Charlie Chaplin was born as Charles Spencer Chaplin on April 16, 1889, and is acknowledged as one of the greatest comedians on celluloid of all time. The actor-filmmaker and music composer began working early in a career that lasted for 75 years. But as a child, he lived in poverty with his mother and his despair often reflected in his most famous character of The Tramp, which he enacted in many of his movies. Many people say that Charlie Chaplin made everyone laugh but his eyes were the saddest! Surely something affected him that we don’t know of. But Charlie Chaplin’s movies are known and loved by all, young or old, worldwide. He has inspired many a movie and character in cinema industries across continents, including India and Bollywood and the classic movie Sholay.
With #CharlieChaplin trending on Twitter on his birthday today, we came across a trivia that not many know about. Bollywood’s all-time classic movie Sholay, which released in 1975, had a character inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator that released in 1940. Which was this character? It was none other than the Jailor – “Angrezon ke zamaane ke jailor” – played by actor Asrani! You don’t notice it unless you are watching Sholay and The Great Dictator simultaneously. Of course, for an average Indian, Asrani as the jailor is memorable for its hilarity. It is funny how a jailor was crafted out of a dictator character, but that may be because The Great Dictator itself was kind of a spoof on Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany by Charles Chaplin. This food machine trying to feed Charlie Chaplin is the funniest thing ever!
Take a look at both Asrani and Charlie Chaplin here as the Jailor in Sholay and as The Great Dictator:
Well, Sholay, directed by Ramesh Sippy and starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, Gabbar Singh, Asrani, AK Hangal and Sachin, among others, is known to have taken some inspiration from Westerns and Akira Kurosawa’s famous Seven Samurai (1954) as also The Great Train Robbery. But being a cult film that ran for years and years at Maratha Mandir in Mumbai, this kind of trivia belittling their favourite film may be insulting for hardocre Sholay fans. Take heart, guys! It was the great Charlie Chaplin that our Angrezon ke zamaane ka jailor was inspired by. Happy birthday, Charlie Chaplin!