Oh, Chaplin. The director I once thought was too simple compared to Keaton and too maudlin in otherwise great comedies has since emerged as one of my three of four favorite filmmakers, having finally understood his consummate genius in regards to every level of film production. Unlike most silent stars, his features bear that out better than his shorts (itself a suggestion of his higher, more textured artistic capacity), but those shorts nonetheless made him a global superstar and, what's more, show him constantly tinkering with ideas that would serve him well when he moved to more ambitious projects. The 10 films I listed for this piece are all works of an unending evolution, an artist who knew how to please a crowd even while pushing himself as a performer, writer and director, and they are as entertaining as works of riotous comedy as they are glimpses into a master's working process.
Check out my picks at Film.com.