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A King in New York meets the communist boy

"One of the minor annoyances of modern life is a revolution."
- opening lines of Charles Chaplin's film A King in New York (1957)

Exiled from United States in 1952 after being changed with being a member of the Communist Party, Charles Chaplin produced A King in New York in England.

The film was a critique on the American culture of 1950s and a scathing satire aimed at anti-communist hysteria that swept across America of that decade.
My love for humanity is a fundamental deep-seated instinct, but my love for the crowd depends on my mood. At times they are inspiring, at other times frightening, for I instinctively sense that they are capable of either loving or lynching
- Charles Chaplin,  1933
This film was not released in U.S. until 1975.

Chaplin as his last appearance in a leading role played King Igor Shahdov, the Monarch of a European country named Estrovia. After a dubious revolution in his country, Shahdov, along with his prime minister, is forced to flee to America where using his money he plans to use atomic energy for creating a Utopian society. After all kinds of cultural shocks in the city of New York, Shahdov meets a young boy named Rupert Macabee, a Marx reading son of communist parents. It's a hilarious meeting that sees Shahdov getting almost bulldozed by a ten year old who shoots lines like, "Leadership in government is political power and political power is an official form of antagonizing the people." However, the two soon become fond of each other. This sets off events that see Shahdov getting suspected by authorities of being a communist.

The scene in which King Shahdov meets the communist boy. The role of young fast talking "Communist" boy was played out perfectly by Charles Chaplin's son Michael Chaplin.

 A [rough] transcript of the dialogue between the two:
And what’s that you are reading?
Karl Marx.
Sure you are not a communist!
Do I have to be a communist to read Karl Marx?
That’s a valid answer. Well if you are not a communist, what are you?
I dislike all forms of government.
Well somebody must rule.
And I don’t like the word rule.
Well if we don’t like the word rule, let’s call it leadership.
Leadership in government is political power and political power is an official form of antagonizing the people.
What magazine did you say he edits?
[A commentary on current events.]
But my dear young man politics are necessary.
Politics are rules imposed upon the people.
In this country rules are not imposed upon the people, they are the wishes of all free citizens.
Travel around a bit and then you will see how free they are.
But you didn’t let me finish…
They have every man in a straitjacket and without a passport he can’t move a toe.
But if you will allow me to finish…
If a free world they violate the natural rights of every citizen.
But you don’t let me fully…
They have become the weapons of political despots.
Yes but may I…
And if you don’t think as they think, you deprived of your passport.
But, will you allow me…
To leave a country is like breaking out of jail and to enter a country is like going through an eye of a needle.
Am I free to travel?
Of course, you are free to travel!
Only with a passport!
Will you allow me to say some…
Only with a passport!
Do animals need passport? Are you finished?
It’s incorrigible that in this atomic age of speed we are shut in and shut out by passport.
If you will you shut up and let somebody else talk?
And free speech, does that exist?
No you got it all.
And free enterprise.
We were talking of passports.
Today is sole monopoly.
All right!  Now will you…
Can I go into the automobile business and compete with the other truck.
If I can get in a word…
Not a chance. Can ago into the grocery business and complete with the chain store?
Will you shut up!
Not a chance. Monopoly is the menace of the free enterprise. As I look back sixty years ago…
Where were you sixty years ago? [] Very well now, have you finished? Now let me say something. Let me tell you how wrong you are. In the first place…in the first place…now I have forgotten what I wanted to say.
On the atomic bomb.
It’s a crime that when the world cries for atomic energy, you want to make atomic bombs.
Me! I am against atomic bombs.
You want to wipe out civilization. Destroy all life on this planet. You don’t…
I lost..I lost my throne because I didn’t want atomic bombs.
You and your kinds think atomic bombs can solve your problems.
Listen you little rat…
Today man has too much power. The Roman Empire collapsed with the assassination of Caesar and why?
If you…
Because of too much Power. Feudalism blew up with the French revolution and why?
Because of too much Power.
And today the whole world will blow up. And Why.
[Because of Too Much Power]
The monopoly of power is a menace to freedom. It’s grave and victimizes every individual. And where is the individual.
I don’t know!
Locked in terror because he is draped in hate instead of love. If the civilization is to survive we must combat power until peace and dignity of man are restored.
These dialogues uttered with conviction by a ten year old make the scene comic enough, but the atrocities unleashed on to King Shahdov by the other children and the King's equally odd response - a soup head massage, that makes it a perfect chaplinesque scene.

Now why didn't Charlie Chaplin of talkie era recieve his dues.


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