Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FILMBAY 2000 Greatest Films of All-Time (1888-2016) by Year - 0143 - VAGABOND, THE (Charles Chaplin, 1916, USA, 34m, BW)


(Charles Chaplin, 1916, USA, 34m, BW)


VAGABOND, THE (Charles Chaplin, 1916, USA, 34m, BW)

Cast: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Leo White, Lloyd Bacon, Charlotte Mineau, Albert Austin, John Rand, Henry Bergman, James T. Kelly, Frank J. Coleman
Director: Charles Chaplin
Writer: Vincent Bryan, Charles Chaplin, Maverick Terrell
Rating: NR
Running Time: 34 min.

Also Known As (AKA) 

Belgium (French title) Le clochard
Belgium (French title) Le troubadour au violon
Bulgaria (Bulgarian title) Скитникът
Brazil O Vagabundo
Canada (French title) Charlot musicien
Czech Republic Chaplin sumarem
Germany Der Vagabund
Denmark Chaplin som Vagabond
Spain Charlot, bohemio
Spain (reissue title) Charlot, músico
Spain Charlot, músico ambulante
Spain El vagabundo
Finland (alternative title) Chaplin musikanttina
Finland (alternative title) Charlie kulkurina
Finland (alternative title) Kuljeksiva pelimanni
Finland (alternative title) Kulkuri
Finland Vaeltaja
Finland (alternative title) (Swedish title) Vagabonden
France Charlot musicien
France Le vagabond
Greece Ο βιολιστής
Hungary A csavargó
Italy Il vagabondo
Poland Charlie wlóczega
Russia Бродяга-музыкант
Sweden Vagabonden
Sweden Vagabondprinsen
USA (alternative title) Gipsy Life


The Vagabond is a silent film by Charlie Chaplin and his third film with Mutual Films. Released to theaters on July 10, 1916, it co-starred Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Leo White and Lloyd Bacon. This film echoed Chaplin's work on The Tramp, with more drama and pathos mixed in with the comedy.


Charles Chaplin - Saloon Violinist
Edna Purviance - Gypsy Drudge
Eric Campbell - Gypsy Chieftain
Leo White - Old Jew/Gypsy Woman
Lloyd Bacon - Artist
Charlotte Mineau - Girl's Mother
Albert Austin - Trombonist
John Rand - Trumpeter, Band Leader
James T. Kelley - Gypsy and Musician
Frank J. Coleman - Gypsy and Musician


The story begins with Charlie, the Tramp, arriving at a bar, playing on a violin to raise money and exciting rivalry with competing musicians - which results in a bar room brawl and comic mayhem.

Wandering off into the vicinity of a gypsy caravan, in the country, he encounters the beautiful, though bedraggled, Edna and entertains her with his violin. She has been abducted and abused by the gypsies, chief among them Eric Campbell, who whips her mercilessly. Charlie comes to her rescue and knocks her tormentors on the head with a stick, before riding off with her in a commandeered cart. Love develops between them, as Charlie washes her face in a bowl and combs her hair. He makes breakfast while she goes to fetch water, and on the way she meets an artist who lacks inspiration. She is his muse and he paints her, including a birthmark shaped like a shamrock. She falls for him and brings him back to the cart where the two talk, while Charlie is ignored. The artist leaves and she is stuck with Charlie.

The resulting painting is seen by the girl's mother, who rushes with the artist to rescue her daughter. They find her with Charlie, who refuses payment from the mother and says good-bye sadly. She drive off in a limousine with her mother, others, and the artist -- only to realize she loves Charlie. She orders the car to reverse and take him along with her.


A timeless Little Tramp classic slapstick comedy. The popular movie legend Charlie Chaplin ("The Kid"/"The Gold Rush"/"City Lights") plays a drifter violinist, who plays in front of a saloon with swinging doors and competes with a four-man band for tips. In the saloon Charlie passes the hat around first and the patrons generously throw in coins thinking he's part of the band. When the band leader (John Rand) discovers the deception, he chases after the elusive vagabond until he escapes. 

Charlie retreats to the country and at a gypsy campsite while playing his violin is attracted to the young gypsy girl (Edna Purviance), who is treated cruelly by the brute gypsy chief (Eric Campbell). The mistreated girl falls in love with Charlie's music and escapes with him from the camp in a caravan after Charlie comically knocks out with a big stick all the gypsies guarding her. While the couple rest in the country an artist (Lloyd Bacon), unable to get inspired by the landscape, spots the gypsy girl and notices that she has a a shamrock shaped birthmark on her arm. 

Now inspired, the artist gets her to pose for him and afterwards, back at the caravan, to Charlie's disgust, they openly flirt with each other. The painter calls his painting 'The Living Shamrock!', and it goes on exhibit in the museum before a posh crowd. The gypsy girl's wealthy mother (Charlotte Mineau) attends the gallery showing and recognizes her long-lost daughter from the shamrock birthmark, and implores the artist to take her where she posed. The rare happy ending for a Chaplin film has the girl discover she loves Charlie more than the artist, and mom takes him along in their chauffeur-driven car. 

As with “Police,” Charlie’s character in this movie is a victim of the cruel world, rather than a perpetrator of violence for its own sake. His theft of the money from the band is unintentional, and he does not start violence against them on purpose. With the gypsies, he is violent only in defense of Edna, who is being bull-whipped unjustly. He does not act in violence or even discourtesy towards his romantic rival. In short, he is a totally sympathetic character once again. The ending is a stark contrast with “The Tramp,” in which he leaves at the first sight of any competition. Here, he holds out hope and winds up winning. Unlike other Charlie-Edna romances, the decision is left to the girl, and she makes it based on her true feelings. The ending is effectively dramatic and moving, in spite of its presence in a manic comedy.

In 1916, when this movie was released, Charles Chaplin was the most famous person on the planet. He remains, even today, one of the most iconic figures ever to emerge from the art form known as the movies. His movies are timeless partly because they always seemed old-fashioned even for the times they were made. His characters are like something out of Dickens. His villains wear huge fake mustaches and his women are helplessly sweet natured and girlish.


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