Tuesday 3 October 2017

My Top Ten Films of all Time - A Chronological Countdown - 1. A DOG'S LIFE (Charles Chaplin, USA,1918)

This one has been posted on YouTube on a not bad copy though the added on music is crap. You can watch if you Click Here.

Charlie as Tramp reached one of his peaks in this small, 36 minute, masterpiece. I think it is the funniest film he ever made. Sentimentality was largely kept at bay though the humanity of a downtrodden man resiliently squaring up to adversity was paramount. From the opening sequence when he rolls backwards and forwards under a fence to avoid arrest by a fat cop the film leaps into a series of tours de force sequences. Perhaps greatest of all, done in just a handful of shots, is the sequence when the tramp steals, one by one, stuffing each into his mouth, every bun on a plate being offered by a hot dog stand. The split-second timing between taking, stuffing and the complete stillness when the proprietor turns round trying to catch Charlie in the act is breathtaking. The climax when the proprietor hits a cop with a frying pan is laugh out loud brilliant. If you want to introduce your children or grandchildren to the art of the cinema's greatest comic genius here is where to start.

Meanwhile, a production still...

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