Starring: Charlie Chaplin
The Tramp, as portrayed by Chaplin, is a childlike, bumbling but overall good-hearted character who is most famously portrayed as a vagrant who endeavors to behave with the manners and dignity of a gentleman despite his actual social status. However, while he is ready to take what paying work is available, he also uses his cunning to get what he needs to survive and escape the authority figures who will not tolerate his antics.
The Tramp was closely identified with the silent era, and was considered an international character; when the sound era began in the late 1920s, Chaplin refused to make a talkie featuring the character.
The physical attributes of the Tramp include a pair of baggy pants, a tight coat, a small bowler hat, a large pair of shoes, a cane and the famous small mustache. The Tramp walks strangely and uncomfortably because of the ill-fitting clothing; either he is wearing secondhand clothes, or they are originally his but he cannot afford new ones.
The Tramp is also a short film starring Chaplin as the titular main character. In the film, a hobo exchanges the Tramp's sandwich for a brick, so the Tramp must eat grass. The same hobo later bothers a farmer's daughter, and the Tramp comes to her aid with the help of the brick. When two more hobos show up, the Tramp throws all three into a lake. The grateful girl takes the Tramp home, where he fails as a farmhand. He again helps drive off the hobos (who are now trying to break into the house). The girl's fiancée arrives. Though a hero, Charlie – knowing he must go – writes a farewell note and leaves again for the open road.
The Tramp was released on April 11, 1915.
Related Pages: Charlie Chaplin