Remember Charlie Chaplin?
You know, the lovable tramp character and star of so many silent films in the 1920's? Charlie Chaplin is widely considered one of the most important figures in the history of film, and is largely remembered for his comedic silent films.
When the "talkies" threatened the future of the silent film genre in the 1930's, Chaplin dug his heels in and continued to make silent pictures. He was loved the world over for his famous tramp character, and I guess he thought "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
However, in 1940, spurred on by the rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany, Chaplin made his first film with sound. THE GREAT DICTATOR was a stirring and controversial condemntation of Hitler at a time when the United States was still formally at peace with Nazi Germany, many years before anyone knew the true extent of the horrors that had befallen many millions of Jews in those concentration camps.
While the film is essentially a comedic satire, it closes with one of the most incredible, powerful, stirring and moving speeches ever commited to celluloid, which you can - and should - watch below. Chaplin himself delivered the speech - he wrote, directed, produced and scored the film too.
In my opinion, this really is one of the great speeches of our time, ironically delivered by a man who was famous for not speaking.
He'd made his name in silence, but he left his mark by using his voice.
Whenever I watch this video, I am stirred by what this moment in cinematic history meant as much as by what is actually being said. The world wanted Charlie Chaplin to carry on in silence. His silent films were hugely successful, even when put up against the "talkies". For a man as famous as Charlie to give the world his voice when it seemed nobody was asking for it was enormously brave. He could have stuck to silence. He knew silence. He understood silence. Silence made him successful. Silence made him popular.
But he had something to say.
Are you stuck in silence? Are you afraid to use your voice? Do you fear what will happen if you break your silence and say what you feel and use your voice?
Watch the video below, and listen to what this great man said the first time the world ever heard him speak. I
We all have a voice, and we all have something worth saying. I'm so grateful Chaplin found his voice.
I hope you find yours too.