USA [1918] - 36m
Comedy, War
Directed by
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Shoulder Arms poster


October 22, 2020


It took me a while, but I finally found my first Charlie Chaplin film I didn't 100% hate. Maybe it has to do something with the fact that his famous Tramp character seems a bit further away, maybe because it's not just a silly romance (though there is still that of course), but I didn't feel all that irritated watching this film.

Chaplin plays a soldier in WWI who dreams of becoming a true hero. He's a bit of a screw up, still he's sent on an important undercover mission that takes him behind enemy lines. While his skills are severely lacking, it's his rash and uncontrolled behavior that seems to be keeping him out of harm's way.

For the most part, it's exactly the kind of slapstick I dislike. Expressive acting and silly physical comedy I don't find funny at all. The difference here is that the pacing feels slightly toned down and that there are some decent visual gags (like the scene where Chaplin dresses up as tree). It's not much, but at least it's something.

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