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The Immigrant (1917)

Unrated | | Short, Comedy, Drama | 17 June 1917 (USA)
Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Eric Campbell ...
Head Waiter
Albert Austin ...
Russian / Restaurant diner
Henry Bergman ...
Artist
Kitty Bradbury ...
Edna's mother
Frank J. Coleman ...
Bearded gambler / Restaurant owner
William Gillespie ...
Café violinist
Tom Harrington ...
Marriage registrar
James T. Kelley ...
Shabby man in restaurant
John Rand ...
Tipsy diner
Janet Sully ...
Passenger (as Janet Milly Sully)
...
Pint-sized passenger
Tom Wilson ...
Gambler on ship
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Storyline

Charlie is on his way to the USA. He wins in a card game, puts the money in Edna's bag (she and her sick mother have been robbed of everything). When he retrieves a little for himself he is accused of being a thief. Edna clears his name. Later, broke, Charlie finds a coin and goes into a restaurant. There he finds Edna, whose mother has died, and asks her to join him. When he reaches for the coin to pay for their meals it is missing (it has fallen through a hole in his pocket). Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

17 June 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Modern Columbus  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Kevin Brownlow's and David Gill's documentary series Unknown Chaplin (1983), the first scenes to be written and filmed take place in what became the movie's second half, in which the penniless Tramp finds a coin and goes for a meal in a restaurant, not realizing that the coin has fallen out of his pocket. It was not until later that Charles Chaplin decided the reason the Tramp was penniless was that he had just arrived on a boat from Europe, and used this notion as the basis for the first half. Edna Purviance reportedly was required to eat so many plates of beans during the many takes to complete the restaurant sequence (in character as another immigrant who falls in love with Charlie) that she became physically ill. See more »

Goofs

In the restaurant scene, after the customer is beaten up and thrown out for being 10 cents short, his hat is seen on the floor next to the cashier's desk. When the waiters come back in, the hat is gone. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Beans!
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
"The Tramp" arrives in New York in this early Chaplin masterpiece...
10 November 2010 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

CHARLIE CHAPLIN and EDNA PURVIANCE are excellent together in this early Chaplin short covering his arrival by boat in the USA as "The Tramp" who has barely a penny to his name. The first sequence aboard ship is especially well done, full of the kind of sight gags and slapstick humor involving him and the other passengers that would make him the most famous comedian of his time.

Then the tender relationship with equally poor girl Edna Purviance and the second sequence devoted to establishing their relationship during a restaurant meal. Deftly comic moments where timing is everything are contributed by the menacing head waiter ERIC CAMPBELL, who has just thrown out a customer ten cents short of his bill. The fun begins when Charlie realizes whatever money he had from winning at cards has slipped through the hole in his pocket. A cat-and-mouse game with the waiter is played for laughs as Charlie seizes every opportunity to delay paying the bill until he accidentally finds some cash.

Chaplin fans can't afford to miss this one. Both halves of the story are played to perfection.


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