IMDb > The Idle Class (1921)

The Idle Class (1921) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writer:
Charles Chaplin (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Idle Class on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 September 1921 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
One of Chaplin's lesser-known gems See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Chaplin ... Tramp / Husband (as Charlie Chaplin)

Edna Purviance ... Neglected Wife
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Aber ... Extra (uncredited)
Joe Anderson ... Extra (uncredited)
Laura Anson ... Extra (uncredited)
Walter Bacon ... Extra (uncredited)
Robert Badger ... Extra (uncredited)
George Bastian ... Extra (uncredited)
Gladys Baxter ... Extra (uncredited)
J.A. Beaver ... Extra (uncredited)
Bruce Belamator ... Extra (uncredited)
Harriett Bennett ... Extra (uncredited)
Mary Ann Bennett ... Extra (uncredited)
Henry Bergman ... Sleeping Hobo / Guest in Cop Uniform (uncredited)
Richard Brewster ... Extra (uncredited)
Carl Brown ... Extra (uncredited)
Evelyn Burns ... Extra (uncredited)
Joe Campbell ... Extra (uncredited)
William Carey ... Extra (uncredited)
Helene Caverly ... Extra (uncredited)
Lane Chandler ... Extra (uncredited)
Ethel Childers ... Extra (uncredited)
Jim Collins ... Extra (uncredited)
Marie Crisp ... Extra (uncredited)
Lottie Cruz ... Extra (uncredited)
W.R. Denning ... Extra (uncredited)
Miss Egbert ... Extra (uncredited)
Bertha Feducha ... Extra (uncredited)
Joseph Flores ... Extra (uncredited)
Nell Foltz ... Extra (uncredited)
Ruth Foster ... Extra (uncredited)
Al Ernest Garcia ... Cop in Park / Guest (uncredited)
Miss Grace ... Extra (uncredited)

Lita Grey ... Maid (uncredited)
William Hackett ... Extra (uncredited)
Jules Hanft ... Extra (uncredited)
Art Hanson ... Extra (uncredited)
E.C. Holkin ... Extra (uncredited)
Howard Johnston ... Extra (uncredited)
Harold Kent ... Extra (uncredited)
Duffy Kirk ... Extra (uncredited)
Edward Knoblock ... Guest (uncredited)
Mary Land ... Extra (uncredited)
Mrs. Ross Lang ... Extra (uncredited)
Melissa Ledgerwood ... Extra (uncredited)
Jack Lott ... Extra (uncredited)

Harry Maynard ... Butler (uncredited)
B.W. McComber ... Extra (uncredited)
Clyde McCoy ... Extra (uncredited)
Helen McKee ... Extra (uncredited)
Helen McMullin ... Extra (uncredited)
Lillian McMurray ... Maid (uncredited)
Harold McNulty ... Extra (uncredited)
Charles Meakin ... Extra (uncredited)
Paul Mertz ... Extra (uncredited)
George Milo ... Extra (uncredited)
George Mistler ... Extra (uncredited)
William Moore ... Extra (uncredited)
Jack Mortimer ... Extra (uncredited)
Howard Olsen ... Guest (uncredited)
Bob Palmer ... Extra (uncredited)
Pearl Palmer ... Extra (uncredited)
Lolita Parker ... Guest (uncredited)
Mrs. Parker ... Guest (uncredited)
Miss M. Parsons ... Extra (uncredited)
Gertrude Pedlar ... Extra (uncredited)
R.O. Pennell ... Extra (uncredited)
John Rand ... Golfer / Guest (uncredited)
Granville Redmond ... Guest (uncredited)
Dolly Rich ... Extra (uncredited)
Margaret Rishell ... Extra (uncredited)
Carlyle Robinson ... Guest (uncredited)
Hugh Saxon ... Extra (uncredited)
Anita Simons ... Extra (uncredited)
C.B. Steele ... Extra (uncredited)
Rex Storey ... Pickpocket / Guest (uncredited)
Mack Swain ... Edna's Father (uncredited)
John Sweeny ... Extra (uncredited)
L. Swisher ... Extra (uncredited)
Jack Sydney ... Extra (uncredited)
Jean Temple ... Extra (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Extra (uncredited)
William H. Thompson ... Extra (uncredited)
Armand Triller ... Extra (uncredited)
California Truman ... Extra (uncredited)
John Underhill ... Extra (uncredited)
Loyal Underwood ... Guest (uncredited)
Joe Van Meter ... Guest (uncredited)
Catherine Vidor ... Extra (uncredited)
Anita Walton ... Extra (uncredited)
Gladys Webb ... Extra (uncredited)
Miss Wicks ... Extra (uncredited)
Vera Wilder ... Extra (uncredited)
Fred L. Wilson ... Extra (uncredited)
Jack Woods ... Extra (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Chaplin  (as Charlie Chaplin)
 
Writing credits
Charles Chaplin (written by) (as Charlie Chaplin)

Produced by
Charles Chaplin .... producer (as Charlie Chaplin)
 
Cinematography by
Roland Totheroh (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
 
Art Direction 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)
 
Music Department
Charles Chaplin .... music composed by: 1971 (as Charlie Chaplin)
Eric James .... music associate: 1971
 
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 verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Vanity Fair" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
32 min | Spain:29 min
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System) (re-issue) | Silent
Certification:
USA:TV-G (TV rating)

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:
Continuity: 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 »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
13 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
One of Chaplin's lesser-known gems, 29 August 2004
Author: wmorrow59 from Westchester County, NY

In the spring of 1978, a few weeks after the death of Charlie Chaplin, a museum in my hometown scheduled a festival of his films. On the bill were several of the famous features such as The Kid, as well as some comparatively lesser-known short comedies. That's where I first saw The Idle Class, and I still remember how well it went over with the audience, provoking big bursts of laughter that seemed to erupt every 30 seconds or so. Even viewers who'd already seen lots of Chaplin's short comedies (myself included) were blown away by this one, which was both laugh-out-loud funny and poignant in equal measure.

Seeing the film again today, I feel it belongs with Chaplin's best work. The first thing that strikes me now is his economy of expression. Note how few title cards there are, and how brief and simple the wording is. It isn't easy to set up a story plainly and clearly in silent cinema without using lengthy expository passages, at least during the opening scenes, but here Chaplin manages to establish the premise with remarkable efficiency and very few words in a matter of minutes. We soon learn that Chaplin is playing a dual role, and that one of his characters is a wealthy sot, while the other is his familiar Tramp character. We also learn that Charlie the Tramp has hitched a ride to a resort for the Idle Rich, apparently in order to play golf (golf!?!), which brings him into close contact with his feminine ideal, Edna, and her wealthy cohorts. Chaplin does not heavily emphasize the irony that Edna is already married to a rich drunk who is Charlie's double, and who is selfish and unworthy of her, nor does he stress the point that practically all of these privileged people appear to be quite spoiled and useless. "Political" elements are present in The Idle Class for anyone who feels inclined to look for them, or to write a dissertation on Chaplin and Society, but in my opinion the auteur wasn't interested in making a movie about social inequality, not at this time anyway. I believe he was interested in the absurdities of human behavior, and in deflating pomposity for comic effect. In any case, and whatever his intentions, the gags are in generous supply in The Idle Class, brilliantly conceived and beautifully performed.

Earlier postings have mentioned the bit when the rich husband, seen from behind, appears to be racked with sobs when he reads a note indicating that his wife has left him, on account of his drinking -- although in fact he's shaking a cocktail. I believe that's one of Chaplin's all-time best gags, and it sure rocked the house at the museum screening. Even funnier is the extended sequence in which the rich husband, obviously nursing a hangover, wanders down to the lobby of his hotel in his underwear. He's horrified to discover his lapse, and must then maneuver his way back to his room without being seen. Also worth noting is a great, wordless sequence in which Charlie the Tramp sees Edna ride by on horseback, and fantasizes about rescuing her from a runaway horse. Her gratitude turns into love, and within seconds they've married and Charlie has fathered her child! It's hilarious and a little sad, a brief story-within-a-story told without any words whatsoever.

I'll sum up by simply saying that The Idle Class is a timeless, low- key comic gem, certainly one of Charlie Chaplin's best short films, and that it's a genuine treat for anyone who appreciates great comedy.

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