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The Immigrant (1917)

Unrated | | Short, Comedy, Drama | 17 June 1917 (USA)
Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America.

Director:

Charles Chaplin

Writer:

Charles Chaplin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Immigrant
Edna Purviance ... Immigrant
Eric Campbell Eric Campbell ... Head Waiter
Albert Austin Albert Austin ... Russian / Restaurant diner
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... Artist
Kitty Bradbury Kitty Bradbury ... Edna's mother
Frank J. Coleman Frank J. Coleman ... Bearded cheating gambler / Restaurant owner
William Gillespie William Gillespie ... Café violinist
Tom Harrington Tom Harrington ... Marriage registrar
James T. Kelley ... Shabby man in restaurant
John Rand John Rand ... Tipsy diner
Janet Sully Janet Sully ... Passenger (as Janet Milly Sully)
Loyal Underwood ... Pint-sized passenger
Tom Wilson Tom Wilson ... Gambler on ship
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Storyline

Charlie is on his way to the USA. He wins in a card game, puts the money in Edna's bag (she and her sick mother have been robbed of everything). When he retrieves a little for himself he is accused of being a thief. Edna clears his name. Later, broke, Charlie finds a coin and goes into a restaurant. There he finds Edna, whose mother has died, and asks her to join him. When he reaches for the coin to pay for their meals it is missing (it has fallen through a hole in his pocket). Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Modern Columbus See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lone Star Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Kevin Brownlow's and David Gill's documentary series Unknown Chaplin (1983), the first scenes to be written and filmed take place in what became the movie's second half, in which the penniless Tramp finds a coin and goes for a meal in a restaurant, not realizing that the coin has fallen out of his pocket. It was not until later that Charles Chaplin decided the reason the Tramp was penniless was that he had just arrived on a boat from Europe, and used this notion as the basis for the first half. Edna Purviance reportedly was required to eat so many plates of beans during the many takes to complete the restaurant sequence (in character as another immigrant who falls in love with Charlie) that she became physically ill. See more »

Goofs

In the restaurant scene, after the customer is beaten up and thrown out for being 10 cents short, his hat is seen on the floor next to the cashier's desk. When the waiters come back in, the hat is gone. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: The arrival in the Land of Liberty.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Kino International distributes a set of videos containing all the 12 Mutual short films made by Chaplin in 1915 - 1917. They are presented by David H. Shepard, who copyrighted the versions in 1984, and has a music soundtrack composed and performed by Michael D. Mortilla who copyrighted his score in 1989. The running time of this film is 25 minutes. See more »

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User Reviews

One of the later Mutual shorts that shows Chaplin's sentimental side
30 December 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

A group of immigrants travel on a boat to their new lives in America. On the boat the little tramp meets and befriends and helps a young lady whose mother has lost all her money. Months later he is in a restaurant when he meets her again. He wants to look after her but the prospects look bleak, as he cannot even pay for the food they are currently eating.

This is one of the later shorts that Chaplin made for Mutual Films and it is starting to show an element of the poignancy that he brought to his later features. The plot sees him take pity on a young lady even when they are both down on their luck and to stick together even when things are looking rough until things suddenly begin to look up for them both. The film has no extreme physical routines but it does have ongoing gags – the guts of this film is in the restaurant rather than the boat. It is still amusing and the story is better developed than some of his other shorts.

Chaplin is excellent, doing trademark hat flicks etc while Purviance is much better here than other mutual shorts simply because she has a good role. Fans will love it and it's steady foundation and gentle humour may win others over.


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