Charlie Chaplin - Silent Genius Mar 26, 2010 13:24:07 GMT -5
Post by solgroupie on Mar 26, 2010 13:24:07 GMT -5
chaplin and edward lesaint in modern times
after the tramp is released from jail, he takes his letter of recommendation to a ship yard, hoping to find employment. the boss reads the letter and gives the tramp the job. unfortunately, the first task he is given to do ends in disaster and he is fired only minutes later. right then and there he decides the best option for him is to return to jail as soon possible.
meanwhile, the gamin is alone and hungry. she pauses outside of a shop and stares longingly at the food displayed in the window. as a delivery man takes a tray of bread inside, she quickly snatches a loaf of bread from his truck and takes off. a nicely dressed woman turns the corner just in time to witness the theft and alerts the shopkeeper. the tramp is turning a corner just in time to have the gamin crash into him and they both fall to the ground.
paulette goddard, up to no good in modern times
the shopkeeper races over and grabs the gamin's arm, and she pleads with him to let her go. the tramp realizes what's going on and realizes this is his perfect opportunity to return to jail, so he tells the shopkeeper that he was the one who stole the bread. a policeman arrives and takes him away, much to the gamin's confusion.
but the woman sees the mistake and tells the truth - it was the girl who took the bread, not the man. the policeman lets the tramp go (much to his irritation) and takes the gamin away.
paulette goddard in modern times
the tramp stops outside of a restaurant and figures out a rather clever way to return to the big house. he goes in the cafeteria style restaurant, eats an enormous meal and then innocently tells the cashier he does not have the money to pay for it. he very patiently waits to be arrested, even stealing a nice cigar and giving a kid some candy in the process to add to his crime.
picking his teeth, he nonchalantly climbs into the crowded police wagon. at the next stop, the gamin is added to wagon. she's so despondent that she does not at first notice the tramp, who instantly notices her. he smiles at her and asks her if she remembers him. she nods vaguely and begins to cry.
the tramp, on his way back to jail in modern times
suddenly determined to escape, the gamin leaps to her feet and attempts to jump from the wagon, despite the policeman blocking her way. at that moment, the wagon swerves to miss an oncoming car and the gamin, the tramp and the policeman are all thrown from the wagon. the tramp urges the gamin to make a run for it while the policeman is still knocked out, which she does. she hesitates at the corner and encourages the tramp to join her.
paulette starred in the comedy the ghost breakers with bob hope in 1940
the tramp takes a moment to decide his next move - go back to jail as planned, where he knows he will have a bed and meals provided for him? or take a chance and run off with a beautiful girl, running from the law? well, of course, the tramp runs to the gamin and together they run away.
chaplin and paulette
once safely out of sight of the policeman, they stop to rest near a little house. the tramp asks the gamin where she lives and she innocently replies, "no place - anywhere." looking directly at the camera, the tramp sighs.
they watch a man leave the house with a briefcase, obviously headed off to work. he stops to kiss his adoring wife goodbye and cheerfully sets off while the wife - waaay too happy - skips back into the house. the tramp makes fun of them, making the gamin laugh, adding -
we then see the picture the tramp describes to the gamin of a dream existence they both share - a lovely little comfortable home where they are well dressed and very well fed. one thing chaplin never forgets to put into his films is food. like an uncredited extra, he makes sure to show us the importance of it to his character(s). the house is a utopia of sorts - food literally offering itself wherever he turns.
chaplin and paulette in the dream sequence in modern times
the gamin agrees dreamily that would be wonderful, to live like that. the tramp, struck with sudden inspiration, claims he will do it. he get them a home, "even if i have to work for it."
the pair discover there is a job opening for a night watchman at a department store, and the tramp, producing his letter of recommendation, gets the job. he arranges with the gamin to wait outside until after everyone but him leaves, so he can let her in.
paulette goddard in modern times
once inside, a paradise awaits them. they waste no time in going straight for the food, where they eat their fill. one of my favorite scenes follow when they invade the toy department. for the first time since the rink in 1916, we get to see chaplin on roller skates. and he is just as graceful, after twenty years.
gamin on wheels in modern times
the gamin tries on fur coats in the women's department, while the tramp sits nearby, behaving as a bored husband. he then settles her into one of the many beds for sale, where she falls asleep, still wearing the fur coat.
i think chaplin was showing paulette off a little in this scene from modern times, or perhaps indulging her since she had to dress in rags for much of the film
while the gamin sleeps, the tramp discovers burglars have broken into the store. one of them chases him (chaplin uses an escalator in this scene as he did in the floor walker - he must have been nostalgic for the old days) and though the crook tries to shoot the tramp, he only shoots a barrel of rum - this store was the walmart of its time. the tramp unwillingly takes a few shots of rum since it shoots right into his mouth and ends up drunk. he then realizes one of the robbers was his co-worker from the factory he worked for until his nervous breakdown. he confesses they aren't burglars - they are simply hungry. they have an emotional reunion and end up having quite a party.
chaplin and tiny stanford in modern times
the gamin wakes the next morning, just before the store opens. though she has no idea what happened to the tramp, she quickly lets herself out of the store before she is discovered. later, we see a woman going through a table of women's apparel and she unknowingly tugs at something which turns out to be the tramp, passed out, buried in women's clothes. naturally, he loses his job and is taken away to jail, while the gamin helplessly watches.
up next in part V - the tramp and the gamin struggle to overcome the odds