Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chaplin vs. Keaton Dancing: Who was better?

Well, of course, I'd say Chaplin just because, but I have to admit that Keaton was a powerhouse of comedy along with Chaplin and Harold Lloyd.  Keaton simply made some poor business and career decisions that cost him dearly in creative control and wealth.  He signed with MGM and lost all of his autonomy rather than starting his own studio like Chaplin.  Then, a divorce cost him in the pocket.  He became a sad case for a time.  Lucile Ball hired him as a consultant on I Love Lucy and he managed to eek out parts in movies in the 50s and 60s, but lived a quiet life until his death for the most part.

Chaplin, on the other hand, continued to proper and create through the 1940s, 50s,and 60s and retired to Switzerland with a nice nest egg and a huge family and estate.  Harold Lloyd made more movies and more money than both Chaplin and Keaton and had one of the biggest homes in Hollywood.  He retired wealthy and happy, but his films were all but forgotten until only recently.

Of the three, Chaplin gets the most press for being the king of silent comedy, but all three were pioneers in their field.  They each created a unique character and really didn't compete with each other.

The video above shows various clips of Chaplin and Keaton dancing, but it leaves out some of his best routines from Limelight.  They both were physically adept and trained in that type of comedy with huge portfolios of gags and moves.