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The Idle Class (1921)

A tramp sneaks into a upper class golf resort. The tramp meets a rich woman who is having an argument with her drunken husband. Complications arise when she mistakes the tramp for her husband.

Director:

(as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

(as Charlie Chaplin)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Tramp / Husband (as Charlie Chaplin)
...
Neglected Wife
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Storyline

The conflict here is between Charlie the wealthy and alcoholic husband and Charlie the Tramp: the idle rich and the idle poor. In the opening scene wealthy Edna descends from a Pullman car while the Tramp crawls out from under another one. At a fancy masquerade ball Edna's husband appears as a knight whose visor is stuck closed. The Tramp shows up, running from the law, and is mistaken for the husband. Edna finds the new "husband" more to her liking than the real one. When true identities are revealed, a fight breaks out and the Tramp is ejected. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

25 September 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vanity Fair  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (re-issue)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Chaplin underwent a bit of a creative block prior to making this film. In an attempt to generate some ideas for a new project, Chaplin strolled through the studio's prop building grabbing and playing with various objects. Ultimately, he stumbled upon a set of golf clubs and envisioned his character, the Tramp, playing golf. The incident sparked the creation of this film. See more »

Goofs

When the father-in-law smacks Charlie's doppelganger in their room, the feather falls off his armor helmet. When the father-in-law pulls him out of the room into the hall, the feather is back on the helmet. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Thoughts That Once We Had (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

The most underrated Chaplin film?
6 March 2004 | by (Columbus, OH) – See all my reviews

I did not think I would find silent films funny - amusing, maybe, but not funny - until I saw some of Chaplin's best work, like this film. I have now seen most of his films from 1915 through the end of the silent era, and in my view "The Idle Class" is one of the best, perhaps in part because it is not typically listed among his finest. The film is split roughly between a golf scene that dominates the first half, and a mistaken identity theme which dominates the second. "The Idle Class" avoids the sentimentality of "The Kid", which it is often teamed with in video/DVD release, opting instead for straight comedy - and is successful throughout. I defy anyone to recommend a funnier silent film.


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