Chaplin’s World is an intimate glimpse into the private and professional life of Charlie Chaplin. From a walk through his home in Corsier-sur-Vevey to the large studio, featuring some of his classic works, the museum is one big celebration brimming with information, artefacts, and the odd surprise related to one of the greatest entertainers of the last century.
Chaplin’s World is a chance to discover Charlie Chaplin’s old house, a dreamlike abode with lime green shutters and pristine white walls. On the inside, it is re-done as a “liveable” museum with objects in place and the odd wax figure to make it seem authentic – which it is.
Packed with great insights – I had no clue about Chaplin’s exile from the US or the fact that no family member was allowed to speak in French around him, since he never learnt the language himself – my daughter and I went through the different rooms, each one highlighting a specific part of his life.
An unusual aspect of the “museum” is that not everything is cordoned off. We could touch, feel, and hold quite a few of the objects on display.
Chaplin chose to spend his later years in this particular part of Switzerland for a reason. The beauty of the terraced vineyards, majestic views of the Alps in the distance, and the ever-changing panoramas of the lake, made for an idyllic location to indulge in family life filled love and laughter.
To get a sense of what it might have been to spend a day on the property, we went for a walk around the well manicured, bright green garden that promised, and delivered, fantastic views of Lac Leman. I particularly loved how there’s a sense of freedom to roam around the grounds of Chaplin’s World, without anyone telling you not to go here or there.
And then, after having spent a good two hours, we made our way towards the exit, wondering if we should wait and watch an “introductory” movie in the museum’s theatre. As luck would have it, a new show was starting, and so we went inside. I assumed the film would be a montage of Chaplin’s best works, and it was. However, we weren’t ready for what happened next.
The movie ended, and suddenly the screen opened up, split into two with a passageway that led to a completely different underground wing. We had obviously missed out on reading about it in the brochure (which we picked up, but only glanced through).
In this “studio” were sets from Chaplin’s iconic films filled with memorabilia and wax figures of actors and actresses who accompanied him, and were equally monumental in the success of his movies.
Very much like Madame Tussaud’s, but a tad more interactive, my daughter had fun dressing up and posing along with the characters on display. For a Chaplin enthusiast, it’s no less than a fairy-tale destination, a playground of wonders, and a chance to be part of movie history, albeit in a theme park sort of way.
Unfortunately, we had by then spent a considerable amount of time in the main house – as good as it was – and ended up rushing through the studio. On the bright side, this gives us an excuse to come back and experience the magic of movies and Chaplin all over again.
Chaplin’s World, Route de Fenil 2, 1804 Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland
Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tickets: Adults – CHF 20,- / Youth – CHF 16,-