Charlie Chaplin’s singular blend of slapstick, pathos, and social satire made him one of the cinema’s great artists and his iconic Tramp remains one of the most recognizable characters in film history. In the short two-reelers he made for the Mutual Film Corporation a century ago, Chaplin honed his trademark themes and the inventive techniques for which he would become world famous, and in the process created films that many regard as his best work. Tonight’s program features three of the 12 classics he made at Mutual Film Corporation, accompanied live by silent film composer and pianist Robert Israel. Israel has performed solo, and with orchestras, world wide, including past performances at PIFF accompanying silent films classics Richard III (1912), The Gold Rush (1925), and The General (1926).
Other Films by Charlie Chaplin
Chaplin skates circles around his antagonists, figuratively, waiting tables in a swanky restaurant, and literally, at the rink next door.
On a Hollywood movie set a lowly stagehand does all the heavy lifting while his boss hogs the credit. The other workers go on strike, and a pie fight and Keystone-esque chase scene cap the explosive finale.
The Tramp goes straight after falling for beautiful social worker and becomes a police officer. But his challenging first assignment puts him squarely in the path of the tough guy who rules the roost on Easy Street.
Chaplin, neverendingly empathetic to his characters—and thus to their real-world counterparts, usually the poor and downtrodden of American society—crafted perhaps his crowning achievement with this 1931 silent, one of the last of its kind, coming well into the sound era. His famous Tramp character here falls head-over-heels in love with a blind flower girl (a …
In search of gold in turn-of-the-century Alaska, Charlie takes refuge with a fellow prospector in an isolated, comically imbalanced cabin where hunger forces him to eat that famous boiled shoe.