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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Free Film Friday – The Immigrant

Chaplin1Since I’ve been recommending movies that are absolutely free to view I have been looking forward to talking about the star of this week’s picture. I have discussed obscurities alongside films of tremendous influence, but this week I’m going to be focusing entirely on one of Hollywood’s all time greats, Charlie Chaplin.

Chaplin is one of those rarest of stars, an actor so huge that he is not only cited as one of the greatest and most influential names in the history of cinema, but a man who can lay legitimate claim to being the face of his generation. Like John Wayne, his is a name that film geeks and casual movie-goers alike will be familiar with, even if they have never seen one of his works. And what a body of work it is. As both an actor and a director Chaplin is responsible for some of the greatest Hollywood films, movies like The Gold RushModern Times and The Great Dictator.

Chaplin2One of his very best is another film that has fallen into the public domain purely on account of a failure to renew copyright. This is quite the happy accident, because the film which I have chosen to discuss this week is the perfect representation of what Charlie Chaplin was all about. If you wanted to show someone the perfect example of a Chaplin film, The Immigrant would be it.

What makes this film as hilarious now as it was when it came out nearly a hundred years ago is the perfection of the physical comedy involved. Chaplin, like Keaton and Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, understood the tremendous importance of physicality in silent cinema, and by honing his craft and directing his own pictures, he was able to master the skill of making an audience laugh without ever saying a word.

Chaplin3This twenty minute feature is full of funny skits, from the comedic effects of being aboard a boat on choppy seas to the inconvenience of trying to find a lost dime to pay for dinner, The Immigrant is a real laugh-a-minute picture that is never dull for one moment. Chaplin is at times explosive in his reactions, and when a physical sequence gets going it is like pure ballet, thrilling to watch. That being said, the ending is somewhat unnerving. I won’t spoil it for you but check it out, you’ll see what I mean…

I really wanted to bring you something from Chaplin because at the end of a long week there is nothing better than having a good laugh. This short will have you in stitches, and if you like it then I urge you to check out some of Chaplin’s more well known works. In many ways, he still sets the standard for cinematic comedy.

Michael Dodd
Michael Doddhttps://www.geek-pride.co.uk
Prolific writer attempting to slowly take over the internet through various explorations of cinema, heavy music and everything in between.

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