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The Tramp (April 11, 1915)

Charlie Chaplin in The Tramp

Released April 11, 1915: Charlie saves the farmer's daughter from an attacker, and wants to woo her, but her fiance arrives and sends Charlie on his way.

Directed by Charles 'Charlie' Chaplin

The Actors: Charles Chaplin (the tramp), Edna Purviance (the farmer's daughter), Ernest Van Pelt (the farmer), Paddy McGuire (farmhand), Lloyd Bacon (Edna's fiance, and the second thief), Leo White (the first thief), Bud Jamison (the third thief), Billy Armstrong (Minister).


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This is the movie that made Charlie Chaplin famous, and the character that he protrayed most often, to the delight of audiences. He made film and story history with this story. Up to this time, the vast majority of stories were about the aristocratic wealthy people of the world, and their loves, wars, triumphs and defeats. Charlie Chaplin created a whole new genre with his 'aristocratic tramp,' a common hobo that always tried to act sophisticated, and always failed. It is also almost unheard of for the hero to fail in the end, but Charlie did, on a regualar basis. With comedy and laughter, he brought the lives of common working people to the screen, and became famous for it.

The movie starts with Charlie wandering down a lonely road, almost struck by two automobiles, but always picking himself up and dusting himself off, and heading down the road again. Soon he sits down under a tree to rest a bit and enjoy his lunch, but while he is sitting there, a thief quietly exchanges his lunch for a brick, and Charlie is forced to eat grass for lunch. This same thief attacks a farmer's daughter, and tries to steal her money, but Charlie chases the thief off. Soon another thief attacks, and Charlie uses the brick to knock him out. A total of three thieves attack, but Charlie saves the farmer's daughter from them all.

The farmer's daughter takes Charlie back to the farm, and the farmer gives him dinner and a job, which he completely messes up. Soon the three crooks arive at the farm house and try to break in, but Charlie once again saves the day. Charlie then thinks that he might have a chance at wooing the farmer's daughter, but suddenly her fiance shows up, and Charlie is forced to once again hit the road, homeless, hapless, and alone.