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A Dog's Life Reviews

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Byron B

Super Reviewer

July 30, 2013
Charlie and the dog Scraps live similar lives on the streets. There are some laugh out loud slapstick routines, but by and large it didn't tug at my heartstrings as much. Do you find Chaplin co-starring with a kid or a dog more pathetic? The dog seems sadly anesthetized in several scenes. Chaplin's brother Syd appears as a lunchwagon owner in a great scene. Edna Purviance is a naive singer at the bar where all the poor immigrants hang out. She sings sad songs and is incredibly awkward trying to flirt with the Tramp. Eventually, the Tramp and Scraps find cash in a wallet stolen by a pair of thieves, then the thieves steal it back. The best bit is when our hero knocks out one thief and thrusts his arms under the thief's armpits to act out a scene that will convince the other thief to give up the money. I enjoy the fact that very few title cards are necessary when Chaplin is telling a story.
April 22, 2013
It was an okay film. It wasn't the best Charlie Chaplin film but it wasn't the worst film either. It had it's moments. I liked the begging where Chaplin kept rolling back and fourth under the fence to get away from the police officer.
January 2, 2013
Dated gags -- not funny at all, and totally forgettable, but it's Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp, ''who shambles around the cold, cruel world with his dog Scraps,'' with a dash of romance, and it's only about 35 minutes long. A warm-up to his later classics. It's fine if you don't like it, but it probably means you're a hate-filled sadist and fuck you.

P.S: My least favourite Chaplin film so far, though (lol).
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

November 10, 2012
Chaplin delivers a very inspired and hilarious 3-reel silent, with one classic scene after another - and the one where he tries to get his money back in the ballroom is the funniest.
August 31, 2012
A little more vaudevillian than his later works, "A Dog's Life" is a classic entry in the life of Chaplin's "Tramp". In fact, much of this short film (in terms of themes and motifs) were used by Chaplin time and time again throughout his directing career.
May 1, 2012
Ridiculously funny. Classic and simple.
Chris B

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2011
A very fast paced silent three-reeler from the legendary Charles Chaplin, it was also the first film ever to make a million dollars upon it's release! The film follows Chaplin as a tramp who saves a poor pup named Scraps and the two form a friendship and stick together. Scraps eventually finds and digs up a wallet that a local thief has stashed in the ground near the tramp's sleeping lot (literally an abandoned lot) and makes the tramp rich. Of course a couple other thugs oversee the tramp's new fortune and decide to steal it from him and split it for themselves. Along with a down and out girl named Edna and Scraps, the tramp sets out to get his money back and eventually ends up escaping the madness and confusion of the local bar and leave with Edna and Scraps. The film then cuts to the future where Edna and the tramp have their own little farm and home along with Scraps who has a litter of pups alongside her. This is a very fun and touching short and Chaplin shows his perfect metronome like timing and physical flexibility and skill. Not to be missed is the performance that the pup who plays Scraps gives as she puts up with a lot of the tramps antics and is highly trained. This is a great early look at Chaplin's style and skill and a fun watch, keep an eye out for his stunningly accurate and timed editing throughout as well!
John Serrano
February 10, 2012

One of Charlie's most lovable qualities is his ability to interact with everything from inanimate objects to animals to people in such a uniquely charming way. He showcases that ability (the middle part mostly) in A Dog's Life when the Tramp acquires a new canine pal that brings his life into perspective, and even helps him land a girl and a peaceful and fulfilling life.

A Dog's Lie is an extremely cute and amusing short with Charlie in his best comedy shape. His chemistry with the dog is adorable and the story is fun and entertaining. It's not really a hilarious film, but it has so many brilliant moments that gives you a glimpse into Chaplin's genius as a physical comedian. There's one scene where he has a conversation with a man only using his hand. Only Charles Chaplin could pull that off. And he does. Brilliantly so. There are lots of other great and brilliant funny moments, and the entire experience is good fun and simply happy-tear-jerking . And of course, another heart-melting ending, just as everything you'd expect from the master of heart-melting endings.

Oh, and on a side note, this is first film where Charlie appears with his brother Sydney, and the chemistry between the two is magical.
January 13, 2012
Chaplin's first "three-reeler". Chaplin is great in this. The story is good, too.
January 11, 2012
So, after watching only 3 of his films, I've come to the conclusion that Chaplin can do no wrong. He and his movies are just too lovable. I mean, yes, this one and Pay Day aren't full length features, but they're still great fun (Modern Times is prolly gonna stay my favorite til I finally see The Great Dictator or City Lights). Some great symbolism and metaphors in this movie between him and the dog. Some fun facts: they looked for several dogs to play the role of Scraps, but they ended up just finding this stray and using it. Charlie befriended the dog and ended up keeping him. This is his 1st 3 reel film (which makes it about 30 mins). The studio, for which this was his first movie, paid him an unprecedented $1 million...that's uhh, a lot of mula for 1918!
Dave J
January 9, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012

(1918) A Dog's Life

Very amusing Charles Chaplin short clocking in at 33 minutes dwelling on him bonding with a stray dog. The sight gags are ingenious and influential especially toward two muggers at a drinking bar.

3 out of 4
January 7, 2012
Charlie was a genius as always
December 23, 2011
Muutama todella hauska kohtaus.
Michael H.
December 16, 2011
A routine Chaplin short - which makes it better than most other silent shorts.
Dillon L

Super Reviewer

July 9, 2011
Another humorous, if not forgetable, Chaplin film,
June 12, 2011
Funny, vintage chaplin.
December 5, 2010
Cool short by Chaplin, which isn't at the level of his big works, but is still an amazing start for one of the best careers in history of cinema.
July 23, 2010
A Charlie Chaplin short.
Ivan D

Super Reviewer

September 27, 2009
The best in "the Chaplin Revue", with a story that felt like a prototype of either "The Kid" or "Modern Times" when it comes to the bond between the 2 main characters(In this case, a dog). Many genuinely funny moments, and maybe has the happiest ending of all Chaplin's works.

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2009
The package starts strong with a thirty minute short featuring Chaplin as the tramp who comes across a stray dog. The symbolism is obvious, the life of the tramp is related to the life of the dog. The film takes place almost entirely within about one city block as the tramp is chased by cops and gangsters. It?s a very gag dependent film with a lot of really clever physical set pieces and chases, though the film falters at one point with a gag about a woman crying all over someone. The filmmaking is quite strong for something made during the Woodrow Wilson administration, a good start to my journey through the films of Chaplin.
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