Charles Chaplin left England finally in 1912 having had a full and successful career in the music halls and on the stage. He made no films in this country and probably saw very few. The films in this catalogue are not intended to imply any direct influence on Chaplin's work. What they do provide is a glimpse of the personalities and performance styles of the music hall artistes, physical comedians and sketch comedy players who were working in Britain at the time that Chaplin was touring with shows such as the Eight Lancashire Lads, Sherlock Holmes and the Karno companies. Some films, like Chaplin's own Limelight of 1951, were made after these comic traditions were almost gone, but successfully convey the atmosphere of the halls when Chaplin was learning his craft.
If you have any queries about any of the items in this catalogue please contact Bryony Dixon at the bfi.
Download catalogue (PDF, 307kb)