It's 1938, but Stan doesn't know the war is over; he's still patrolling the trenches in France, and shoots down a French aviator. Oliver sees his old chum's picture in the paper and goes to... See full summary »
The boys' Army buddy, Eddie Smith, is killed in the trenches in France, leaving his baby girl an orphan. Back home after Armistice, they try to find Eddie's father and turn the child over ... See full summary »
Having been discharged from the Marines for a hayfever condition before ever seeing action, Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) delays the return to his hometown, feeling ... See full summary »
The story follows an underground weapons manufacturer in Belgrade during WWII and evolves into fairly surreal situations. A black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans doesn't ... 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>
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.
See more »
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 »
A Wonderful Combination Of Comedy, Commentary, And Adventure
One of Charlie Chaplin's very best shorter features, "Shoulder Arms" is a wonderful combination of comedy, commentary, and adventure. Charlie plays a soldier who heads off to World War I, and in the course of 40 minutes or so, it provides a light-hearted but in many respects believable portrayal of what life was like in the trenches. The story also combines some fine slapstick with some exciting adventures.
In this movie, Chaplin hits the perfect balance between humor and substance, helping us to sympathize with those who bore the burdens of the war, without ever becoming sentimental. The other characters are nicely conceived and acted, with the engaging Edna Purviance, the versatile Syd Chaplin, and other talented supporting players pitching in.
The story has many creative turns, plus a couple of good surprises. It's great entertainment, and thoughtful as well. Make sure to take a look if you enjoy Chaplin or silent comedies in general.
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