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23 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 11# The Pilgrim (1923)



Directed & Written by: Charles Chaplin
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 43 Minutes
Just before I begin I’d like to know why the film barely has any reviews on RT. What kind of critic doesn’t review these kind of films? They should stop going to the cinema to review the new crap and take a look at the past, because the films seem forgotten on RT. Dead if you will, but never mind about that; n with the review. The Pilgrim is only four reels long, but as one of Chaplin’s shorter comedies, it’s very funny and inventive. So this time The Tramp is an ex-convict on the run, but for some reason he doesn’t seem like much of a bad guy. When Charlie escapes from prison he dons a preacher's clothes. By mistake he becomes the new minister for the town of Devil's Gulch. So this time as he imposes as a minister he tries to stay undercover and gets to stay overnight at someone’s house where he meets a woman he fancies. A man he knew from jail sees him and he is welcomed in and also stays overnight. More of Chaplin’s great athletic ability comes into play as he runs around stopping the man from stealing anything in the house. And that’s what I meant by not being such a bad guy, because he fancies that woman he clearly doesn’t want him to steal anything.

More great comic acting
As usual Chaplin has only put in the title cards where necessary which is good for it leaves plenty of great mimic acting, which with Chaplin is very easy to latch on to. Now a scene that I absolutely loved was when he is at the church and he has to tell a story. He has to tell the story of David and Goliath and with his terrific movement and timing it is very funny. The funny thing is that Goliath wins in his miming act of the story. It’s one of the highlight scenes of the film that shows how funny something can be regardless of words. Showing more of his clever antics, The Pilgrim holds some delightful comical displays.
The David and Goliath story scene.
Overall:
The Pilgrim is one of the great silent comedies. Perhaps not as profound, as The Gold Rush, The General or The Kid Brother, it is nevertheless one of Chaplin's best shorts. The Pilgrim has a runtime of 40 minutes, and it like many of Chaplin’s films will not leave you bored. All four of it’s reels are frantically funny and entertaining. The Pilgrim overall is definitely a terrific comedy that may not be fitted well with the character depth, but for a 40-minute short film it is full of wacky fun and slapstick.


Video of the scene.
 
My Rating:8/10

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