As you probably know, TCM has a little bit of a different schedule for August. It’s Summer Under the Stars, with a full day of movies by a different star every day. That means Silent Sunday (as well as other the other regular features) won’t be around this month. There is also only one day this month with silent films showing, but it’s a good one. Charlie Chaplin’s day is filled with wonderful silent films. Here are all the silent films being shown below:
Tillie’s Punctured Romance: This is very early Chaplin, released in 1914 when he was with Keystone. In this picture, he isn’t the typical Tramp character. Released near the end of that year, it’s one of the last films he made for them before moving to Essanay. This film is also notable for a couple of other reasons. This was the first feature Keystone produced, as well as Chaplin’s first feature. It’s also the last time film Chaplin starred that he did not write or direct. Mabel Normand co-stars.
Shoulder Arms: Released in 1918, this is another one of Chaplin’s early features. A World War I film, it also features regular female lead Edna Purviance and his half-brother Sydney.
Sunnyside: Although a short, this clocks in a little longer than most at 34 minutes. This was released in 1919 for First National, at a time when Chaplin’s output began to slow down. It was one of only two films he released that year, the fewest he made up to that point in a calendar year. The output would only continue to go down from there.
A Day’s Pleasure: The other film from 1919, this one centers around a car.
The Pilgrim: Although not one his highest level features, this is still a very enjoyable film of Chaplin out west. It’s also the last film he starred in with Purviance (she would appear in the next film below as well).
A Woman of Paris: Although Chaplin often had a serious side to his comedies, this is his only experiment at a completely dramatic film. As such, Chaplin decided not to star, only making a cameo appearance. Purviance stars in what was meant to be a starring vehicle for her, but the film was not successful at the time.
The Gold Rush: Chaplin finds himself caught in the snow in one of his all time classic films. It also won an Oscar decades later for Chaplin’s new score. TCM airs this one frequently, but it’s always worth watching.
The Circus: Released in between some of his most famous and greatest work, this one is still great even though it doesn’t get mentioned as often. Chaplin himself originally performed a tightrope walk, but the footage was ruined and not used. Chaplin was given an honorary Oscar at the first Academy Awards for this film.
Modern Times: Originally meant to be Chaplin’s first talkie (by this point it was 1936 and he still hasn’t done so), he instead made this mostly silent, along with synchronized sound and gibberish song sung by Chaplin. A portrayal of a factory worker’s life, it’s one of the greatest films ever made.
A Dog’s Life: The first film Chaplin made for First National, this short is also the first time he appeared in a film with his brother Sydney. Purviance also co-stars.
The Kid: Another one of his classic features, this is the perfect mix of comedy and pathos, as the tramp takes in a small child (Jackie Coogan).
The Idle Class: This short, a case of mistaken identity, is another co-starring Purviance.
City Lights: Yet another one of his best films, this is one of the most heartwarming romantic comedies you’ll ever see. Once again, Chaplin mixes comedy and drama perfectly.
The Chaplin talkies that day are must-see as well: The Great Dictator, Monsieur Verdoux and A King in New York.