The result of these comments played a role in getting Charlie Chaplin kicked out of America.
After Limelight, Charlie Chaplin took another vacation to England, wanting to show his new wife and children his native country. Upon leaving the territorial waters of the United States of America, Charlie Chaplin received a cable, informing him that the State Department had rescinded his reentry permit -- effectively locking him out of the country as an undesirable alien. There were many reasons for this -- Charlie Chaplin's unorthodox political views, the false accusation that he was a Communist, and not least of all, money. There would have been an attempt by the federal government to seize Charlie Chaplin's assets, which were enormous. However, his wife Oona returned to the United States, and promptly took all of the liquid assets, as well as liquidating everything she could -- leaving the government without a penny for its' trouble.
Yet Chaplins troubles were not over, as he still refused to change his unorthodox views.
In 1948 Chaplin decided to travel overseas and applied for a re-entry permit in order to return to the United States. The Immigration Department stalled on the application for some weeks and then, when reservations were already made, arrived one day at his home. When the deputation arrived, it consisted of a stenographer, an FBI agent and an immigration officer, who told him that they had the right to demand Chaplins evidence under oath. The unexpected inquisition lasted for four hours and was recorded by the stenographer. It contained personal questions about Chaplins racial origins, political views and sex life. He found the enquiries into his life, thought and opinions most personal, insulting and disgusting. However, they failed to discover any reason to deny him re-entry and had no choice but to grant him the permit. Not to be outdone though, the US Treasury immediately put in a claim for $1 million in taxes and demanded a bond of $1.5 million before he left the country. In any event, Chaplin decided not to leave the country after all.
In 1949 the FBI had a request from the Assistant Attorney-General, Alexander Campbell, for the Chaplin files, since a Security-R investigation was pending. The files were disappointing to him. It has been determined that there are no witnesses available who could offer testimony that Chaplin has been a member of the Communist Party in the past, is now a member, or has contributed funds to the Communist Party. However, the heated paranoia in Government to take action against suspected high profile communists like Chaplin was now beginning to reach fever pitch. It was an open secret that the FBI was monitoring Chaplin night and day for any potential communist activity, but not widely known that they were failing to obtain any incriminating evidence against him.
In 1952, Chaplin sailed to England for the premier of his latest film, Limelight. Before he had arrived at his destination, it was announced that the United States Attorney-General, Judge McGranery, had rescinded Chaplins re-entry permit and ordered the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to hold him for hearings when or if he attempted to re-enter the country. These hearings, he said, will determine whether he is admissible under the laws of the United States. The Justice Department added that the action was being taken under the US Code of Laws on Aliens and Citizenship, Section 137, Paragraph (c), which permitted the barring of aliens on grounds of morals, health or insanity, or for advocating Communism or associating with Communist or pro-Communist organizations.
When Chaplin arrived in England, after hearing the news en route, he was defiant:
The US Government does not go back on anything it says. It will not go back on my re-entry permit. These are days of turmoil and strife and bitterness. This is not the day of great artists. This the day of politics and Ive never been political. I have no political convictions. Im an individualist and I believe in liberty."
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