- The Silent Era. For this question, you do not have to respond to all three parts, just one of them or you can combine a couple of the parts to form your complete answer. Creativity is always rewarded.
a. What was the most important subject matter during the first 20 years of the 20th century and the films, including shorts, that
b. What made Chaplin a universal symbol of American culture? Why did he resist the sound era until his first all-talking film The Great Dictator in 1940? Read about Chaplin’s earlier life in Great Britain before coming to America and how his intense struggles with his family and apart from them influenced his American films. What drove his ambition, then, to become the most important cinemactor (a Time Magazine conflation), cinemadirector, and one of Hollywood’s wealthiest individuals?
c. Chaplin’s comrades-in-comedy, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy, were the leaders of Comedy’s Greatest Era (Agee). Compare these artists with each other to define their performance characteristics and types of silent comedies they employed.