A King in New York

1957

A King in New York

Critics Consensus

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80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,032
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Movie Info

Charles Chaplin's response to America during the McCarthy Era stars the writer-director as a deposed European monarch who immigrates to the U.S. to start anew.

Cast

Charles Chaplin
as King Shahdov
Dawn Addams
as Ann Kay - TV Specialist
Oliver Johnston
as Ambassador Jaume
Jerry Desmonde
as Prime Minister Voudel
Maxine Audley
as Queen Irene
Harry Green
as Lawyer Green
Phil Brown
as Headmaster
John McLaren
as Macabee Senior
Alan Gifford
as School Superintendent
Shani Wallis
as Night Club Vocalist
Joy Nichols
as Night Club Vocalist
Jay Nichols
as Night Club Vocalist
Michael Chaplin
as Rupert Macabee
John Richard Ingram
as Mr. Cromwell
Sidney James
as Mr. Johnson
Robert Arden
as Lift Boy
MacDonald Parke
as Fred Cromwell
George Truzzi
as Comedian
Joan Ingram
as Mona Cromwell
Robert Cawdron
as U.S. Marshall
George Woodbridge
as Commissioner
Clifford Buckton
as Atomic Commission
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Critic Reviews for A King in New York

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for A King in New York

  • Apr 07, 2013
    A satisfying though uneven Chaplin comedy clearly envisaged as a criticism on the American society and the absurdity of McCarthyism. There are some memorable scenes, including a hilarious surprise dinner, but also just as many less successful ones.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2011
    Charlie Chaplin's last starring role was a perfect vehicle, drawing on both his intercontinental charm and his nagging troubles with United States immigration. Far from a success, the film wasn't even distributed in the States until 1967. Chaplin (now white-haired but impressively spry) plays King Shahdov, the deposed monarch of a fictional European country. He flees to New York and takes up residence in a posh hotel, but finds himself broke after his prime minister betrays him and steals the royal treasury. A beautiful lass (Dawn Addams) cons the needy king into entering the advertising world, with amusing results. He becomes an inept pitchman and media celebrity, dodging fans and reporters just like today's royals. Later, Shahdov befriends a precocious boy (Chaplin's real-life son Michael) whose parents who are suspected of being Communists. Chaplin's elegant wit and grace are delightful, but the film is frustratingly uneven. The advertising satire is quite funny -- particularly a scene about a fraudulent dinner party -- but the anti-McCarthy material turns indulgent and heavy-handed. And a few plot threads are left dangling. Will the prime minister be brought to justice? What about those vaguely mentioned "atomic" plans that will revolutionize the planet? And did Shahdov's wife need to enter the story at all? Scenes end too abruptly. Chaplin's score seems corny and outdated. And his acting philosophy remains stuck in the silent age, calling for exaggerated body language from himself and others. A particularly bad example is how the younger Chaplin ridiculously wags a finger during his political rants. Another is the restaurant vignette that just serves as an excuse for Charlie to pantomime "caviar" and "turtle soup." Still, the shot where he joyfully dances and vaults into a tub can't be missed. (But what bizarre sort of hotel puts a door between adjoining bathrooms?)
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2007
    <DIV ALIGN=center><B>A KING IN NEW YORK (1957) directed by Charles Chaplin starring Charles Chaplin, Dawn Addams, Michael Chaplin</B></DIV><P><DIV ALIGN=justify>To discuss about the atomic bomb issue or something like that, the King of France comes to New York but we wont hear much about the atomic bomb or any of his real reason to be there. What will follow is simply a series of sketches cause <I>A King in New York</I> works pretty much as a sitcom.<P>After trying to get serious with <I>Monsieur Verdoux</I> and <I>Limelight</I>, Charlis Chaplin is back, in good shape with a good comedy critisizing the media, fame and the American government.<P>Plenty of things happen to his charcter, he is seen on TV playing a seen from <I>Hamlet</I> when he isnt aware cameras are filming him. He has an affair with a TV host, he shots TV ads, visit a school and get into an arguement with a kid who believes firmly in his ideas even if he is only ten years old. Last but not least, King Shadov is accused of being a communist.<P>Chaplin is good as usual, not too melodramatic for once. He shows a bit of nostalgia when he goes to a dinner and there is a stage performance looking very much like old silent films. Also, his own kid, Micahel Chaplin, plays the kid with conviction and he has learned from his dad cause he is pretty good and/or funny.<P><I>A King in New York</I> is nothing special, except for the fact its Chaplin's last starring role. Its often funny but it can easily forgotten.</DIV>
    Hugo S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 02, 2007
    I liked it. It wasn't a great film. It had some moments where Chaplin was quite amusing. Worth watching, especially for me, since I'm very much a fan. Some of the gags don't work, mostly because Chaplin is still thinking 1910-20s and this movie is set in the 1950s. I also wonder if women were ever as he portrays them... Some of it is prophetic, and amazingly so: energy, media, advertising, plastic surgery, noise, paranoia, etc. He gets so much of it right, and it makes an even better case for him being a genius, even if this film is not great work. Some of the editing is clumsy, which is not at all characteristic of him. That surprised me. I've heard some people say Chaplin stopped being funny after x date. I don't agree. If you like his humor, this is more of the same. His mature work is subtle, political, nuanced, etc. If you want 3 Stooges humor, he isn't really for you. I'm biased. I love his work, so even though this was a less that spectacular effort, it was another chance to see him do his thing. The fire hose bit was worth the whole film, but I also loved the advertising and plastic surgery gags, The visit to the 'progressive' boys school was both scathing and amusing. How did he see so well into our future?
    Morris N Super Reviewer

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