A King in New York

Made while he was exiled in England (his permit to reenter the United States had been revoked due to the FBI investigation of his leftist views), A King in New York is Chaplin's take on the America of the 1950s. Given the circumstances, one might expect nothing more than embittered invective, but the film is as much an observant satire of fifties cultural foibles-rock 'n' roll, CinemaScope, TV, advertising-as a political tract. In his last starring role, Chaplin plays a deposed, peace-loving king who comes to the United States to seek refuge, and to seek money and support for his far-reaching nuclear plans. Along the way, he forges an allegiance with a radical boy genius, and runs afoul of the House Un-American Activities Committee. A King in New York offers a telling look at Chaplin's own attitudes and ideals; Roberto Rossellini called it “the film of a free man.”

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