Intent on scuttling his ship, a financially-pressed shipowner conspires with the vessel's captain to collect the insurance money, unbeknownst to him that his daughter and her beau, Charlie, are aboard. Will they get away with it so easily?
A shipowner intends to scuttle his ship on its last voyage to get the insurance money. Charlie, a tramp in love with the owner's daughter, is grabbed by the captain and promises to help him shanghai some seamen. The daughter stows away to follow Charlie. Charlie assists in the galley and attempts to serve food during a gale.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While the Keystone pictures made Charlie Chaplin a star, the Essanays made him world famous. With such success comes great confidence. Shanghaied is a real confidence picture.
If you look at the first series of real gags, when Charlie is hitting his soon-to-be crewmates over the head one after the other, the whole thing is done in a single shot. And it is essentially just the same gag repeated several times. The comedy actually lies in the fact that we know exactly what is going to happen, we just don't know exactly when it will happen and how each man will react. For the final mallet blow, the moment leading up to it is stretched out as long as possible for maximum funniness. To be able to pull off a sequence like this, you need to have faith in your own ability to make people laugh, and this is something Chaplin now had.
Aiding and abetting Charlie are the usual rogues' gallery of supporting players. Among the notables here are Leo White, appearing without his usual "Frenchman" get-up, but still very funny, and John Rand as the ship's cook. This was Rand's second picture with Chaplin, and the way he brilliantly plays off the tramp without stealing the scene would earn him a long-term placement in the comic's stock company.
In fact throughout this picture, it is the other performers who actually do the most, while Charlie appears as a fairly insignificant figure amongst it all. And yet he always remains centre of attention. For example in the scene where he directs the crane which has inadvertently hooked the rest of the crew, he is orchestrating the chaos. To be able to pull this off again requires not only skill but overriding confidence in that skill.
And so, we come to the all important statistic – Number of kicks up the arse: 17(!) (3 for, 9 against and 5 other)
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