“I thought your kindness was love but it ain’t ‘cause I can see him.”
The Tramp is one of Charlie Chaplin’s earliest incarnations of his famous character. In this short film from 1915 The Tramp is walking down a dirt road when a young girl (Edna Purviance) knocks right into him. The girl is running away from a band of thieves who have taken her money. The one thief comes running right after. The Tramp being the kind hero knocks the thief around. Soon the other two thieves of the bad group come and try their hand at The Tramp but of course The Tramp manages to scare them all off. As a reward the girl takes The Tramp back to her farm where she lives with her father.
This being a Charlie Chaplin slapstick calamity ensues as soon as he begins working on the farm. He is falling all over the place and poking some of the workers with farm equipment.
The thieves from the road come snooping around the house. The Tramp fights them off with a sledge hammer. The girl’s father joins in in fighting off the thieves by shooting at them with his shot gun. The Tramp was helping to chase the thieves off and he is accidentally shot in the leg. He recovers nicely and enjoys his time with the girl. As he is sitting with her one day a well-dressed young man comes by the house. The girl races to the young man and kisses him. The Tramp can see the girl is happy with the young man and that there is no way he can compete with him. He goes into the house and writes the girl a letter.
The Tramp leaves the house with heartache but once he is back on the road he gives a little skip and a hop in happiness over the life he leads.
The Tramp, although not one of Chaplin’s absolute best is still fantastic. I love his character of The Tramp. He was a character who was happy and silly but was still grounded in reality. The character never really ended up happy in too many of his films. He was a comedic character who made hard life decisions like we all have to do in reality. I love how no matter how hard his life is The Tramp still sees the bright side and continues pushing on. The Tramp runs less than a half hour and I cannot recommend watching it enough.