Newly Released Files Reveal Controversy Over Chaplin's Knighthood

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Charlie Chaplin's contributions to the eighth art are indisputable. His most famous character, The Tramp, entertained millions and has influenced both "serious" actors and physical comedians for almost 100 years. But it doesn't take a film scholar to see that many of Chaplin's films contain pro-socialist messages, especially in those that he directed. In 1952 during the House Committee on Un-American Activities's second series of investigations, Chaplin was denied re-entry to the U.S. Chaplin lived the rest of his life in Europe, and obtained a knighthood in 1975 — despite a great deal of pressure from the F.B.I.

Gordon Correra is security correspondent for our partner the BBC.