IMDb > Shoulder Arms (1918)
Shoulder Arms
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Shoulder Arms (1918) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Charles Chaplin (writer)
View company contact information for Shoulder Arms on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 October 1918 (USA) See more »
Charlie is a boot camp private who has a dream of being a hero who goes on a daring mission behind enemy lines. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
(11 articles)
Corn Island wins at Athens Panorama
 (From ScreenDaily. 27 October 2014, 5:04 AM, PDT)

Charlie Chaplin and the Tramp: the birth of a hero
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 27 January 2014, 11:30 AM, PST)

The genres Hollywood left behind
 (From Den of Geek. 4 August 2011, 11:01 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Tramp Does His Bit See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Edna Purviance ... The Girl

Charles Chaplin ... Doughboy

Syd Chaplin ... Charlie's Comrade / The Kaiser (as Sydney Chaplin)
Loyal Underwood ... Short German Officer
Henry Bergman ... Fat Whiskered Soldier / The Kaiser's General / Bartender
Tom Wilson ... Dumb German Wood-Cutter
Albert Austin ... American Soldier / Clean Shaven German Soldier / Bearded German Soldier
Jack Wilson ... Crown Prince
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
W.J. Allen ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
L.A. Blaisdell ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
A.D. Blake ... Soldier (uncredited)
Cliff Brouwer ... Soldier (uncredited)
E. Brucker ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
F.S. Colby ... Soldier (uncredited)
Slim Cole ... Soldier (uncredited)
Wellington Cross ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
E.H. Devere ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
C.L. Dice ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
M.J. Donovan ... Soldier (uncredited)
Guy Eakins ... Soldier (uncredited)
Fred Everman ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Mark Faber ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
G.A. Godfrey ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Harry Goldman ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Fred Graham ... Soldier (uncredited)
W.E. Graham ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
James Griffin ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
William Hackett ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Ray Hanford ... Soldier (uncredited)
A.J. Hartwell ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
O.E. Haskins ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Tom Hawley ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Carl Herlinger ... Bit Part (uncredited)
W. Herron ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Ed Hunt ... Soldier (uncredited)
E.B. Johnson ... Soldier (uncredited)
J. Parks Jones ... U.S. Soldier (uncredited)
Charles Knuske ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Sam Lewis ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Tom Madden ... Soldier (uncredited)
G.E. Marygold ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Clyde McAtee ... Soldier (uncredited)
Robert McKenzie ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
A. North ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Louis Orr ... Soldier (uncredited)
J.T. Powell ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
John Rand ... U.S. Soldier (uncredited)
Jack Shalford ... Soldier (uncredited)
J.H. Shewry ... Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)
Joe Van Meter ... Soldier (uncredited)
W.G. Wagner ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Tiny Ward ... Soldier (uncredited)
J.H. Warne ... Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Jack Willis ... Soldier / Bit Part in Street Scene (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Chaplin 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Charles Chaplin  writer

Produced by
Charles Chaplin .... producer
Original Music by
Charles Chaplin (1957)
Cinematography by
Roland Totheroh (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
Production Design by
Charles D. Hall (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Reisner .... assistant director (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Wilson .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mother Vinot .... seamstress (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Toraichi Kono .... driver: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
Other crew
Nellie Bly Baker .... secretary: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
Elsie Codd .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Tom Harrington .... assistant: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
45 min (17 fps) | 36 min (TCM print) | 36 min (DVD)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System) (1959 re-issue) | Silent

Did You Know?

Originally planned at five reels; outtakes were preserved in Chaplin's private collection. True Boardman, Marion Feducha and Frankie Lee played Chaplin's sons in cut domestic scenes intended for the beginning of the film. Peggy Prevost and Nina Trask portrayed draft board clerks, Alfred Reeves a draft board sergeant and Albert Austin a doctor in a cut scene at the draft board office.See more »
Miscellaneous: In the woods, where Chaplin runs to hide from the pursuing Germans, automobiles are visible traveling on a highway on the horizon.See more »
Officer:How did you capture thirteen?
Recruit:I surrounded them.
See more »
Movie Connections:


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
The Tramp Does His Bit, 9 March 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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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