The Immigrant (A Modern Columbus) (Broke) (Hello U.S.A.) (The New World) (1917)
Charles Chaplin's next-to-last Mutual Studios 2-reeler is as funny as his other 11 Mutual entries, though there's a stronger inner lining of poignancy. En route by boat from an unnamed country, immigrant Chaplin tries to make the best of the nausea-inducing rough seas. He then befriends fellow emigree Edna Purviance and her ailing mother. Months pass: Chaplin meets Purviance in a restaurant. Quickly ascertaining that her mother has died, Chaplin appoints himself Purviance's protector. He even promises to pay for the meal; after all, he's just found a silver dollar on the street. But when the dollar lands on the ground with a leadlike thud, Chaplin realizes he's as broke as ever--and now he's at the mercy of blood-in-his-eye headwaiter Eric Campbell. But fortune smiles on Chaplin and Purviance when a famous artist decides to hire the girl as his model. Chaplin negotiates an excellent contract for his bride-to-be, and everything comes up roses. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Immigrant (A Modern Columbus) (Broke) (Hello U.S.A.) (The New World)
As a dramatization of the immigration experience, the movie is hardly lighthearted - especially considering Chaplin's reputation as a sentimentalist.
Audience Reviews for The Immigrant (A Modern Columbus) (Broke) (Hello U.S.A.) (The New World)
One of the most entertaining of Chaplin's short silents, very funny and delightful, and the scene in the restaurant is non-stop laughs.More
Only Chaplin could make so much out of a scene with merely a coin, a hole in his pocket and an angry waiterMore
I saw a version that had some sound effects attached, but they weren't synched to the video very well. Despite that flaw of low budget digitization, the laughs and strong characters still come through. Chaplin's Little Tramp is one immigrant among many making the journey to the land of opportunity. A girl, the lovely Edna Purviance, and her mother are robbed by a cards playing cheater (Sandford). The Tramp helps out and is, as usual, the perfect gentleman. The dinner on the rolling ship is a great bit of slapstick. In America the immigrants all have to face being poor. Our Tramp thinks he has a coin good for a hot meal. So, again we are treated to clowning and pratfalls around the equalizer of food. The Head Waiter (Campbell) is an irritated stuck-up bully. Chaplin reunites with the girl and plays nonchalant. He sees what happens to customers who don't pay and some of the best gags involve Chaplin rapidly shifting between this false calm and real anxiety. Can he make it out alive and get the girl?More
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