Charlie Chaplin

Sog., Scen., M.: Charlie Chaplin. F.: Roland Totheroh. Scgf.: Charles D. Hall. Int.: Charlie Chaplin (vagabondo / marito), Edna Purviance (la moglie trascurata), Mack Swain (suo padre), Henry Bergman (il vagabondo che dorme), Allan Garcia (il vicino sulla panchina), John Rand (il giocatore di golf), Rex Storey (il ladro), Lillian McMurray, Lillita McMurray [Lita Grey] (ragazze che scendono dal treno), Loyal Underwood (invitato). Prod.: Charles Chaplin per First National. 35mm.
L.: 584 m. 21 f/s. Bn. Music composed by Charles Chaplin nel 1971 with Music Associate Eric James. Orchestrated by Eric Rogers

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Scenes of class struggle in the railway station of an exclusive tourist resort: a swarm of busy porters awaits the arrival of the train. A deluxe carriage pulls in and discharges, one after the other, a collection of moneybags all with suitcases and clubs, ready to enjoy the summer season.

Now the platform is empty and the scene seems to be drawing to a close when, unexpectedly, Charlie’s legs (and especially feet) peep out of the undercarriage of one of the cars. With his usual dignified expression, he picks up his stick, bag and golf equipment and heads for the exit.

The plot of The Idle Class is of crystalline simplicity and revolves all around the ‘double-opposite’ device, well absorbed by Chaplin in his vaudeville years and fine-tuned throughout his career. Here, the absent-minded rich drunkard and the penniless tramp do not yet represent a form of social schizophrenia as in City Lights, however Chaplin’s portrayal of the two ‘idle classes’ is irresistible for the entire duration of the film. So much so that at times – the cocktail shaker number, the golf-course accidents and the whole wandering in the hotel lobby in his underwear scene – we can almost hear the waves of laughter from 100 years ago mingle with ours.

Cecilia Cenciarelli

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