Chaplin and Orson Welles during the speaking tour in October 1942.
Charles Chaplin: The SIMPP Years
Excerpt from Hollywood Renegades
By J. A. Aberdeen
During the late 1940s, Charlie Chaplin had his reputation tarnished by public
misconception. Chaplin's problems were mostly political, and began when he and
Orson Welles were on a speaking tour together during World War II to cultivate
support for the Allies on the Russian front. Chaplin's exuberance raised
suspicions in the press which falsely branding the filmmaker as a communist
sympathizer. The emotionally-charged political atmosphere agitated the
controversy, and was one of the contributing factors to Chaplin's long hiatus
from film production following The Great Dictator (1940). He was also
sidetracked by a paternity suit that languished in court, even after his
innocence was proved by a blood test administered by none other than SIMPP's Loyd
poster from the infamous Carnegie Hall incident - October 16, 1942.
Chaplin selected Monsieur Verdoux (1947) as his next project, a black
comedy based on an idea developed by Orson Welles. The film was poorly-received
when it was released in April 1947, adding to the anti-Chaplin antagonism that
marked his decline as an influential filmmaker. He resigned from SIMPP later
In 1952 when he traveled to Great Britain to promote his next film Limelight,
the Immigration and Naturalization Service barred Chaplin's return to the United
States. Mary Pickford and Samuel Goldwyn came to his defense by offering indignant public
statements against the government. Instead, Charlie Chaplin and family took
seclusion in Switzerland. He sold his Hollywood
studio property on Sunset Boulevard and La Brea Avenue in 1953.
Anticipating further difficulties with the United States government, he
hastily sold his shares in United Artists to the new owners Krim and Benjamin in
February 1955 for only $1.2 million. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in
1975, and died on Christmas Day two years later.
CLICK HERE to read about the Charlie
The Chaplin-Welles lecture tour: "Artists Front to Win
the War," advertisement for the Carnegie Hall "Win the War
Meeting" on October 16, 1942.
Chaplin defended by Pickford and Goldwyn: McCabe, Charlie
Chaplin, p. 223.
Chaplin sale of UA stock: see Balio, United Artists: The
Company That Changed the Film Industry, p. 82-83.