While intended as a centerpiece for Edna Purviance it ends up being the film's sleazy playboy villain that takes the limelight from her with his charming yet sly smile as he hunts down women for his nightly prey. It ends strong and show a dramatic side of Chaplin that he would use effectively in his comedies later on but never again in a melodramatic films like in this stand-alone box-office failure.
Programmed by Melbourne Cinematheque with a Lubitsch film, showing Chaplin under the influence. I may be haste in my derision, I found the milieu unpleasant and the compositions fairly rudimentary only to then be schooled by Liv Ullmann in my DVD extras. Perhaps I attributed a moral governance to the time rather than film, awakening to its levelled depictions of these complicated lives.
Chaplin haciendo aviso de que es su primer drama (no risas, no protagonizándolo). Su discurso, sin embargo, está omnipresente. El director no abandona su cine comprometido, uno que, por ejemplo, no duda en burlarse de lo sofisticado o castiga la amoralidad de su protagonista principal. Eso último es tal vez el talón de Aquiles de la película; hay una sobrecarga de drama y un cierre redentor de cuento de hadas.
A solid drama about the dangers of being "sophisticated". Dramas of mundane existence didn't seem to find their voice, so to speak, until the advent of sound in cinema. It's just an extremely difficult genre to execute successfully in silent film, depending as it does more on dialogue than the more melodramatic action, spectacle, and comedy which made for successful silent films.
Charles Chaplin is not the star of this, his first serious drama. It's a silent film but Chaplin's direction of actors is so good that they don't overact, all seems very natural. the story is full of controversial or indecent themes for the time it was made (rebellious children, sex outside matrimony, women's lib). A very subtle novelty, as Chaplin said "it's all about how men and women tend to hide their emotions"