The Little Tramp escapes from prison; saves a girl and her mother from drowning; and creates havoc at a swank party.The Little Tramp escapes from prison; saves a girl and her mother from drowning; and creates havoc at a swank party.The Little Tramp escapes from prison; saves a girl and her mother from drowning; and creates havoc at a swank party.
But really, the man-on-the-run angle is just a bit of trivial cheekiness. This is not one of Chaplin's great story pictures. Instead, he appears to be simply having a bit of fun with his last fling at Mutual. The Adventurer consists of a varied series of escapades, linked loosely by the narrative, but all of which could easily have come from another picture or even been expanded into a short in their own right. So we move from Charlie the fugitive to Charlie the rescuer of drowning women, to Charlie the party-crasher and so on. And yet The Adventurer is not vague or bitty. Instead this is perhaps Chaplin's most flowingly funny picture to date. The comic now had the professional ease of a seasoned acrobat, and here he reels off the gags with an almost casual comedic agility.
Supporting Charlie here are the usual familiar supporting players – Edna Purviance, John Rand, Albert Austin, Henry Bergman – all of whom would follow him to his next stable, First National. And yet these are all in relatively minor functional parts in the Adventurer. Chaplin's real partner here is Eric Campbell, who sadly would not follow the tramp on any more adventures. Campbell died several months after the picture's release. Here however you can see him at his best, as he seemingly relishes playing one of his most unforgivably mean characters. He exhibits a wonderful knowledge of what his job is in the comical scheme of things, brilliantly treading that line between authoritative ogre and buffoon.
And so we end again with that all-important statistic – Number of kicks up the arse: 8 (5 for, 3 against)
- Apr 26, 2010