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Pleasantly surprised

The Good:

Upon my first impression, the movie seems quite silly. But under all the silliness of plastic surgery, rock'n'roll, fire hoses and sexual innuendo is a very intelligent satire of blatant commercialism and, yes, communism. (Chaplin himself claimed this was not a political film, but the attacks on McCarthyism and his own bitterness over his American exile are obvious.) His opinions on television and advertisements are venomous, which I adore. Despite being 53 years old, I agree with much of it; It still applies very much to our world dominated by commercialism.

The gags are very unlike most of Chaplin's other work, but I honestly laughed until I cried at many of them. Definitely much dirtier and spiteful than some of his other movies.

The Bad:

Chaplin was unable to use his usual crew and studios due to his being barred from the United States, where Chaplin Studios was located. Because of money restrictions, he was unable to do his usual routine of making movies: doing take after take until it was absolutely perfect. Every minute was money wasted.

The film was shot in 10 weeks, a record time for the (sometimes obsessively) perfectionist Chaplin. Because of this, the lighting is somewhat shotty, and the whole film could have benefited from a good editor. Occasionally the transitional scenes are a real slap in the face because of how abrupt they are.


An underrated Chaplin film. While it certainly doesn't rank among his best, it is an incredibly funny satirical comedy. It definitely has a bad reputation among Chaplin fans, but I was delighted to watch it and discover a funny and sometimes absolutely brilliant film.
(Because let's face it, saying it's the worst Chaplin film is like saying "This bacon isn't very good." It might not be AS good, but it's still delicious. Sorry for that analogy, it makes no sense. Perhaps if Chaplin had taken his name off the film it would be received better.)

Added by BRODO
13 years ago on 31 July 2010 03:45