|Index||9 reviews in total|
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Somewhat Uneven, But Worth Seeing, 13 January 2003
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio
It's somewhat uneven, and you'd probably say that it's interesting rather
than good, but "Sunnyside" is still worth seeing if you like Charlie
Chaplin's short comedies. A couple of the sequences are very enjoyable, but
others don't really work that well, and just take up time.
Rather than his usual tramp character, Charlie plays a put-upon farmhand and handyman who has some of the same characteristics, and the story combines some conventional slapstick with some more imaginative sequences. Some of the material is quite good, especially the sequence with Charlie and the horse doctor treating a patient. But not all of it comes off equally well, and it bogs down at times. It's only average among Chaplin's many short comedies, and not quite as good as most of the later ones, but it has enough to be worth seeing.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"etc, etc, etc", 19 August 2010
Author: Steffi_P from Ruritania
Charlie Chaplin's satirical streak was not reserved solely for pompous
authority figures with big bellies and wispy beards. He was not averse
to turning his wit outwards and directing it at the very production
style and process he himself was a part of. Sunnyside does not lampoon
the movie industry rather it makes a joke out of the Chaplin brand
which the comic, eager to move on to more sophisticated feature films,
was beginning to grow weary of.
Chaplin had practically invented the narrative slapstick comedy, but here he belittles the storytelling aspects that were now a comedy standard, curtailing descriptions of characters and places with "etc, etc, etc" and using a title card to bluntly announce the romantic subplot. Throughout the picture he makes use of his now most clichéd plot devices the abused employee, the sophisticated love rival, the "it-was-all-a-dream" revelation and, of course, numerous examples of his stock slapstick manoeuvre, the kick up the arse.
And yet, it appears Chaplin was incapable of deliberately making a bad picture. There are plenty of decent gags here, especially those at the beginning where Charlie thwarts his employer's attempts to get him out of bed. And even at the height of his sarcasm and hyperbole it seems Chaplin cannot help but work in gags and sub-gags which are genuinely funny. And for all its narrative laziness, Sunnyside is actually strong in its visual storytelling, beginning with the iris on the church spire to set the tone, then opening up the iris to reveal an exquisitely balanced shot of the village. And even the rushed ending is among Chaplin's sweetest in its delicate imagery.
And there's more; the all important statistic Number of kicks up the arse: 24 (2 for, 22 against can this be a record?)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Chaplin experimenting., 7 April 2007
Author: Michael DeZubiria (email@example.com) from Luoyang, China
Sunnyside reminds me of some of the early films in Alfred Hitchcock's
career, like Rich & Strange or The Skin Game, which are curiosity
pieces both because they come from such massive directors and are still
so empty and disappointing. Like some of Hitch's early films, Sunnyside
for Charlie Chaplin represents to me a point in his early career when
he was testing the waters and still trying to find out what he is
really best at doing.
Some people were disappointed that Chaplin forced the Tramp into the unlikely role of a farmhand, forgetting that the very nature of the Tramp is that he is such an everyman that he can be placed in virtually every different kind of situation, from brick-layer to World War I soldier, and Chaplin can use his particular brand of comedy to deliver his clever political themes and brilliant slapstick.
Some of the situations and sequences don't work so well or run as smoothly as many of Chaplin's more famous ones, and there is a bizarre sequence involving some dancing nymphs, but it is interesting to consider how this early, experimental film foreshadows the work that Chaplin did later in much more famous and highly superior films like City Lights and The Kid. Throughout the film are what may be taken as examples of the exasperation that Chaplin has admitted to having during the production of the film, but to call is a total loss is missing the mark completely. Certainly not the best of Chaplin's early short films, but I don't think Chaplin ever made a real failure.
5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Typical but Political, 23 September 2004
Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
This is another one of Chaplin's comedies. The Tramp is the butt of the joke by the start of the movie and turns the tables on the jokers by the end of the movie. There is a love interest that The Tramp falls in love with and by the end of the movie, wins over. Like many of Chaplin's movies, the use of extras and supporting actors add to the comedy. So often, Chaplin casted very large people or very small people. Usually we see a very over weight and tall man standing next to a very skinny and short man. For a silent film, Chaplin is good is using the eye candy to create laughter. Also, if you look closely, all of Chaplin's films have a political message. By the time Chaplin was producing full length features in the 1930's and 1940's, he was clearly making an attempt to throw large political messages at his audience. Although it is a tiny and is easy to miss if you are not looking, the message given by Chaplin is successful. The hotel owner in the movie has a framed sign on his bedroom wall that reads: Love thy Neighbor. Pointing the finger at the ignorant Christian, Chaplin showcases a man who reminds himself to love his fellow man, but manages to treat The Tramp like dirt. Very nice and to the point, Chaplin does it again.
Uneven Sunnyside Is Somewhat A Disappointment, 27 September 2008
Author: CitizenCaine from Las Vegas, Nevada
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Chaplin edited, wrote, and directed this film in which he stars as a put upon farm hand who earns extra money by working in a hotel. The film opens promisingly enough with Chaplin being brow-beaten to get out of bed to get to work. He brings in a cow to put milk in the coffee cups. He works in a hotel, which is a bit run down also. He rides a bull out of town and gets thrown into a gully where he dreams of four nymphs serenading him, as he's trying to regain consciousness. Four men rescue him and take him back to town. From here on, the film becomes disjointed with both the plot and editing. The first half is supposed to be about the put upon Chaplin and the second half is supposed to be about a romance with Edna Purviance. She seems to be pursued by a rich dandy type, whom Chaplin ends up dispatching from the hotel in the end. The film has maybe too much in it for a Chaplin film at this point in time. Most of his films were simple and increasingly constructed in expert fashion up to this point in time, so this is somewhat of a disappointment to have what could have been two different films thrown together. Of course, Chaplin had personal turmoil during the time this film was made and that could be the reason. Nevertheless, the film still entertains if you don't expect too much. **1/2 of 4 stars.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Moments that stick out in the Chaplin canon, 22 February 2009
Author: gring0 from United Kingdom
Although not a success when it was released in 1919, scenes to look out for in his third film for First National Pictures is Chaplin again showing off his stunt skills by riding rampaging cows, and the classic scene involving "Blind Man's Buff', his brother 'Willie', and a car. The dream scene featuring the prepubescent girls foreshadows Chaplin's own private (for now) daemons. I deeply appreciated the thrill of Glen David Gold's Carter Beats the Devil, and his follow up was titled Sunnyside which is about I should say that the book is about Chaplin, following several story lines all looping back, thematically, to that change in character that you witness in "A Day's Pleasure," the first section. tracesofevil.blogspot.com
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
just an okay short from Chaplin, 3 May 2006
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
While this is certainly not a bad film and is entertaining to watch, compared to other Chaplin shorts, it's a bit of a let-down. Part of this is because there aren't as many laughs as usual and part of it was that the characters just didn't seem that engaging--something a little unusual for a Chaplin short made this late in his career. Plus, for me, it was a little hard to accept the Little Tramp as a farm hand--he just seemed really out of place and a bit lost. Later, when the rich guy appears and Charlie thinks he's going to lose his girl to this dandy, the movie seems a little more familiar, but still it failed to grab hold of my attention. Not a bad film, but Chaplin certain did better.
5 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Interesting Failure, 29 August 2005
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Sunnyside" and "A Day's Pleasure", the two films Chaplin made before
his early masterpiece "The Kid", are two of his worst--probably since
his days at Essanay. The most evident problem with "Sunnyside" is how
uneven and poorly constructed it is. There's a lot going on in the film
(maybe too much), and it seems more inspired than the lackluster "A
Day's Pleasure", but it's a mess. Chaplin knew it, too; reportedly, he
spent much time trying to make it into a coherent picture, and he
contributed the film's failure to his personal problems at the time
surrounding his failed marriage. In this light, the "etc., etc., etc."
in the intertitles seems an expression of exasperation from the
In the film, the tramp works overtime as a farmhand and employee of the adjoining hotel; his only solace being in his love for Edna Purviance's village belle. That sounds simple enough, but its construction and the fluency of the gags are off-kilter, as is the balance between slapstick and pathos. As a result, much of the hilarity and emotional involvement is forsaken.
Perhaps, "Sunnyside" was instructive for Chaplin. His subsequent films, especially "The Kid", would contain pathos and slapstick harmoniously. One may view the film as an experiment in this light. Furthermore, the dream sequence in "The Kid" is a more fully developed construction than that in "Sunnyside". The dancing nymphs interlude here in homage to ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky might've worked better if placed in a better construction. Neverthesll, There are some funny moments in this film, as well as some hints at moments of poignancy. I especially liked the opening scenes where the tramp won't get out of bed and brings a chicken and a cow into the kitchen to make breakfast. But, such moments are often lost within the ultimate hodgepodge that is "Sunnyside".
2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Charles Chaplin as Composer, 13 November 2001
Author: jyoung-11 from London, England
In the year that Bebe Daniels made her transition from short films with Harold Lloyd to feature films with Cecil B. DeMille, Charles Chaplin began composing his own score for his short films. Supposedly, the earliest of his scores was for 'Sunnyside' in 1919.
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