Scen.: Charles Chaplin, Vincent Bryan. F.: Frank D. Williams. Int.: Charles Chaplin (musicista ambulante), Edna Purviance (ragazza rapita dagli zingari), Eric Campbell (capo degli zingari), Leo White (vecchio ebreo/vecchia zingara), Lloyd Bacon (pittore), Charlotte Mineau (madre della ragazza), Albert Austin (suonatore di trombone), John Rand (suonatore di tromba/direttore dell’orchestra), James T . Kelley (orchestrale/zingaro), Frank J. Coleman (orchestrale/zingaro). Prod.: Charles Chaplin per Lone Star Mutual. Pri. pro.: 10 luglio 1916. DCP. 2 bobine / 2 reels.
Da: Blackhawk Collection.
The Vagabond is often described as two-dimensions prototype of the Chaplin norm: on the one hand the hitherto pratically inconceivable combination of laughter and pathos, with emotion infiltrating the comedy, brusquely interrupting it (but then leaving it free to express itself in even richer and more subtle ways); on the other hand introducing an element of romance (and in this case a triangle relationship, the first in what would be a recurring theme), which would transport Chaplin once and for all out of the world of British vaudeville and Sennetstyle slapstick, into more complete storytelling, where form and content progressively evolved and converged. In The Vagabond this process has clearly begun, even if some ‘vulgar’ elements may persist, which some critics of the time were quick to point out. There was also praise, however, that specifically contradicted this view and ultimately contributed to legitimizing Chaplin’s artistic vision, in particular in the magazine “Harper’s Weekly” which published an article by the theater actress of note at the time, Minnie Maddern Fiske, which began: “An increasing number of artists and men and women of culture are beginning to consider Chaplin an extraordinary artist and comic genius”, and continued, “Chaplin might be vulgar but there is vulgarity in the comedies of Aristophanes and in those of Plautus and the Elizabethans, not excluding Shakespeare. Rabelais is vulgar, Fielding and Smollet and Swift are vulgar. Vulgarity and distinguished art can exist together. Those of us who believe that Charles Chaplin is essentially a great comic artist look forward to fine achievements. We are confident that he will attain the artistic stature to which it seems he is entitled”.