Shoulder Arms (Silent)

Charlie Chaplin joins the WWI war effort in this hilarious feature-length silent comedy, the first movie he directed himself. Plus the bonus short films ‘His Trysting Places’ (1914), ‘Sunnyside’ (1919), and ‘A Day’s Pleasure’ (1919).
Shoulder Arms (Silent)
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8065D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 2 hours, 12 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: April 17, 2018
  • Originally Released: 1918
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Directed by

Description by

Having just signed to First National Pictures, Charlie Chaplin was anxious to turn his satirical eye on World War I. The studio insisted that the conflict was no laughing matter, but Chaplin persisted, finally directing the movie himself (his first time behind the camera). In Shoulder Arms, Charlie is the clumsiest soldier in his company, dubbed “The Awkward Squad”. Once in the trenches, Charlie becomes a hero, capturing German soldiers and rescuing a pretty French girl (played by Edna Purviance). He even faces down the Kaiser himself...but is it all just a dream? By the time the film was released on October 20, 1918, the Armistice ending the war was only weeks away from being signed, meaning that audiences felt more comfortable laughing at Chaplin’s antics. Shoulder Arms thus became one of Charlie’s earliest box-office triumphs, and serves as a worthy bookend to his other wartime masterpiece, The Great Dictator (1940).


HIS TRYSTING PLACES (1914): One of Chaplin’s last films at Keystone Studios, His Trysting Places finds Charlie (un)happily married to Mabel Normand. After she finds a love letter in his jacket pocket, the little fellow has some explaining to do.

SUNNYSIDE (1919): Charlie is a humble farm hand trying to woo away Edna Purviance from a sophisticated city slicker.

A DAY’S PLEASURE (1919): Chaplin quickly made this short, about a family’s bungled attempt to take a pleasant ferry ride, as a contractual obligation to First National while simultaneously working on The Kid (1921). As such, it also features his co-star in that classic, child actor Jackie Coogan.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 8,897
  • UPC: 089218806598
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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