Friday, August 30, 2013

Five quotes falsely attributed to Charlie Chaplin

"A day without laughter is a day wasted"*

"I love walking in the rain so no one can see me crying."

"The mirror is my best friend, because when I cry it never laughs"

 "As I began to love myself..." Here's the rest.

"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."

I'm sure there are others, but these are the most commonly-seen non-Chaplin quotes. These have been passed along over and over on social media sites and never include a source. Here is a good rule of thumb: if the quote doesn't cite an original source (when or where he said it), it may not be a real quote (plus most of these "quotes" just don't sound like something Charlie would have ever said.) The poem "As I began to love myself" is often accompanied by the statement that Charlie recited it on his 70th birthday, but this is completely false. It was actually written by Kim McMillen.**


*More info: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/07/16/laughter-day/

**see post by McMillen's daughter, Alison, in the comments section in the link to the poem.  

15 comments:

  1. that first one -- ugh! it's even spread to other languages because people can't be asked to check their sources. it's bloody annoying!

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  2. I wish I could find the attribution for the quote, "Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot" from his Guardian obituary. I can't find where he actually said this and am suspicious of it, though the sentiment fits his own life story and the way he mined it for comedy. Anybody have any leads on this one?

    Carrie

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    1. Good question. I have the original Guardian article and it says that Chaplin wrote this line. I have only ever seen it attributed to the Guardian piece. I don't know if its ever been researched beyond that. Unless someone else has some info, I'll give it a shot. I love a good mystery.

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    2. This quote is attributed to Buster Keaton as well--almost as much as Chaplin. I can find no source for Buster either. I'm beginning to think this is a BS quote.

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    3. Bummer. It's such a good quote, but it does have the ring of BS. Thanks for snooping on this one! It's interesting that this gets attributed to BK--it REALLY doesn't sound like him at all.

      Carrie

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  3. Hi Jess,

    Do you know who was the author of the second one? So many of my friends attribute it to CC I would like to make a correction :)

    Thanks.

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    1. I'm sorry, but I don't know. Does anyone else? When your friends attribute it to CC, you should ask them to provide you with a source.

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    2. I am afraid that without being shown a reliable source they will not be convinced because it is everywhere on the Internet, like a kind of conventional wisdom

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  4. Hi everyone,

    Do you know who really said "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." ?

    Because it's my favourite quote ever and i want it as a tattoo and i'm very grateful to him/her, he/she summarized my vision of life.

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  5. Another one attributed to Chaplin is

    "You need Power, only when you want to do something harmful, otherwise Love is enough to get everything done.”

    No source. It sounds a little like something that could have come from his character in The Great Dictator, but this specific quote is not there either.

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  6. He DID say, "Next time I send a fool, I'll go myself!" Not positive it is original with CC, but he used it often.
    source: Rollie Totheroh to his family.

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  7. Do you know if Charlie was the one who said "Who feeds a hungry animal feeds his own soul" I've seen it around a bit on the internet But i have no idea if those sources are reliable

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    1. I don't think it's a real Chaplin quote, it sounds more like a proverb or "saying." I've seen it around as well, and like all the other fake quotes no one ever cites an original source.

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    2. I have no idea who to atribute it to and believe it would be hard to fond any proof.
      But come on guys and dolls, if it's good and touches the right spots - and - can not be atributted to someone else for honoring him/her, why is it so important that CC actually said it?

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    3. That does nothing but contribute to the sea of misinformation that's already out there on the internet. If the source of a quote is unknown then I think it should be attributed to "Unknown" rather than just slapping someone's name on it for effect. That serves no purpose whatsoever.

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