Director Charlie Chaplin cajoles the reluctant star of A Countess from Hong Kong, Marlon Brando.
A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) was Charlie Chaplin’s final film and one of only two that he directed but in which he did not star. It received, almost without exception, terrible reviews. Yet in Chaplin’s own opinion, it was one of the most accomplished works of his career — ‘the best thing I’ve done,’ as he told The Sunday Times. In some interviews, Chaplin compares it directly to City Lights (1931) and implies that it may even exceed the achievements of that film. He was downright puzzled by the critical response, but he remained convinced that the critics were missing something important. ‘At first, when I read the reviews I wondered. Then I went again [to see it] the next day, and regained all my confidence. Soon they’ll come to their senses,’ he recounted. —Rereading A Countess from Hong Kong: Action, Speech, and Style in Charlie Chaplin’s Final Feature