The Idle Class

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The Idle Class
The Idle Class.jpg
Lobby card
Directed by Charles Chaplin
Produced by Charles Chaplin
Written by Charles Chaplin
Starring Charles Chaplin
Edna Purviance
Henry Bergman
Mack Swain
Music by Johnnie von Haines (1969)
Cinematography Roland Totheroh
Edited by Charles Chaplin
Distributed by First National
Playhouse Home Video (1985) (USA)
Key Video (1989) (USA) (VHS)
Image Entertainment (2000) (USA) (DVD)
Koch Vision (2000) (USA) (DVD)
MK2 Diffusion (2001) (World-wide) (all media)
Warner Home Video (2004, DVD)
Continental Home Vídeo (Brazil) (VHS)
Release date
  • September 25, 1921 (1921-09-25)
Running time
32 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
The Idle Class

The Idle Class is a 1921 American silent comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin for First National Pictures.

Plot summary

The "Little Tramp" (Charlie Chaplin) heads to a resort for warm weather and a bit of golf. At the golf course, the Tramp's theft of balls in play causes one golfer (Mack Swain) to mistakenly attack another (John Rand). Meanwhile, a neglected wife (Edna Purviance) leaves her wealthy husband (also played by Chaplin) until he gives up drinking. When the Tramp is later mistaken for a pickpocket, he crashes a masquerade ball to escape from a policeman. There, he is mistaken for the woman's husband. Eventually, it is all straightened out, and the Tramp is once more on his way.


Helen Rockwell of the New York Telegraph penned this review of The Idle Class: "Brevity is something else beside the soul of wit. It is sometimes a great relief and a rare treat. [This] is the case of Charles Chaplin's latest contribution to the silent drama, The Idle Class. The story was written and the picture was directed by Charlie himself, and instead of going for a five-reel affair, he has returned to his first short love. But what there is of The Idle Class is so good and so funny that one realizes how much better is it to be entertained by two reels than bored in five. Charlie is too clever to prolong an idea unless it is really worth it, and his latest picture is just long enough. Charlie assumes two roles [in the film] since everybody is doing it. He is seen as an absent-minded husband and as a tramp, and it is difficult to say in which guise he is more winning."


Lita Grey, Chaplin's future wife, played a guest.

External links

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