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Charlie Chaplin, Vol. 5 [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Chapter Selections
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

The Bond
This short promotional film Charlie Chaplin made for the U.S. Liberty Loan bond campaign was shot in a few days during the shooting of Shoulder Arms. Using rather stark, expressionistic sets and props, it tells the story of the various types of bonds between people. The bond of friendship, shows Chaplin meeting friend Albert Austin who tells him jokes, borrows money, then invites him for a drink with the money he's borrowed. The bond of love is represented by Charlie and Edna, who are struck by cupid's arrows and soon enter into the bond of matrimony. But the "most important of all" is the Liberty Bond. Edna is Miss Liberty, threatened by the Kaiser who has subdued a soldier in uniform. Charlie is seen buying bonds from Uncle Sam who gives the money in turn to a worker, who gives guns to a soldier and sailor. Finally, Charlie KOs the Kaiser with a mallet inscribed "Liberty Bonds" and extorts the audience to help the cause. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

The Count
The Count, filmed during Charlie Chaplin's 1916-17 Mutual period, is a rowdy throwback to his Keystone days. Chaplin plays the assistant to bombastic clothes-presser Eric Campbell. While dallying with the cook at the Moneybags Mansion, Charlie spots Eric, posing as Count Broko. Eric tries to hide his subterfuge by introducing Charlie as his secretary. In this guise, Charlie is invited to a formal dinner dance presided over by lovely socialite Edna Purviance. When the real Count Broko (Leo White) shows up, chaos reigns supreme. The Count was the fifth of Chaplin's "golden dozen" Mutual two-reelers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Pawnshop
Behind the Screen
In Behind the Screen, the seventh of his 12 Mutual Studios two-reelers, Charlie Chaplin pokes some less than gentle fun at his former employer Mack Sennett. Chaplin and Eric Campbell play a couple of bumbling stagehands at Gigantic Picture Studios. They knock each other about, break for lunch, and knock each about again. Pretty Edna Purviance sneaks into the studio disguised as a boy. Chaplin finds out her secret and steals a kiss -- drawing a very suspicious glance from Campbell. The film ends with a combination union strike and slapstick pie fight. Best bit: a temperamental movie comedian refuses to throw a pie without proper "motivation." Chaplin spent so much time achieving perfection in Behind the Screen that Mutual was obliged to apologize to its exhibitors for missing the scheduled release date by two weeks. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

One A.M.
Charlie Chaplin's fourth film for Mutual is a tour de force solo performance, with Chaplin playing his classic drunk, returning home in the wee hours. The only other character in the film is the taxi driver who is oblivious to Charlie's difficulties getting out of the cab. Charlie has equal problems getting into his house. He can't find his key and enters via a window, but he soon finds his key in his vest pocket and exits via the window, reentering in the proper way, through the door. His house is filled with inanimate objects, which to his mind, are ganging up against him. The stuffed animals seem to attack him as he slides on throw rugs along the slippery floor and tries to reach a liquor bottle on a revolving table that keeps eluding him. When he attempts to climb the stairs, he is repeatedly struck by the oversized pendulum of a wall clock and sent tumbling down the staircase. Finally reaching his bedroom, his automatic Murphy bed seems to have a mind of its own, trapping him as it revolves round and round inside its wall compartment, bucking him like a bronco when he sits on it and falling on top of him when he lays on the floor. Finally abandoning the bedroom, Charlie goes to the bathroom, soaking himself as he tries to get a drink from the shower stall and then settling down for the night in the bathtub. Although essentially plotless, One A.M. is a brilliant clinic in physical comedy and the psychology of alcoholic delusions. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

A Day's Pleasure
Charlie Chaplin's fourth film for First National is generally considered a lightweight entry and a throwback to earlier days. It begins with Charlie, Edna and their two boys leaving their house (actually a corner of Chaplin's studio at La Brea and De Longpre in Hollywood) for a day's outing. The family piles into the family flivver, and after Charlie's amusing efforts to keep the engine running, they arrive at a dock and board a crowded day cruiser. Charlie has a disagreement with another passenger (Tom Wilson), when he squeezes himself into a place on the bench next to the fellow's hefty wife, (Babe London). When Wilson tosses the famous derby onto the dock, Charlie races off the boat to get it. As the vessel pulls away from the dock, a large woman with a baby carriage tries to board, but ends up stretched between the dock and the boat. Charlie, returning with his hat uses her as a gangplank, then tries to pull her aboard with a grappling hook. Once the boat is under way, the passengers dance to the music of a small combo, but soon everyone is feeling the effects of the violently rocking cruiser. Charlie has to stop dancing with the lovely Edna to sit by the railing near the trombonist, whose own mal de mer turns the black man quite pale. Meanwhile, Edna and the kids are napping on deck chairs and Charlie decides to join them. In typical Chaplinesque fashion, he cannot seem to assemble his chair. Overcome by seasickness he collapses into the lap of the equally bilious Babe and is covered with a blanket by a helpful steward. When the lady's jealous husband returns with drinks he tries to attack Charlie, but becomes too nauseated to continue, of which the now recovered Charlie takes advantage. The return trip in the family car is equally eventful. Charlie runs afoul of a couple of traffic cops, is blocked by some irate pedestrians, one of whose foul language spurs Charlie to indicate the divine retribution awaiting him, and backs into a tar truck which spills its contents on the street. The cops, berating Charlie for blocking traffic, get stuck in the tar along with Charlie, but he cleverly steps out of his large shoes and drives off with his family, much to the amusement of the onlookers. This last scene may have originally been intended to occur earlier in the film, according to continuity sheets existing in the Chaplin archives, but was placed at he end of the film for the released version. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

The Vagabond
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