1922: 1 movie

(Last updated 30 August 2012)

Pay Day
Directed, written, produced, edited,
and starring Charles Chaplin
Co-starring Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Edna Purviance,
Syd Chaplin, Albert Austin, and John Rand
Art direction by Charles D. Hall
Cinematography by Roland Totheroh
Costumes by Mother Vinot

   Returning to some of the simpler formats of his earlier years, Chaplin treats us to this excellent day-in-the-life of a working man. Hounded by his foreman, irritable citizens, overworked public transit, and his skeptical wife, the only peace the tramp finds is with his buddies down at the pub.
   The rare thing about this movie is that there is no hero. We don't root for the tramp because he's honorable and finds a way to rise above his situation; we root for him because even though he's trapped in a weary nine-to-five, he never seems phased by it. He keeps chugging obliviously, constantly looking for those little pleasures of his, like eating, drinking, flirting, and sleeping in. The movie succeeds because it doesn't seek to hammer any political message into us; it simply shows a humorous glance at a harsh reality and lets us come to our own conclusions about it. In this sense, it's as true, if not more so, than documentary.

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