This film reminded me a lot of Hemingway's Garden of Eden. Not in story of course, but in the context of the creator's life. Both were made before their time, and expressed many ideas and produced many themes that were not present earlier in their careers; and when I say not present, boy do I mean it.
What's odd about this film, and odd in a good way, is the transmutation if you will, of the Chaplin personae. A transfiguration of the Little Tramp, seen here older and darker; the same jaunting walk, tip of the hat, twirl of the cane, and yet, he's off to kill someone.
A lot of heart resides in this film, and I love it for that reason; that Charlie didn't just make it, he took his time (four years to write it), and the end result was something the audience had never seen before, and also, it was just after the war, and so in that respect became a very daring endeavor. Nonetheless, I think our little tramp pulled it off; ruthlessly, and of course, always with a smile.