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Film: The Immigrant
The Immigrant is a 1917 short film by Charlie Chaplin. The film opens with Chaplin's Tramp as an immigrant on a ship sailing to New York. He strikes up an acquaintance with a pretty girl (played by his regular female lead, Edna Purviance) who is on the voyage with her sick mother. The Tramp tries to slip the girl a little money but is mistaken for a pickpocket. The girl clears his name and they part on good terms.

Later, after arriving in New York, the Tramp finds a coin and decides to splurge on a decent meal. Unfortunately for him the coin falls out of a hole in his pocket. Hilarity Ensues as the Tramp tries to obtain another coin and pay for a meal. While trying to avoid the intimidating waiter he meets the girl he met on the boat. The Tramp is about to take a beatdown from the waiter when he steals a tip and uses that to pay for his meal. After leaving the restaurant the Tramp and the girl go off to get married.

Inducted into the National Film Registry with the class of 1998. The film can be seen here.


Tropes:

  • Counterfeit Cash: It turns out that the coin Chaplin finds in the restaurant is a fake.
  • Deus ex Machina: The artist who pops up out of nowhere and gives Charlie and Edna jobs.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The Tramp is shown bent over the side of the boat, apparently violently ill. It turns out he's catching a fish.
  • Happy Ending: A rare one for Chaplin, who usually went with No Ending or Bittersweet Ending.
  • An Immigrant's Tale: Yup. The scene where the immigrants are greeted by the Statue of Liberty, only to be roped off by immigration officers, is rather pointed. The documentary Unknown Chaplin revealed that Chaplin's original idea was the business about being unable to pay a restaurant bill, and the part about being an immigrant was his way of establishing why the Tramp is broke.
  • Literal Ass Kicking: Maybe Chaplin's favorite gag.
  • No Name Given: As was customary for Charlie Chaplin films.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Several passengers are throwing up over the side of the boat.
Easy StreetEarly FilmsThe Rink
Mean StreetsNational Film RegistrySky High 1922

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