When Charlie escapes from prison he dons a preacher's clothes. By mistake he becomes the new minister for the town of Devil's Gulch. Later, discovered as the convict, the sheriff takes Charlie to the Mexican border where he can choose to return, a convict, or face Mexican bandits at war with each other.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
May be disguised. 30 to 35 years of age. About five feet four inches in height. Weight about 125 pounds. Pale face. Black bushy hair sometimes parted in the middle. Small black mustache. Blue eyes. Small hands, large feet. Extremely nervous. Walks with feet turned out. Address all information to Sheriff's Office Nassau County New York JAMES F. SULLIVAN Sheriff See more »
The Mexico Texas border is marked by a sign on dry land. The entire Mexico Texas border is in the middle of the Rio Grande. See more »
The tramp escapes from prison and, with wanted posters everywhere, takes a train to a place picked randomly Texas. Disguised as a minister he is fortune enough to be mistaken for the real deal when he stumbles into a welcoming party for a town's new minister, Reverend Phillip Pin. A mixed blessing this as it puts more pressure on his disguise and makes it even more important he cover up the telltale signs of a life spent behind bars.
As part of my recent film education I have been watching quite a few Chaplin films of this period as Sky have been showing them as a season over the last few weeks and what I have found is what everyone already knows which is that the enduring popularity of Chaplin is not a fluke or accident. No, The Pilgrim yet again demonstrates the talent and skill that Chaplin had because it is very funny, imaginative and well put together. The story is simply and allows for a series of scenarios where Chaplin can work his comedy such as the hat becoming part of the pudding, the early confused chase and so on. However in the smaller moments you can also see plenty of evidence of talent; my favourite moments of the film are the frequent bits of habitual behaviour that betray the tramp as a convict. Having bought a ticket for the train he then climbs under the car because he is not aware of any other way of doing it, or while buying the ticket he leans against the bar as one would in a cage. Little things like this running along with the bigger scenarios make the film that much funnier for having a consistency to it.
In front of the camera Chaplin delivers perfectly. I have yet to get into his later films (although I will do) but I will be interested to see how he acts when he has the ability to deliver dialogue with sound. The reason for this is that silent film acting is much different from dialogue driven because near everything has to be done with body language and gestures; goes without saying that he is great at it. He is well supported by a cast getting familiar to me after seeing several of his shorts and the turns from Swain, Purviance, Underwood and others are good.
Overall then another classic comedy from Chaplin that is consistently funny due to the bigger laughs blended with lots of clever amusing detail.
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