Sunnyside (1919)

Another Wednesday during the school year which means another Charlie Chaplin short film for the DailyView. This week the Chaplin film I watched was Sunnyside from 1919.

Charlie this time is a farm hand working for am obnoxious boss most of the day and then working at the run-down Evergreen Hotel . Charlie is having a relationship with a local lady (Edna Purviance), but her father is not fond of him.

During his time at the hotel, a city slicker is injured in a car wreck. After he recovers, he meets Charlie’s girl and the bond. Charlie dresses up to try and impress her, This fails so he goes out to kill himself by stepping in front of a car. It was here where he was awoken by his boss at the hotel. The city slicker was there and had never met her before. She shows up and she and Charlie embrace.

This was interesting, but a lot of the narrative seemed to bounce around. I am not sure why he was a farm hand at the beginning when he ended up as a hotel clerk. Perhaps it is to show how tired he is and thus have it make sense why he was always falling asleep. There was a cool dream sequence in the film involving dancing nymphs that stands out. It has been speculated that this sequence is an allusion to the ballet. It also may have inspired the dream sequence in The Kid.

I did not laugh as much with this short as I did with the The Kid or The Immigrant. There is still Chaplin’s iconic style of slapstick comedy involved here too.

There has been debate over the years about whether the end of the movie is a dream sequence or not. My impression is that after Chaplin is awoken by his boss, the remainder of the film is him awake. Unless of course if the whole film is him in a dream sequence from when he was having trouble waking up on the farm.

There was a funny sight gag with a chicken and a cow which worked well. However, this was not as fun as the others that I have seen.

One more week of Wednesday school.

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