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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

An important creative milestone for Chaplin

Author: hausrathman
8 May 2004

Charlie plays a tramp, who, after saving a farmer's daughter from thieves, is given a job on the farm as a reward. Charlie later manages to thwart the same bandits who try to rob the farm, but he is accidently shot in the process by the farmer. Charlie basks in the attention of the farmer, and his daughter, until the girl's boyfriend arrives. Knowing he doesn't have a chance with the girl anymore, Charlie leaves, walking down the road alone.

"The Tramp" was made for Essanay, who gave Chaplin his second film contract in as many years and much greater creative freedom than he previously enjoyed under Mack Sennett at Keystone. Despite claims to the contrary, this film was not introduction of Chaplin's famous tramp character. That character was actually born in Chaplin's second film for Keystone "Kid Auto Races in Venice." This film was, however, an important step in the development of the tramp as a character, and for Chaplin as an artist. With his failed attempt to win the girl and his final walk, with his back to us, down the road, Chaplin made his first serious attempt to inject pathos and genuine human emotion into his comedies. In "The Tramp," he was laying the groundwork for future masterpieces like "The Circus."

Sadly, aside from the dramatic elements, this isn't one of Chaplin's best shorts. The comedy isn't very original. He simply takes advantage of various barnyard props for the rough, rather mindless knockabout brand of slapstick he would soon evolve away from. This isn't a terrible comedy by any means, it probably as good if not better than the bulk of the comedies produced that year by his contemporaries. It simply doesn't live up to the standard he would set for himself over the next two years at the Mutual Company.

Fans should definitely watch if they get the chance, but it isn't a good place for the uninitiated to start.

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

THE LITTLE MAN AGAINST THE ODDS

Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
28 June 2001

Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp will appear in his movies for the next 25 years as America's favorite movie star. More than just a comical character. Chaplin creates his own world, but reacts to events. He belongs to the 19th century in his ideas. But in the early 20th century, in his films, he plays the little man against the malevolent odds. The outsider fighting oppressive villains. He was the comedy of expression, specializing in minute perfection and precision. He alternated comedy and evoked pity and compassion.

The Tramp symbolized a certain class in early 20th century society.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

good and pretty typical of Chaplin's Little Tramp

8/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
6 May 2006

This film is pretty typical of the earlier incarnation of The Little Tramp character. Charlie is a hobo and is drawn to helping a lady who is being harassed by bad hobos intent on stealing her money. At first, Charlie is somewhat inclined to do the same thing (something the earlier Tramp shorts might have had Charlie doing and something the later version never would have even thought of doing). But very quickly he realizes this is wrong and devotes much of the movie helping her. The Tramp thinks that the girl is in love with him so he sticks around even after the evil hobos have departed. However, eventually he discovers she actually has a boyfriend and so he excuses himself from her life--leaving a note to that effect. In effect, this script is an early version of Chaplin's full-length film, THE CIRCUS--where Charlie again is in love with a young lady who he helps from danger but he eventually walks away when he realizes she loves another. Nice stuff and a good introduction to this character.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Maybe Chaplin's most famous early short comedy.

9/10
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China
20 April 2008

Of course, Chaplin's early career is over-flowing with famous short comedies, but The Tramp is probably one of the most well-known of the early two-reelers, especially since it is one of the most direct studies of the famous character after whom the film is named. A lot of the Keystone and Essanay films have dated pretty badly, and The Tramp is no exception. Many people may find a lot of the plot confusing or pointless, just random slapstick comedy, although I have a feeling that some of it was not meant to be much more than that.

It starts out with the tramp wandering down a dusty road, soon knocked over by the gusts of wind created by two speeding cars, only to pick himself up and dusts his wildly over-sized pants off with the handy little brush that he carries with him, apparently for just such an occasion. There are some clever an amusing sight gags involving things like a pitchfork and huge bags of flour and lot of mallets to the head, but not much in the slapstick department that is entirely memorable.

What the film is more famous for is certain elements of the tramp's personality that we learn here, such as his efforts to be proper and presentable despite being broke and wearing pants big enough for two or three of him, along with a jacket that's too small. We also see him protecting a young woman from the bullies of several oafish men, each of whom could easily have brained the little fellow (as Chaplin later lovingly called him), except that he is too smart for them.

The film is most memorable for the closing shot, however. Things don't go as planned, we are not given a happily ever after ending, and the movie closes with the tramp again wandering alone down a dusty road, at first seemingly depressed, until after a second or two, he perks up and all but dances down the road. He didn't get what he wanted and he's still poor and lonely, but he faces his life with a smile and seems like he's off to make the best of it. In a lot of ways, that sums up one of the recurring themes that Chaplin espoused throughout his lengthy career.

Smile.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A cinematic icon is born!!!

9/10
Author: raskimono
22 March 2004

Chaplin's favorite character and one of the world's most indelible images is introduced in this movie, The tramp. Chaplin also sets up the theme that recurs in all of his best movies, the thing that man will do for love, whether real or imagined. It is a well known fact, that man is essentially a slave to woman, to her whims, fantasies, and urgings. It is what creates the love that is often opaque in the brusqueness and machoism that beguiles the maturity of man. Chaplin knew this and studied and exacerbated it in his movies, id est to ask the question; What is a man? What is a man without a woman? The yin and yang of the two creates humanity, so to speak. In this movie, he rescues a farmer's daughter from a bunch of thugs, and is brought by the woman home to the farm where he gets a job from her father. He stays because he loves the woman but does she love him? The melancholy of this movie eschews the laughs for the audience and the ordeals that Chaplin endures for her approval. A funny and touching movie.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

THE LITTLE MAN AGAINST THE ODDS

Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
28 June 2001

Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp will appear in his movies for the next 25 years as America's favorite movie star. More than just a comical character. Chaplin creates his own world, but reacts to events. He belongs to the 19th century in his ideas. But in the early 20th century, in his films, he plays the little man against the malevolent odds. The outsider fighting oppressive villains. He was the comedy of expression, specializing in minute perfection and precision. He alternated comedy and evoked pity and compassion.

The Tramp symbolized a certain class in early 20th century society.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Famous Film Shows Evolving Tramp

6/10
Author: CitizenCaine from Las Vegas, Nevada
13 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Chaplin edited, wrote, directed, and starred in this film, a milestone for Chaplin and perhaps film comedy. It was not his first appearance as the tramp, but it was certainly his first appearance as the tramp that everyone still recognizes today. Gone is the aggressive Chaplin of old, always scheming and trying to put one over on people. Here he has a chance to do just that early in the film and chooses not to. It's as if Chaplin recognized his chance to branch out in another direction. He saves Edna Purviance from thieves and goes to her father's farm where he is given a job. Comical mishaps ensue with a pitchfork, and the tramp is not cut out to be a farmhand. The thieves return and are run off with the tramp's help, but the tramp is accidentally shot in the confusion. He eventually recovers thinking he'll marry the farmer's daughter, but he finds out she has a beau already(Lloyd Bacon, the Warner Brothers director). The tramp writes a goodbye letter and leaves. The film is consistent in tone and well edited. As in most of Chaplin's better films, the slapstick is reined in in favor of a plot or story. The ending with its simultaneous pathos and optimism is a Chaplin trademark. **1/2 of 4 stars.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Chaplin is great

6/10
Author: rbverhoef (rbverhoef@hotmail.com) from The Hague, Netherlands
28 April 2003

Charlie Chaplin is a great artist and probably one of the best comedians ever. Watching him always brings a smile on my face. It was not different this time, but the short 'The Tramp' is one of those little films that doesn't work anymore. Some Chaplin short are great because of Chaplin, and some of them are great because of Chaplin and the film. This one, unfortunately, belongs in the first category.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The Working Class Hero

Author: The Black Englishman from London, England
8 March 2002

In the same way that novels prior to the 19th century were about aristocracy and nobles, and then about the middle classes from the end of the 18th century, Chaplin created a new genre of storytelling about the working classes embodied in 'The Tramp'. Although the self-contained story was not significant, the statement of having a complete story about a working class character was.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Transformation of the Tramp

6/10
Author: romanorum1 from Rhode Island, United States
1 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In 1914 Charlie Chaplin originally introduced his famous tramp character in the short "Kid Auto Races at Venice." Later in the same year Chaplin was underscored in the first feature length comedy "Tillie's Punctured Romance." He had already acquainted theater goers with his funny mannerisms, odd walk, baggy pants, cane, and derby. In that feature though, his character was more of a scoundrel than an empathetic gentleman.

In 1915's "The Tramp," Chaplin continued with his character development, this time injecting him with pathos. He is now a good guy. While walking on a narrow road the Tramp is nearly struck by two passing autos. Twice he is knocked down on his back, but quickly and hilariously dusts off himself. Right after, a nearby hobo emerges from the bushes and attempts to steal money from a farmer's daughter (Edna Purviance). The Tramp comes to the rescue and defeats the bad guy, who runs away. Two other hobos try the same dishonest deed individually, but the Tramp winds up on top. The three itinerants flee. As a reward for his kindness the Tramp is taken in at the farm and Edna's father (Ernest Van Pelt) tells him in one of the film's few title cards, "As a reward you can work."

There is slapstick as the Tramp gets into trouble without being very productive. His attempt at cow milking stands out. Meanwhile the three vagrants again appear and offer our hero a split of the take if he helps them steal the money. He pretends to work a deal with them but actually thwarts their second attempt at thievery in a comical manner. The Tramp thinks he has won over the girl and enjoys his victory dinner. Then the girl's well-dressed fiancée arrives. Nothing is left for the dejected Tramp to do but walk away, although his steps at the end show optimism. This short, Chaplin's sixth film for Essanay Studios, represents the beginning of Chaplin's compassionate Tramp.

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