Shoulder Arms (1918)

Shoulder Arms (1918)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Shoulder Arms Photos

Movie Info

This film was Charlie Chaplin's final contribution to the WWI effort. Chaplin is a member of the "Awkward Squad" and we first see him being put through his paces in training camp. He has problems with making a proper about-face and with marching, constantly annoying his drill sergeant.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
Runtime:
Studio:
Charles Chaplin Productions

Cast

Charles Chaplin
as Doughboy
Edna Purviance
as French Girl
Sydney Chaplin
as Sergeant/The Kaiser
Sidney Chaplin
as Sergeant
Jack Wilson
as German Crown Prince
Loyal Underwood
as Short German Officer
Henry Bergman
as von Hindenburg
Albert Austin
as US Soldier
Tom Wilson
as Training Camp Sergeant
John Rand
as US Soldier
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Shoulder Arms

All Critics (2)

Although it's been a long time since 1918, there are still lessons to be learned from Shoulder Arms.

Full Review… | December 18, 2010
Movie Views

Charlie gives his version of a recruit's absurd life.

Full Review… | March 10, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Shoulder Arms

½

Whether you served in the military or just learned to march in high school band, you'll appreciate the opening gags in boot camp with new recruit Charlie. The next thing Charlie knows, he's heading to the front lines of WWI "Over There." From a flooding bunk room off of the trenches, to waiting for presents from home, and engaging with the German enemy Charlie must mature as a soldier quickly. Loyal Underwood as the short German officer is blustery and funny. And like Sergeant York, Doughboy Charlie somehow manages to single-handedly surround a troop of Germans. Chaplin's brother and Purviance join him again in a later plot to capture someone higher up in the German command. Charlie becomes a supremely confidant soldier, but is it only wishful thinking.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

Another of Chaplin's shorts from 1918, "Shoulder Arms" was his second million dollar film and proved extremely popular with troops returning home. The film features Charlie Chaplin as The Recruit and while not dressed in his usual The Tramp attire, makes a completely hilarious soldier. After showcasing his shooting skills and other talents, most of which are done with little enthusiasm, The Recruit spends his downtime in a little bunk room to rest. It's here that one of the most absurd and hilarious sequences takes place during a heavy rain as the bunk fills with water and Charlie tries to lay down and sleep in his bed underneath the water. This and one other scene had me laughing uncontrollably and that is near the latter part of the film when Charlie dresses up in a tree outfit and goes behind enemy lines taking down the unsuspecting enemy soldiers in his getup. The absurdity as well as Chaplin's willingness to tackle even the most tricky of subjects including religion, war, and even playing an extreme likeness to Hitler himself prove that he wasn't afraid to make anything a joke. This is a great and funny short that is so over the top goofy that you can't help but love it!

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

The "Little Tramp" wardrobe is missing from this one, as soldier Charlie becomes an unlikely World War I hero. The funniest sequences involve struggling to sleep in a flooded barracks and spying on the Germans via a tree disguise.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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