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The Vagabond (1916)

 -  Short | Comedy | Romance  -  10 July 1916 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,356 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 9 critic

After passing the hat and taking the donations intended for German street musicians Charlie heads for the country. Here he finds and rescues a girl from a band of gypsies. The girl falls in... See full summary »

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Title: The Vagabond (1916)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
The Saloon Violinist
...
The Gypsy Drudge
Eric Campbell ...
The Gypsy Chief
Charlotte Mineau ...
The Girl's Mother
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Storyline

After passing the hat and taking the donations intended for German street musicians Charlie heads for the country. Here he finds and rescues a girl from a band of gypsies. The girl falls in love with an artist whose portrait is later seen in a shop by the girl's real mother. The mother and the artist arrive in a chauffeured auto and offer Charlie money for his services, money which he rejects. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gipsy Life  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored) |

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The camera and cameraman are reflected in the car window as Edna is riding with the Artist. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unknown Chaplin: The Happiest Years (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond, call me what you will…
23 April 2008 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Chaplin starts out The Vagabond playing in a bar, basically as a street performer, but soon finds himself run out by the more fully developed band who is unhappy that he's stealing their customers. Soon he wanders out into the woods and almost aimlessly stumbles across a group of backwards country people. There is a hunch-backed hag of a woman that looks like a witch but is probably the wife of a mountain of a man who likes to beat the women around him and carries a huge whip wherever he goes. This guy is ripe for a slapstick smack down.

There's an amusing scene where a young girl is beaten by the man and then Charlie shows up and tries to cheer her up by going nuts on the violin, succeeding only in getting too excited and falling into a tub of water behind him. After a series of unfortunate events, he trades his trademark cane in for a bigger stick and proceeds to knock out all the men in sight, finally making off with the young girl and the family's house, which is really just a horse-drawn wagon.

I am curious about one of the first things that happens after he "liberates" her from her family. He takes a tub of water and roughly scrubs her face, sticking his fingers into her ears and nose while he washes her. The fact that he washes her face rather than allowing her to do it herself is obviously a physical comedy ploy, but it also gave me the feeling that he is sort of washing the country off of her, turning her into a respectable woman.

At any rate, soon she stumbles upon an artist who finds her so beautiful that he wants to paint her, and the result is so wonderful that she gains a following in the uppity art world. Soon some rich art fans show up to take save her from a life in rags and bring her, presumably, to the big city. Charlie refuses a reward (or payment for selling the girl, as it were) and simply hugs the girl and probably wishes her good luck as she sets off in the big car. But the girl decides she doesn't want to leave without him, so they turn around and go back for him.

This story is fraught with problems, of course, like if she would ever start to miss her family or if her upbringing in the big city would conflict with her background as a country girl, and the ending is also a little too cute and neat, but for Chaplin's early silent comedies, this is a very complex story with a definable beginning, middle and end. I felt a little uncomfortable during the face-washing scene, but overall this is definitely a higher quality example of Chaplin's early work.


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