Back to Silent Stars Who Transitioned to Talkies
Like George Valentin in 'The Artist,' Chaplin was a one-man hold out to the transition to sound; unlike Valentin, he was big enough that he was able to make the transition on his own terms. He'd long since established himself as one of the biggest international stars in film history, thanks to the dozens of shorts and features he'd made starring his Little Tramp character since 1914, including 'The Immigrant' (1917), 'The Kid' (1921) and 'The Gold Rush' (1925). For Chaplin, the silent era lasted 13 years longer than for everyone else, as he continued to write, direct, and star in such dialogue-free pictures as 'The Circus' (1928), 'City Lights' (1931) and 'Modern Times' (1936). Chaplin finally spoke on screen for the first time in anti-Nazi satire 'The Great Dictator' (1940). He continued to make movies sporadically for another quarter century, but his silent works, including his latter-day silent holdouts, remain his most beloved films.