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The Immigrant (1917)

Unrated  |   |  Short, Comedy, Drama  |  17 June 1917 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,574 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 15 critic

Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America.

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(uncredited)
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Title: The Immigrant (1917)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Immigrant (as Charlie Chaplin)
...
Eric Campbell ...
The Head Waiter
Albert Austin ...
A Diner
Henry Bergman ...
The Artist
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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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 June 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Modern Columbus  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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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

When the ship arrives in New York harbor it is moving in a southward direction as indicated by the passing view of the Statue of Liberty. But a ship arriving in New York would be heading north, not south. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Is there anything that Charlie Chaplin can't do?
16 February 2001 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

The Immigrant is one of Chaplin's early short films, with a very simple story but Chaplin makes it work. The thing that makes this early short film work so well is Chaplin's skill at slapstick comedy, it's so much fun to watch him try to deal with these endless predicaments that he gets into that you don't even pay attention to the simplicity of the story.

The majority of Chaplin's early films, particularly the short films like The Immigrant, are little more than brief comedy skits. But the value here does not lie in the story of the film, it lies in seeing how well Chaplin fits the role and how entertaining it is, even by todays standards, to watch his face as he realizes that he has dropped his money, after watching a man get beaten up for being ten cents short. The Immigrant is a classic because it is a Charlie Chaplin film, and really for no other reason. Chaplin makes it work, and he does it extremely well.


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