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 »
An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country... 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
Toward the end of the film Ogden, Natascha, Harvey and Martha sit around a restaurant table. Ogden and Natascha sit with their backs to the camera and very far from each other so they won't obscure Harvey and Martha at the other side of the table. When they get up to dance, the camera cuts to a close up of Ogden and Natascha which are suddenly almost touching shoulders. See more »
Chaplin's last picture is a film with many faults, yet it's not as bad as often claimed. I've seen it many times myself. Here is my opinion of it:
One of the most important flaws is the miscasting of Brando. He seems ill at ease. Thus Loren has to carry the film virtually alone. The whole structure of 'Countess' is not well balanced. There's too much simple visual comedy for a romantic comedy, and vice versa. The plot is thin (It's supposed to be simplistic). Also, the score is at times muddled as previously introduced dramatic themes come and go without any reason (see and hear Hedren's first appearance.) The film is also a bit overlong.
The good things: There are points when the music is up to Chaplin's usually high standards (Cargill's comedy scene, storm theme). Cameo appearances are nice. Direction is more focused and production values are certainly superior to A King in N.Y. Yes, I believe, that what is often described as Chaplin's 'flat' direction due to a lack of skill is an artistic style by choice. Simpleness is not the same as unskilfulness. For instance, during the dance scenes, the camera movement following actors is subtle and economically made. You'll notice it if you watch them in fast-forward.
And if one may feel disappointed at the film on the whole, there's at least a very beautiful, poignant and simple ending that is in my opinion the best of any Chaplin film I've seen. Its every element is in place.
Therefore it's a rather mixed bag of a movie, most suitable for Chaplin fans and very interesting as a curio, at least.
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