Silent comedy is an acting style that was invented after the development of film technology. Movie writers employed prominence on visual and physical factor to bring out the humor in the movies. They helped entertain the audience. The most common tactics of the great era were sound tracks to match the movements, and sounds emanating from exaggerated violence (DeMain 2012). They were generally recognized as slapstick. Good examples are sounds made after someone was hit with a stick, running water, or being hit with a pie on the face. In addition were the mimes. Here, an actor had to use body movements to mock the rest of the crew members. These wore the most common comedy maneuvers.
The comedy come at a perfect timing after the war, the economy was great, and people had started embracing the lifestyle of movie watching at the theatres. This time was almost like a like a resting period for everyone and everyone seemed to appreciate a good laugh. Most of the comedy was inspired by the middle class Americans who had started to rise in numbers. It mostly showcased love, domestic arguments, and conflicts between other family members. The audience loved the genre leading to the rise of great names like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd (Bogdanovich 2011). Charlie’s ability to make the audience laugh at the same time move them with compassion led him to achieving great heights in the industry and being remembered throughout history.
After he was discovered in a tour, Charlie realized the great talent he had and went on to write, direct, produce, and feature in his films. His character as the little trump identified with the audience. This popularized his films this character suited him best since he was an oddly little looking person who could fit easily into the role of wearing patches and making people laugh (DeMain 2012). Together with exaggerated makeup, he made the most relevant films of the century.
The film starts with the unveiling of a monument in a large city with a little dirty figure under it which is the trump. After he realizes what happens, he makes a few disorganized moves to return his demeanor but he fails terribly (Bogdanovich 2011). Quickly he leaves the place. In an afternoon stroll, he walks the street with two newspaper boys mocking him when he comes across a shop with an interesting nude statue. He makes funny body indications then moves on. Later, as he makes mayhem for a police officer, he notices a very pretty woman selling flowers by the side of the road. The lady offers him a flower thinking he is a rich man and the trump parts with his last coin to pay for the flower (Chaplin 1931). A door slams by the side of the road and the lady assumes that he left when he realizes she is blind. He tiptoes and sits nearby watching her every move and is fascinated by her. She leaves for her house where she lives with her old grandmother where she thinks about him.
In the night, the trump comes across a drunk millionaire who is depressed and is about to commit suicide. The trump manages to rescue him but ends up drowning himself but the man helped him out of the water. After this, they become friends and venture for a night out in the town. There, they raise havoc and seem to have a good time. At daybreak, the two set off back to the millionaire’s house drunk and disoriented. The butler disproves of the trump but the millionaire gives him twenty dollars to buy flowers for the girl (Chaplin 1931). He goes to her place and so she believes to begin that he is a true millionaire. Soon after, he goes back to the rich man’s house but in his soberness, he does not recognize the trump.
This becomes the trend and the trump decides to earn an honest living and thus care for his blind beloved. Soon after, the lady falls ill, are at the verge of evection and the trump loses his paying job. Since he still has to pretend that he is a wealthy man, he is ecstatic when he meets the drunken rich man from his trip Europe who immediately recognizes him. They go back to his house and he offers the trump $1000 for the pretty lady’s eye surgery. After he pockets the money, robbers show up and knock the millionaire unconscious. When the police arrive they suspect the trump of the crime and things become worse after the millionaire wakes up sober not recognizing the trump (DeMain 2012). He runs away and hand the lady all the money to the last offer his penny after which he is caught by the police officers.
He returns from jail to the street where the blind lady used to sell the flowers but notices a new flower shop. Inside is the lady with her sight restored. She offers him a flower and he offers his last penny once again. After touching his hands, she recognizes him then realizes what had been going on. The story is a classic of Chaplin since he moves the crowd with a tear and a laugh (Bogdanovich 2011).
In conclusion, silent comedy will continue being relevant in very many generations. Due to silence all races and generations will continue to appreciate the genius works of the great fore fathers of film industry. Even though these early actors tried to make relevance of the new lifestyle that came with new innovations, it will be a relevant source of entertainment for a very long time. In the present, actors like Mr. Bean have attempted to mimic their work and made great entertainment. It is advisable for all aspiring actors to have passion in their work since it is long life documentation of the social standing of the community and if undermined, it would be a great loss and sad story for the future generations. This is because it is the representation of present mannerisms and appearance therefore acting as an important social indicator. The silent comedy era was a great era and it is my sincere petition for people to embrace and acknowledge this rich culture.
Bogdanovich, Peter. City Lights: Indie Wire. 2011. Retrieved from http://blogs.indiewire.com/peterbogdanovich/city_lights
Chaplin, Charlie. 1931. City Lights. Retrieved February 14,2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WivhDJRXCU4
DeMain, Bill. Masterpieces: Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. 2012. Retrieved from http://mentalfloss.com/article/30080/masterpieces-charlie-chaplins-city-lights