1918: 1 movie

(Last updated 30 August 2012)

A Dog's Life
Directed, written, edited, produced,
and starring Charles Chaplin
Co-starring Edna Purviance, Albert Austin, and Syd Chaplin
Production design by Charles D. Hall
Cinematography by Roland Totheroh
Costumes by Mother Vinot
Produced for the First National Pictures

   Chaplin's humor is back in full force with this one. By including a scene that depicts mob-sentimentality, the movie helps us distinguish between a fleeting sense of community and a real and lasting one. Chaplin's tramp lives on the street, eats trash, and can't find work, and yet none of this is shown to us as a reason to despair immobilized. It all moves too quickly for that. The tramp is always on the move, looking for food, drink, friendship, love, and money, and this is what makes him endearing to us. He becomes our role model, or patron saint. Through his journey we witness many injustices, but they whizz by as we cling on to the tramp's coat, eager to see what he'll do next and if he'll ever find success.
   The inclusion of a dog as his companion, and the various interconnecting scenes all go to prove Chaplin's standing as the premier artist in the movie-medium at this time. It's like a stage play, but too action-packed for that. It's like an adventure story but it's too funny for that. It's like a comedy but it's too true-to-life for that. It's in a class all it's own. Cinema is the only single word for its macabre, bizarre, and romantic spirit.

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