Charlie Chaplin was a filmmaker and comedic actor from England. He lived from 1889 – 1977, and within that time became one of the most iconic figures in the film industry worldwide.
Chaplin’s father was absent during his childhood, and his mother was sent to a mental asylum, so Chaplin’s childhood was tough.
Charlie Chaplin started his film career very early on in his life, and his career spanned an incredible 75 years. Most people nowadays will remember him for his speech in ‘The Great Dictator’, which is still regarded as one of the most inspirational movie speeches of all time!
You can watch/read the speech at the end of this article. But first, here’s our ultimate collection of the 50 greatest Charlie Chaplin quotes:
50 Charlie Chaplin Quotes
1. “I don’t believe that the public knows what it wants; this is the conclusion that I have drawn from my career.” – Charlie Chaplin
2. “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!” – Charlie Chaplin
3. “My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.” – Charlie Chaplin
4. “A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.” – Charlie Chaplin
5. “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” – Charlie Chaplin
6. “Perfect love is the most beautiful of all frustrations because it is more than one can express.” – Charlie Chaplin
7. “Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.” – Charlie Chaplin
8. “What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning.” – Charlie Chaplin
9. “Words are cheap. The biggest thing you can say is ‘elephant’.” – Charlie Chaplin
10. “I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.” – Charlie Chaplin
11th of 50 Charlie Chaplin Quotes
“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” – Charlie Chaplin
12. “We think too much and feel too little.” – Charlie Chaplin
13. “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.” – Charlie Chaplin
14. “In the end, everything is a gag.” – Charlie Chaplin
15. “I suppose that’s one of the ironies of life doing the wrong thing at the right moment.” – Charlie Chaplin
16. “That’s the trouble with the world. We all despise ourselves.” – Charlie Chaplin
17. “I went into the business for the money, and the art grew out of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can’t help it. It’s the truth.” – Charlie Chaplin
18. “Imagination means nothing without doing.” – Charlie Chaplin
19. “Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference.” – Charlie Chaplin
20th of 50 Charlie Chaplin Quotes
20. “Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it. All it takes is courage, imagination … and a little dough.” – Charlie Chaplin
21. “I am at peace with God. My conflict is with Man.” – Charlie Chaplin
22. “Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” – Charlie Chaplin
23. “The mirror is my best friend because when I cry it never laughs.” – Charlie Chaplin
24. “I am for people. I can’t help it.” – Charlie Chaplin
25. “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.” – Charlie Chaplin
26. “Movies are a fad. Audiences really want to see live actors on a stage.” – Charlie Chaplin
27. “I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.” – Charlie Chaplin
28. “Patriotism is too deep a feeling to depict in the posing for a photograph.” – Charlie Chaplin
29. “Why should poetry have to make sense?” – Charlie Chaplin
30. “All my pictures are built around the idea of getting in trouble and so giving me the chance to be desperately serious in my attempt to appear as a normal little gentleman.” – Charlie Chaplin
31st of 50 Charlie Chaplin Quotes
“To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune.” – Charlie Chaplin
32. “The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.” – Charlie Chaplin
33. “A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.” – Charlie Chaplin
34. “I do not need drugs to be a genius, do not take a genius to be human, but I need your smile to be happy.” – Charlie Chaplin
35. “Life could be wonderful if people would leave you alone.” – Charlie Chaplin
36. “Life is a play that does not allow testing. So, sing, cry, dance, laugh and live intensely, before the curtain closes and the piece ends with no Applause.” – Charlie Chaplin
37. “In the light of our egos, we are all dethroned monarchs.” – Charlie Chaplin
38. “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.” – Charlie Chaplin
39. “You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” – Charlie Chaplin
40. “You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men!” – Charlie Chaplin
41. “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.” – Charlie Chaplin
42. “Man as an individual is a genius. But men in the mass form the headless monster, a great, brutish idiot that goes where prodded.” – Charlie Chaplin
43. “I’d sooner be called a successful crook than a destitute monarch.” – Charlie Chaplin
44. “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.” – Charlie Chaplin
45th of 50 Charlie Chaplin Quotes
45. “I believe in the power of laughter and tears as an antidote to hatred and terror.” – Charlie Chaplin
46. “I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born.” – Charlie Chaplin
47. “Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people.” – Charlie Chaplin
48. “Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.” – Charlie Chaplin
49. “Think about yourself at least once in your life otherwise you may miss the best comedy in this world.” – Charlie Chaplin
50. “This is a ruthless world and one must be ruthless to cope with it.” – Charlie Chaplin
Bonus: Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator Speech
“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone – if possible – Jew, Gentile – black man – white. 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.
We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….
The Aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men – cries out for universal brotherhood – for the unity of us all.
Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world – millions of despairing men, women, and little children – victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
To those who can hear me, I say – do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed – the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. 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. …..
Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes – men who despise you – enslave you – who regiment your lives – tell you what to do – what to think and what to feel! Who drill you – diet you – treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts!
You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate – the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!
In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” – not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you!
You, the people have the power – the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then – in the name of democracy – let us use that power – let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world – a decent world that will give men a chance to work – that will give youth a future and old age a security.
By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will!
Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise!
Let us fight to free the world – to do away with national barriers – to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.
Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!”