Social Icons

08 April 2012

The Chaplin Revue (1959) [Silent Film-a-thon] 4#



Directed, Produced and Written by: Charles Chaplin
Music Composed by Charles Chaplin
Genre: Comedy
USA
Black and White, 119 Minutes
In the 1950’s, Chaplin combined three of his short comedies associated with his brother, Sydney and Edna Purviance, and re-composed their soundtracks (and wonderfully). The three films being, A Dog’s Life, Shoulder Arms and The Pilgrim are among his best short comedies and with the new scores composed by him, they come to life once more. Seeing these three films in the gloriously restored DVD edition make it worth watching for some of his finest gags that still stand the test of time as hilarious.


In A Dog’s Life, we meet the tramp lying on the ground in a closed off abandoned area. Later, he attempts to steal some food in his reach. He notices a police officer and reacts as he approaches in a still today hilarious sequence. There is space under the fence to be crawled under. When the police officer approaches the tramp, he rolls under it. The officer keeps going back and forth for a while, and the tramp soon makes a run for it. Later, the tramp meets a small, scrawny dog known as scraps by the title card, and befriends him. From here on, we see him and the dog in their mishaps and fortunes.


The first thing to note is the film’s title and sub-text. Here, Chaplin has used the dog to metaphorically represent how the tramp does not fit in with society, and much like a stray dog, he must roam the streets in a somewhat struggle to survive.

The comedy in A Dog's Life was just brilliant, and one of Chaplin’s funniest gags appears here. In this sequence, the tramp hits one of the robbers on the head in order to get his money back. However, he does this while he is sitting with his accomplice, and he then puts his arms under his to appear as if they were the robber’s hands. With the grand hand gestures made and the unconscious look on the robbers face, it is still an undeniably funny sequence.

In the second film in The Chaplin Revue is Shoulder Arms, another one of his finest shorts. Here, he takes the gruesome and gritty subject of war, but executes it with excellent comedy. The film opens with the tramp in army uniform, performing a drill amongst the other men (and not too well at that). We then cut to him fighting in the trenches were many comical things happen.

At the time, it would have been extremely controversial to do create something like what Chaplin did, but it proved not to cause any harm. Despite being a comedy on something grim and taken quite seriously at the time, the film got terrific reception from audiences all around. The film does not glorify war, nor does it spit on it. Chaplin’s tramp character is seen having problems in the trenches due to water and explosions, and we even see him reading another man’s letter. This poignant touch relates to us, showing the loneliness of the tramp character and how unlike many of the other men at the trench, he has no wife, kids or parents too write to.

In the third film, The Pilgrim, the tramp character plays an escaped convict who disguises himself as a priest in order to be free. The setup is fast, to the point and effective. The first shot we a flyer of the tramp on a conviction poster, which cuts to a confused man in a bathing suit picking up a convict uniform- suggesting to us that the tramp has stolen his clothed. From here on, we see the tramp going undercover as a priest.


It is neither one of the greatest nor one of the worst. Nevertheless, a very fine film has some hilarious sequences including: the tramp explaining the story of David and Goliath with a twist and the sequence were we see the tramp trying to stop a family being burgled. Once more Chaplin displays his comedy genius.


Verdict: As one of the silent cinema masters, Chaplin’s three films are beautifully re-composed and packaged with genius comedy that stands firmly with audiences today as hilarious.


Rating:
A Dog’s Life: 9/10 

Shoulder Arms: 8.5/10 
The Pilgrim: 8/10
Overall: 8.5/10

0 comments:

Post a Comment

 

All Labels

1915 (1) 1919 (1) 1921 (3) 1922 (6) 1923 (3) 1924 (3) 1925 (3) 1927 (5) 1928 (3) 1929 (1) 1931 (3) 1932 (1) 1933 (2) 1935 (1) 1939 (1) 1941 (1) 1942 (2) 1945 (1) 1947 (1) 1948 (2) 1950 (1) 1951 (1) 1952 (1) 1953 (2) 1954 (2) 1956 (1) 1958 (2) 1959 (1) 1960 (2) 1961 (2) 1964 (1) 1965 (1) 1968 (1) 1969 (2) 1970 (2) 1971 (6) 1972 (5) 1973 (3) 1974 (3) 1975 (5) 1976 (4) 1977 (1) 1978 (2) 1979 (3) 1980 (1) 1981 (2) 1982 (3) 1984 (2) 1985 (2) 1986 (4) 1987 (3) 1988 (3) 1989 (2) 1990 (2) 1991 (6) 1992 (3) 1993 (2) 1994 (6) 1995 (1) 1996 (1) 1997 (1) 1998 (2) 2000 (2) 2001 (1) 2002 (3) 2003 (4) 2004 (1) 2005 (3) 2006 (7) 2007 (7) 2008 (3) 2009 (11) 2010 (10) 2011 (44) 2011 FilmMaster Award Nominees (1) 2011 FilmMaster Award Results (1) 2012 (12) 25 Greatest Silent Films (1) 50 Favourite Films (1) 70's Movie Marathon (15) 84th Academy Awards Predictions (1) Action and Adventure (45) Actor Overviews (3) Animation (17) Art House (17) Biographical (4) Blogger of the month (4) Blogger Round-Up (3) Comedy (87) Crime (8) Direcotrs: Rainer Fassbender (1) Director Overviews (2) Directors: Jonathan Demme (1) Directors: Adam Elliot (1) Directors: Alan Parker (1) Directors: Alexander Payne (1) Directors: Alexandre Aja (1) Directors: Alfonzo Cuaron (1) Directors: Alfred Hitchcock (11) Directors: Andre Ovredal (1) Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky (1) Directors: Andrew Stanton (2) Directors: Bob Fosse (4) Directors: Buster Keaton (4) Directors: Carl Dreyer (1) Directors: Charles Chaplin (14) Directors: Charles Walters (1) Directors: Chris Colombus (2) Directors: Christopher Nolan (3) Directors: D.W Griffith (1) Directors: Danny Boyle (1) Directors: Darren Aronofsky (1) Directors: David Cronenberg (2) Directors: David Fincher (2) Directors: David Lynch (1) Directors: David Yates (4) Directors: Don Siegel (1) Directors: F.W Murnau (4) Directors: Fernando Meirelles (1) Directors: Francis Ford Coppola (1) Directors: Frank Oz (2) Directors: Fred M. Wilcox (1) Directors: Gene Kelly (4) Directors: George Cukor (3) Directors: George Lucas (1) Directors: George Mêliés (3) Directors: Gore Verbinski (4) Directors: Henry Selick (3) Directors: Howard Hawks (1) Directors: J.J Abrams (1) Directors: James Whale (3) Directors: Jim Sharman (1) Directors: Joe Dante (1) Directors: Joe Johnston (1) Directors: John Avildsen (1) Directors: John Carpenter (1) Directors: John Hillcoat (1) Directors: John Lasseter (1) Directors: John M. Stahl (1) Directors: John Waters (2) Directors: Johny Huston (1) Directors: Joss Whedon (1) Directors: Katsuhiro Otomo (1) Directors: Luis Buñuel (1) Directors: Mark Sendrich (2) Directors: Martin Scorsese (2) Directors: Michael Caton-Jones (2) Directors: Oliver Stone (1) Directors: Pete Doctor (1) Directors: Peter Jackson (2) Directors: Pier Paolo Pasolini (1) Directors: Raja Gosnell (1) Directors: Ralph Bakshi (1) Directors: Richard Schikel (1) Directors: Ridley Scott (3) Directors: Rob Letterman (1) Directors: Rob Marshall (2) Directors: Robert Weine (1) Directors: Robert Wise (4) Directors: Robert Zemeckis (1) Directors: Roger Corman (3) Directors: Russ Meyer (1) Directors: Sam Peckinpah (2) Directors: Sam Raimi (3) Directors: Seth Gordon (1) Directors: Stanley Kubrick (4) Directors: Steven Spielberg (4) Directors: Terry Zigoff (1) Directors: Tim Burton (5) Directors: Tom Six (1) Directors: Uwe Boll (1) Directors: Victor Fleming (2) Directors: Werner Herzog (2) Directors: Wes Craven (10) Directors: WIlliam Friedkin (1) Directors: Williard Huyck (1) Directors: Woody Allen (1) Documentary (5) Drama (94) Family (9) Film Master Newsletters (5) Hitchcock Movie Competition (4) Horror (56) Horror Marathon (32) Independent Film (1) Mockumentary (4) Months in Review (5) Musical (24) Musical Film-a-Thon (23) Mystery and Suspense (39) Other Posts (24) Photography (1) Poll Results (10) Quickie Reviews (15) Rating: 1.5/10 (1) Rating: 1/10 (2) Rating: 10/10 (12) Rating: 2.5/10 (1) Rating: 2/10 (2) Rating: 3/10 (6) Rating: 4.5/10 (6) Rating: 4/10 (1) Rating: 5.5/10 (1) Rating: 5/10 (6) Rating: 6.5/10 (10) Rating: 6/10 (1) Rating: 7.5/10 (26) Rating: 7/10 (13) Rating: 8.5/10 (27) Rating: 8/10 (38) Rating: 9.5/10 (12) Rating: 9/10 (39) Reviews (238) Romance (15) Sci-Fi and Fantasy (54) Silent Film Marathon (23) Silent Film Marathon 2 (12) Sport (2) STOP SOPA (1) The 70's in cinema (2) Thoughts on 84th Oscars (1) Thriller (5) Top 15 of 2011 (1) Trailer Round Up (3) War (3) Western (5)
There was an error in this gadget