In Hong Kong, the wealthy Ogden Mears is traveling in a transatlantic and is near to be assigned Saudi Arabia Ambassador and is divorcing from his wife Martha. His friend Harvey and he are ...
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Three Chaplin silent comedies "A Dog's Life", "Shoulder Arms", and "The Pilgrim" are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin provides new music, narration, and a small... See full summary »
In Hong Kong, the wealthy Ogden Mears is traveling in a transatlantic and is near to be assigned Saudi Arabia Ambassador and is divorcing from his wife Martha. His friend Harvey and he are invited by their old friend Clark to go to a nightclub with three aristocratic Russian refugees on their last night. Ogden drinks too much and spends the night with Countess Natascha. On the next morning, while sailing back home, Ogdeb finds Natascha hidden in his cabin wearing a ball gown and with no documents. The stowaway explains that she wants to go to the United States and Ogden is worried with his career. But Harvey convinces him to help Natascha. Ogden falls in love with Natascha and together with Harvey, they plot a fake marriage of Natascha with his valet Hudson. But things get complicated when immigration requests her documents and Martha arrives on board. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This could have been a much better movie--as it is, it's still an interesting film
This film has a pretty poor reputation and in some ways it is deserved, but I also wonder if maybe the reason critics were so hard on the film was because they expected too much from director, Charlie Chaplin. It was the last film he directed and in this sense, it is a disappointment that he made such an ordinary film. But, if they had thought that the director was Homer Noodleman or Myron Lipschitz, would they have been so hostile towards THE COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG?
The biggest problem about the film is probably the choice of stars for the film. While Marlon Brando was brilliant in some films, he also often acted well outside his range--this film is a great example. He just isn't a funny actor no matter how much he tries in the film. The part appears to have been written for someone like Cary Grant or David Niven--but not Brando. And Sophia Loren, while not as badly miscast, also really isn't in her element. Also, Chaplin himself only appears for a few seconds, and I am sure many were disappointed at only seeing this ever so brief cameo.
Now as for the plot, I read one review that said this film was made in the wrong decade, and I agree wholeheartedly. The movie looks much like a romantic-comedy from the late 1930s. This isn't really a criticism--more that this film would have played better and been embraced more in this decade instead of the more jaded and "hip" 1960s. I'm sure than many potential viewers were turned off by it being a movie "for their parents".
Unfortunately, the film apart from these minor criticisms wasn't really a bad film. While not the perfect culmination to his career like it would have been if LIMELIGHT had been his final film, Chaplin had nothing to be ashamed of other than miscasting.
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