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The Pilgrim (1923)

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Reviews: 21 user | 14 critic

The Tramp is an escaped convict who is mistaken as a pastor in a small town church.




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Title: The Pilgrim (1923)

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Complete credited cast:
The Girl
Eloper / Train Conductor / Little Boy's Father (as Sydney Chaplin)
Mai Wells ...
Little Boy's Mother (as ?)
Dean Riesner ...
Little Boy (as Dinky Reisner)
Charles Reisner ...
Crook (as Chuck Reisner)
Tom Murray ...
Kitty Bradbury ...
Girl's Mother
Mack Swain ...
Large Deacon
Loyal Underwood ...
Small Deacon
Henry Bergman ...
Sheriff on Train / Man In Railroad Station


When Charlie escapes from prison he dons a preacher's clothes. By mistake he becomes the new minister for the town of Devil's Gulch. Later, discovered as the convict, the sheriff takes Charlie to the Mexican border where he can choose to return, a convict, or face Mexican bandits at war with each other. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


4 Great Reels


Short | Comedy






Release Date:

26 February 1923 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pilgrim  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(re-release) (1950s) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (1959 re-issue)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the last film in which Charles Chaplin co-starred with Edna Purviance. Chaplin would direct and have a cameo in her next film, A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate (1923) and produce her lost film, A Woman of the Sea (1926), and she would have cameos in a couple of his later films, but this was their last major acting work together. See more »


Edited into The Chaplin Revue (1959) See more »


I'm Bound for Texas
Words and Music by Charles Chaplin
Sung by Matt Monro (as Matt Monroe)
See more »

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User Reviews

"Moo and rattle"
4 September 2010 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

As was now his tradition when leaving a studio, Charlie Chaplin here begins his final short feature for First National with an escape from prison. It also appears he was vengefully trying to bankrupt the studio, with lots of fancy sets, costumes and location shooting in what is one of his larger scale short pictures.

But what really makes The Pilgrim stand out is that, like his earliest works for First National, A Dog's Life and Shoulder Arms, it is really a concerted effort, with all the breadth, sincerity and care in production of his full-length features. After some experimentation in The Idle Class and Pay Day the comic now returns to his roots, pushing pure pantomime to its limits. Sequences like his acting out of the story of David and Goliath or little asides such as his gestures describing features of people in a photo album demand the intention and intelligence of the audience, and are very rewarding gags as a result. The business with the hat in the cake is also a great routine, a classic Chaplin situation of the chaos caused by the little tramp becoming bigger than the tramp himself.

Chaplin regulars such as Henry Bergman make only fleeting appearances in The Pilgrim. One time stalwart Albert Austin, now busy as a director, does not feature at all. Making up for this deficit however is one of the more substantial appearances by Charlie's brother Syd Chaplin. His pompous husband makes a great counter-foil for the tramp – his looks of horror and indignant gestures are priceless – and he was really strong enough to have become a recurring character in his own right. Sadly this was Syd's last appearance in one of his brother's films.

The nicest thing about The Pilgrim is that it is a great return to stories driven by the little tramp's character – something that had been wavering in the last couple of Chaplin shorts. Many of the gags stem from his status as a plucky fugitive, and his complete inappropriateness – yet clever bluffing – in the role of a preacher. Once again we have a rounded yet unfulfilled love for Edna Purviance, and his redemption for her sake is given a credible build-up. With his last ever short, Chaplin demonstrates that these little movies where he had honed his craft were far from idle throwaways.

We end with the all-important statistic – Number of kicks up the arse: 2 (2 for).

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