December 25, 2015
Review #775: Shoulder Arms.
Charlie Chaplin (Charlie, the Doughboy), Edna Purviance (French girl), Sydney Chaplin (Charlie's Comrade/The Kaiser), Jack Wilson (German Crown Prince), Henry Bergman (Fat German Sergeant/Field Marshal von Hindenburg/Bartender), and Albert Austin (American Officer/Clean Shaven German Soldier/Bearded German Soldier) Directed by Charlie Chaplin.
Well, it's Christmas. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves (I slept a good portion of the day, though at least I ate well and had some good gifts). As such, I thought it fitting to end the day with a Charlie Chaplin movie. Shoulder Arms is a silent comedy set during World War I (released a month before the Armistice was signed), with Chaplin playing a "Doughboy", which was actually a term for members of the Army and Marines, so this time around he isn't playing the Tramp. As it turned out, this was Chaplin's shortest feature (at 44 minutes) ever released, and it's not a bad film. There's a good amount of gags that you'd expect from a Chaplin film, hits and all. One of my favorites is him hiding in disguise as a tree behind enemy lines (such a clever disguise, eh?). Of course him throwing Limburger cheese into the enemy trench (after putting on a gas mask) right into the face of a soldier is pretty funny as well. The movie flows well, and its likable enough to be entertaining for anyone. If you're looking for some brilliant memorable gags that lasts less than an hour, I'd recommend this.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.