The Pilgrim (1923)

DailyView: Day 176, Movie 258

Another packed day requires that I dip into the HBO Max collection of Charlie Chaplin for another shorter classic film from the silent master. The picking on HBO Max for Chaplin’s films have become sparse since I have used several during the DailyView. One of the remaining films was The Pilgrim.

Chaplin is an escape convict who has stolen the clothes of a minister to replace his prison attire. At the train station, in an attempt to avoid the police as well as a couple that wants him to marry them, Chaplin randomly boards a train to Devil’s Gulch, Texas. Once there, he is mistaken for a church’s new parson and is immediately whisked away to a service.

There is a tremendous sequence of visual storytelling as Chaplin gives a sermon on David and Goliath that ends in a most unexpected manner. This was one of the most stand out sections of The Pilgrim.

Chaplin encounters an old cell mate of his who threatens to blow his cover. The man steals the church money, and Chaplin intends on retrieving it.

The film featured a song called “I’m Bound for Texas” which Chaplin had written and was sung by Matt Monro.

This would be the final film that Edna Purviance would co-star with Chaplin. She had been a regular in his oeuvre for many years prior to this.

The Pilgrim is another classic silent film from a master of the genre. Chaplin’s slapstick abilities are beyond reproach and his comedy is right on par. The Pilgrim is one of his great works despite being less known than some of his other films.

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