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Difference Between Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton

Charlie Chaplin vs Buster Keaton

Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were two of the most prominent actors of the Silent Film Era. Both actors were also directors and made funny and popular films in their time. As comedic actors, both employed a lot of action and comedy in their fighting, running, and chasing scenes.

Buster Keaton was the screen name of Joseph Frank Keaton, an American actor. Keaton is well known for his moniker, “The Great Stone Face,” due to his deadpan and stoic expression in his appearances. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was the screen name of Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, a British actor and contemporary of Keaton. Unlike Keaton, Chaplin is famous for his expressive facial expression, body language, and use of emotions.

Both actors also have different styles in terms of making their audience laugh. Keaton used his emotionless expression and violence. Keaton often used physical comedy. Meanwhile, Chaplin relied on his body and facial movements. Chaplin also performed comedies set in daily life situations. His pieces usually had more of a storyline. His style was known as expressive or realistic comedy. Due to their respective styles, Chaplin is considered the “warm” comedian while Keaton is the “cool” funnyman.

Aside from their comedic styles, Chaplin and Keaton are also different in their strengths. Keaton is considered the more superior filmmaker. On the other hand, Chaplin was better in acting and writing comedic pieces.

While Keaton is considered as a serious filmmaker, he concentrated his pieces on silent movies.  Chaplin, meanwhile, continued his craft into the Talkie Era when sounds were incorporated into films.

In terms of appearance, Chaplin is widely recognized with his bowler hat, his curly hair, and his mustache. In stark contrast, Keaton maintained a well-groomed appearance with his signature pork pie hat.

The personal lives of Chaplin and Keaton were also different. Chaplin was older and lived longer comparing the two. He was born in 1889 and died in 1977 at the age of 88. Meanwhile, Keaton also lived a long life. He reached the age of 70 when he died in 1966. The year of his birth was 1895.

Chaplin had 4 wives and 11 children while Keaton did not have any children from his 3 wives.

Chaplin, as a British subject, was awarded the title of Knight of the British Empire for his contributions to entertainment and film. As a person holding this position, he is entitled to be called and addressed as “Sir.” Since Keaton is an American citizen, he cannot be bestowed with that honor.

Summary:

  1. Both Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton are very famous silent film actors. Both actors also acted as directors in their respective films. Both men remained great influences toward the succeeding generations of comedians and performers.
  2. One difference between Chaplin and Keaton is their nationality. Chaplin was a British subject while Keaton is an American citizen.
  3. Chaplin is very well known for his expressive facial expressions and body language. He also uses emotions to bring laughter to his audience. On the other hand, Keaton is known as the “The Great Stone Face,” meaning he always wore a stoic expression in his films.
  4. Keaton is considered the better filmmaker while Chaplin is the better actor.
  5. Chaplin is easily recognizable with his bowler hat, curly hair, and mustache. In contrast, Keaton gave a gentle and more polished look with his neat hair and pork pie hat.
  6. Chaplin was older and lived longer than Keaton. He was 88 when he died. Keaton, meanwhile, was 70 when he died of lung cancer.
  7. In terms of personal lives, Chaplin had 4 wives and fathered 11 children. Keaton remained childless even with three wives.


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