MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,626 this week

A Dog's Life (1918)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  14 April 1918 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,684 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 14 critic

The Little Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 20 Aug 2013
 
list image
a list of 28 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 48 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "A Dog's Life" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Dog's Life (1918)

A Dog's Life (1918) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Dog's Life.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Adventurer I (1917)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Little Tramp escapes from prison; saves a girl and her mother from drowning; and creates havoc at a swank party.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan
The Pawnshop (1916)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Charlie competes with his fellow shop assistant. He is fired by the pawnbroker and rehired. He nearly destroys everything in the shop and and himself. He helps capture a burglar. He destroys a client's clock while examining it in detail.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Henry Bergman, Edna Purviance
Limelight (1952)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce
Shanghaied I (1915)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A shipowner intends to scuttle his ship on its last voyage to get the insurance money. Charlie, a tramp in love with the owner's daughter, is grabbed by the captain and promises to help him... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Billy Armstrong, Lawrence A. Bowes
The Bank (1915)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Charlie does everything but an efficient job as janitor. Edna buys her fiance, the cashier, a birthday present. Charlie thinks "To Charles with Love" is for him. He presents her a rose ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Billy Armstrong
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A recently-deposed European monarch seeks shelter in New York City, where he becomes an accidental television celebrity and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Maxine Audley, Jerry Desmonde
The Rink (1916)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After causing restaurant chaos at work, a bumbling waiter tears up the local roller rink with his skating.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, James T. Kelley
The Gold Rush (1925)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The Tramp goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
The Fireman (1916)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Charlie is a fireman who always does everything wrong. A man talks the Fire Chief into ignoring his burning home (he wants the insurance money) unaware that his daughter (the love of the ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
The Champion (1915)
Short | Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Walking along with his bulldog, Charlie finds a "good luck" horseshoe just as he passes a training camp advertising for a boxing partner "who can take a beating." After watching others lose... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Bud Jamison, Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson
The Vagabond (1916)
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Edit

Storyline

Poor Charlie lives in a vacant lot. He tries to get a job but when he gets to the head of the employment line the jobs are gone. Back "home" he rescues Scraps, a bitch being attacked by other strays. Together they manage to steal some sausages from a lunch wagon. They enter a dance hall where Edna is a singer and unwilling companion to the clientele. He is thrown out when he can't pay. Back "home" Scraps digs up a money-filled wallet buried by crooks. They return to the dance hall to find Edna fired. The wallet goes back and forth between Charlie and the crooks. Charlie, Edna and Scraps end up very happily. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In his First Million Dollar Picture See more »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 April 1918 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Une vie de chien  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (1959 re-issue)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Zasu Pitts supposedly had a bit part in this movie, but her scenes were deleted. See more »

Goofs

During the fight at the lunch cart, one of the props holding up the awning gets knocked away. In subsequent shots, the prop is back in place. See more »

Connections

Featured in Silent Clowns: Charlie Chaplin (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Thoroughbred mongrel"
15 June 2010 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

Just like his little tramp alter ego, Charlie Chaplin liked to think big, and had always aimed to extend the scale and scope of his pictures, never content to be a two-reel sideshow. At 35 minutes, A Dog's Life could hardly be described as his first full-length feature, but it arguably represents his break away from shorts.

Just the opening shot of A Dog's Life shows how Chaplin is starting to inject some grand sweep into his storytelling. The camera begins amid city rooftops, tilting down to reveal Charlie sleeping amid the rubbish behind a ramshackle fence. The way this purpose-built set is shot demonstrates how Chaplin was as much a "proper" director as a comic. He several times has a shabby sign advertising "rooms" visible in the background – a subtle reminder that the tramp is too poor even for the cheapest accommodation.

It's a nice touch how Charlie's canine friend is introduced in a handful of cutaways during this opening scene – treating him as a real character rather than just a plot device. But this is not to the detriment to his human companions, and indeed leading lady Edna Purviance gets a more substantial part than she did in many of the shorts. She makes a really great character here, giving an impression of a naïve but feisty youngster, certainly more than just a token female. It's this kind of characterisation that gives A Dog's Life the kind of comprehensive structure of a feature film, as opposed to a comedy short in which people just turn up on screen for a bit of funny business.

On a quick side-note, this is the earliest Chaplin picture which features a score written by him (although since he wrote the music in retrospect some decades later it's not the first he wrote). It's another testament to the breadth of his genius, showing both considerable musical ability as well as his own irreverent personality. Numbers like the dance hall rag are of course very "silent comedy", but pieces like the opening theme have a truly deep and epic feel to them. Even here though, the Chaplin cheekiness shines through, with different parts of the orchestra playing off each other in a kind of question-and-answer routine.

Chaplin would repeat this "little companion" routine, swapping dog for tot in his first genuine full-length feature The Kid. A Dog's Life remains a worthy predecessor, part of the comedian's ever upward trajectory at this point in his career. It would take more battling with studio heads for Chaplin to get his ideas fully realised, but it was pictures like this that began to get silent comedy taken seriously.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Killer scene boogiewilliams
Discuss A Dog's Life (1918) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page