The Tramp, Charlie Chaplin’s most famous portrayal, is one of the most recognisable screen images of all time.
First seen by the public in 1914 in Kid Auto Races at Venice, The Tramp quickly became popular, appearing in numerous shorts and features over the next 22 years.
In the silent movie era, distinctive costumes revealed a vast amount about the on-screen character, helping actors make a strong emotional connection with their audiences.
Chaplin himself reportedly combed through the film studio costume closets to help create a figure that would be vividly outlined on the screen. He chose a bizarre combination of baggy pants and tight jacket, small ‘derby’ hat and large shoes, to go with a toothbrush moustache and bamboo cane.
The contradictions of the costume perfectly complemented the paradoxes of the personality he invented: “a tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow always hopeful of romance and adventure.”
The Tramp had profound significance, for as Jeffrey Vance, has written: “The birth of modern screen comedy occurred when Chaplin donned his derby hat, affixed his toothbrush moustache, and stepped into his impossibly large shoes for the first time at the Keystone Film Company.”
The Perth Mint is delighted to be celebrating Charlie Chaplin’s enormous contribution to the movie industry with this remarkable 2014 Charlie Chaplin – 100 Years of Laughter 1oz silver proof lenticular coin and The Tramp – 100 Years of Laughter 1/4oz gold proof coin in special packaging.