(Sir) Charles (Spencer) Chaplin Penelope Houston - Essay

Penelope Houston

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The lapses of genius are always interesting, sometimes baffling, and inevitably sad. The important thing is that they don't, in the long run. greatly matter. Genius means, as often as not, an infinite capacity for taking risks: and with an artist like Chaplin, who has played for high stakes and never been concerned to hedge his bets, there is no possibility of failure in any small way. His new film. A King in New York, is for me as much of a failure as Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight were successes. Those were flawed masterpieces; this seems a failure that occasionally—but only occasionally—touches the edge of brilliance. And it is a film that appears at once important and of little lasting...

(The entire section is 780 words.)