isn't “cinema” on any terms but Chaplin's own, but those are high terms indeed. An autobiographical fantasy, it tells of an aging vaudeville clown, Calvero, and his friendship with a young ballerina (Claire Bloom). Buster Keaton appears as an old crony, in a lovely hommage, and there are many antique music-hall numbers interspersed among the personal meditations on life, death, and the transcendence of art. The final shot is among the most eloquent and moving images I know, a picture of the soul in flight.
Director: Charles Chaplin
Writer: Charles Chaplin
Producer: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom and Sydney Chaplin