The Immigrant

Title: “The Immigrant”
Year: 1917
Length: 20 minutes
Director: Charles Chaplin
Writers: Charles Chaplin, Vincent Bryan & Maverick Terrell
Starring: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
Music: uncredited orchestral score with sound effects

My reaction
Synopsis: The Tramp arrives in America, then goes out to dinner without money
How I saw it: online (at the Internet Archive), yesterday
Concept: Good.
Story: Indifferent.
Characters: Indifferent.
Dialog: Good. Dialog cards are used only when they’re absolutely necessary (twice in all, I think), which works quite well.
Pacing: Good. Just a few seconds of an establishing shot at the start would have gone a long way; things just start happening before you even realize the movie’s rolling.
Cinematography: Good. Unremarkable by today’s standards, but for the most part it’s shot using modern conventions, which I found to be a pleasant surprise.
Special effects/design: Good.
Acting: Good. Great compared with typical Silent Film Acting, though. Purviance in the last scene is especially good.
Music: Good.
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay). Over-rated, and nowhere near as funny as his feature films. I suppose it’s regarded as highly as it is because it’s important more than because it’s good. Perhaps it’s one of the first comedies to have pathos, rather than just people falling down? Personally, I would prefer more falling down; that’s what Chaplin’s good at. (No, on second thought, what Chaplin’s good at is almost but not quite falling down. There’s none of that sort of brilliance in this movie.)
Objective Rating: 2.7/4 (Good).


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