Three Chaplin silent comedies "A Dog's Life", "Shoulder Arms", and "The Pilgrim" are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin provides new music, narration, and a small... See full summary »
Charlie talks wealthy farmer's daughter Tillie into eloping with him (and taking her father's money). In the city Tillie gets drunk and lands in jail while Charlie runs off with her money ... See full summary »
As Colonel Nutt is experimenting with explosives, a new janitor is joining his household. The inept janitor proceeds to make life difficult for the rest of staff. Meanwhile, a foreign agent... See full summary »
Professor Bosco, a poor flea trainer, rents a bed in a flophouse. Before going to bed, he rallies his troops and once he has made sure his beloved fleas are settled for the night, the ... See full summary »
Charlie is in boot camp in the "awkward squad." Once in France he gets no letters from home. He finally gets a package containing limburger cheese which requires a gas mask and which he throws over into the German trench. He goes "over the top" and captures thirteen Germans ("I surrounded them"), then volunteers to wander through the German lines disguised as a tree trunk. With the help of a French girl he captures the Kaiser and the Crown Prince and is given a statue and victory parade in New York and then ... fellow soldiers wake him from his dream. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Many in Hollywood were nervous that one of their most famous peers was going to tackle the subject of WWI. It was released shortly before the Armistice so it did not help boost national morale. But it did end up as one of Charles Chaplin's most popular films and it was particularly popular with returning doughboys. See more »
Charlie, disguised as a tree, enters a pipe to escape a German. When the German tries to pull Charlie out he seperates the lower part of the tree costume along with Charlie's shoes. When Charlie emerges from the other end of the pipe he is still wearing shoes. See more »
How did you capture thirteen?
I surrounded them.
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The short opens with a title card showing a caricature of Chaplin dressed as a World War I soldier, and text reading "Shoulder Arms Written and Produced by" followed by a blank space. A live action hand appears and points to the title, then the drawing, then uses a piece of white chalk to sign "Charles Chaplin" in the blank space, then points to the caricature one more time. See more »
Considering all of the comedies with a military situation that have been done in history, someone had to be the first. One could make a case that in Shoulder Arms, Charlie Chaplin invented the genre.
Hard to believe that back then this was a daring move. When you consider that some of the best films involving such people as Bob Hope, Abbott&Costello, Laurel&Hardy involved military service and made during war time, it's just something you accept and laugh at.
In the First World War Chaplin along with fellow stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford went out on bond tours. He was a great supporter of the Allied cause, unusual for someone of his left wing views. It would seem only natural that the Tramp would be drafted and unfortunately would flummox around and wreak havoc on all.
A lot of things you'd see in the service comedies of World War II got their start in Shoulder Arms. Chaplin had no more imitators because within a few weeks of the film's release, the war was over.
But a comedy art form had been established by one of comedy's greatest geniuses.
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