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Film / The Adventurer

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The Adventurer is a 1917 short film made by Charlie Chaplin. In this one Charlie is an escapee from prison. After giving some bumbling cops the slip on a beach, Charlie swims away, eventually coming back to shore at a pier with an amusement park—where Edna Purviance's mother has fallen into the water. Charlie dives back in and winds up saving both Edna's mom, Edna (after she falls in), and Edna's hulking but cowardly suitor, Eric Campbell, who also falls in. Charlie is invited to the lavish mansion belonging to Edna's family, but the jealous suitor has figured out who he really is.

Chaplin's last film with the Mutual Corporation. Also the last film for Eric Campbell, who was Chaplin's regular heavy and probably would have continued in that capacity if not for the car accident that killed him two months after this film was released.



  • Beach Bury: In an unusual variant, Charlie does this to himself, to hide from the cops who are chasing him. The ease with which he emerges after completely burying himself is just a teeny bit unrealistic.
  • The Cameo: Edna's chauffeur is played by Charlie Chaplin's chauffeur, Toraichi Kono.
  • Institutional Apparel: Charlie wears the standard striped prison outfit.
  • Lemming Cops: The bumbling cops that fall all over themselves trying to catch Charlie on the beach, and later at the mansion, make this film somewhat resemble a Keystone Studios film.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: This one has a lot even for a Chaplin movie. In once scene Chaplin and Campbell have their backs to each other but are kicking backwards. A guest at the party walks in between them, and Campbell kicks her in the behind.
  • Mustache Vandalism: When Charlie sees the newspaper with his picture on the front, he draws in a bushy beard and mustache to make the picture look like Campbell.
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  • No Name Given: As usual for a Chaplin film, none of the characters are named. Chaplin is "The Convict", Edna Purviance is "The Girl", etc.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: Campbell finds out about Charlie via a newspaper banner-headline that includes a large picture.