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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.


Charles Chaplin


Charles Chaplin
1 win. See more awards »




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


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


Short | Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Restoration work was carried out at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in 2012. Scanned at Technicolor Digital Services, Hollywood, in 2011.

The Immigrant (1917) has been restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films, from a safety full aperture duplicate negative in the Blackhawk Collection (thanks to the Museum of Modern Art), preserved at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Intertitles have been reconstructed according to the original Mutual Film intertitles from the same age. See more »


An axe disappears off a wall between shots during the craps game. Chaplin originally shot a gag using the axe (photos of this sequence exist), but cut it from the final film, which created a continuity error. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.40 (2009) See more »

User Reviews

Entertaining Short Feature
22 June 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

One of Charlie Chaplin's many entertaining short features, "The Immigrant" is interesting for the great variety of slapstick skills that Chaplin shows off, plus a few touches of the kind of sensitive observations that would later be such a large part in his best films.

Charlie is one of a group of immigrants on a ship coming to America. The first part of the film takes place at sea, and is mostly simple slapstick centering on the rocky motion of the ship. After a brief scene where the immigrants are admitted to the USA, there is a scene in a restaurant that is one of the funniest in any of Chaplin's short comedies, combining some nicely-timed slapstick with a sympathetic awareness of the kinds of problems faced by someone just trying to get by in a strange and sometimes unfriendly land.

Chaplin fans will certainly want to see this one.

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None | 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


| (restored)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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