Wednesday, 20 June 2012

By the Sea

While on a windy beach The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) turns his attention to two married women and ends up getting in trouble with their husbands. This film feels like a bit of a step back after Chaplin’s previous films. It feels much closer to His New Job than the likes of The Champion or The The Tramp in that it is a knockabout comedy and a farce which lacks character development. Despite this there is still much to like.

I especially enjoyed Chaplin’s use of string attached to his jacket and hat which stops his hat blowing away in the wind. It’s a great idea and it’s almost a shame it didn’t catch on! The idea is used successfully in a couple of ways; Firstly in a scene in which Chaplin and Billy Armstrong get their strings intertwined and end up tangled up and inevitably fighting and in a second scene while trying to woo Bud Jamison’s wife. In this scene Chaplin manipulates the string behind his back to make it seem as though the hat is jumping off his head. It’s a simple, clever and very funny idea.

Apart from those two examples and a brief fight involving ice creams there isn’t much else of note in this film. There are of course Bud Jamison’s over the top eyebrows and the background setting of an almost deserted Los Angeles beach is quite interesting but compared to Chaplin’s later films this feels a little weak.


1 comment:

  1. Its interesting also in this film I think to note Billy Armstrong's physicality and knockabout with Chaplin knowing that Charlie and he both had the same training at Karno