~Shoulder Arms~
~Plot Synopsis~
Shoulder Arms was Charlie Chaplin's final contribution to the World War I effort, along with his
personal appearances selling Liberty Bonds and his film The Bond. It was released shortly before the
end of the war, and Chaplin made prints available to soldiers fighting overseas, for which he was
lauded for cheering the severely tested troops. Charlie is a member of the "Awkward Squad" and we
first see him being put through his paces in training camp. He has problems with making a proper
about-face and with marching, his out-turned feet, constantly annoying his drill sergeant. Exhausted
after a hard drill, he collapses on his cot.

"Over there," somewhere in France, the troops are engaged in trench warfare, and Chaplin gives the
audience a hilarious view on the difficulties experienced by the troops -- flooded quarters (which he
shares with a sergeant played by brother Sydney Chaplin), constant shelling, sniping and
homesickness. In a touching scene, a mail-less Charlie reads a letter from home over the shoulder of
another soldier and on his face we can see his emotional reactions to the good and bad news that the
soldier reads. Charlie is sent over the top and ends up capturing a squad of German soldiers
single-handedly. His next foray, in the guise of a tree, provides a wonderful look at Chaplin's
pantomime talents as he "becomes" a tree each time the enemy soldiers approach. Escaping the
enemy squad he hides in a bombed-out house where a French girl, Edna Purviance, lives. She
discovers him in her bed and tends to his wounds. Soon they're beset by the enemy squad, searching
for Charlie. In the chase, they collapse the rickety house and Charlie escapes, but Edna is arrested for
aiding the enemy.

Meanwhile Charlie's sergeant buddy is captured while attempting to telegraph information on the
enemy to the allied camp. Edna and Sydney are both brought to the enemy headquarters and Edna is
threatened by the evil commandant. Charlie, sneaking down the chimney of the commandant's house,
rescues Edna from his advances and locks him in a closet. At that moment the Kaiser, Crown Prince
and their General arrive at the camp. Charlie, rushing to the closet, takes the commandant's uniform
and impersonates him. Taking charge of Edna and escorting her outside, he is recognized by his
captive buddy, and the three of them overcome and restrain the Kaiser's driver and guards and
replace them. When the Kaiser and the others enter the limousine, the allies drive them off to the
American camp, where Charlie is hailed as a hero and is hoisted on the shoulders of his comrades. But
it was all a dream - in classic Chaplinesque-style Charlie is shaken awake by his drill sergeant -- still in
boot camp!

Directed & Written by: Charles Chaplin

Charles Chaplin ...  Recruit
Edna Purviance ...  French girl
Syd Chaplin ...  Sergeant / The Kaiser (as Sydney Chaplin)
Jack Wilson ...  German Crown Prince
Henry Bergman ...  Fat German sergeant / Field Marshal von Hindenburg
Albert Austin ...  U.S. soldier / German soldier / Kaiser's chauffeur
Tom Wilson ...  Training camp sergeant
John Rand ...  U.S. soldier
J. Parks Jones ...  U.S. soldier (as Park Jones)
Loyal Underwood ...  Short German officer
W.J. Allen ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
L.A. Blaisdell ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
A.D. Blake ...  Soldier (uncredited)
Cliff Brouwer ...  Soldier (uncredited)
E. Brucker ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
F.S. Colby ...  Soldier (uncredited)
Slim Cole ...  Soldier (uncredited)
Wellington Cross ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
E.H. Devere ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
C.L. Dice ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
M.J. Donovan ...  Soldier (uncredited)
Guy Eakins ...  Soldier (uncredited)
Fred Everman ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Mark Faber ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
G.A. Godfrey ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Harry Goldman ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Fred Graham ...  Soldier (uncredited)
W.E. Graham ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
James Griffin ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
William Hackett ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Ray Hanford ...  Soldier (uncredited)
A.J. Hartwell ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
O.E. Haskins ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Tom Hawley ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Carl Herlinger ...  Bit part (uncredited)
W. Herron ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Ed Hunt ...  Soldier (uncredited)
E.B. Johnson ...  Soldier (uncredited)
Charles Knuske ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Sam Lewis ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Tom Madden ...  Soldier (uncredited)
G.E. Marygold ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Clyde McAtee ...  Soldier (uncredited)
Robert McKenzie ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
A. North ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Louis Orr ...  Soldier (uncredited)
J.T. Powell ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Jack Shalford ...  Soldier (uncredited)
J.H. Shewry ...  Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
Joe Van Meter ...  Soldier (uncredited)
W.G. Wagner ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Tiny Ward ...  Soldier (uncredited)
J.H. Warne ...  Motorcyclist (uncredited)
Jack Willis ...  Soldier / Bit part in street scene (uncredited)
~See Film Right Here~

Part 1
Part 2
~Part 3~
~Part 4~
~Part 5~
~Remaining Credits~

Production Company: Charles Chaplin Productions

Distribution Company: First National Exhibitors' Circuit

Producer: Charles Chaplin
Cinematography by: Roland Totheroh
Film Editing by:
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
Production Design by: Charles D. Hall
Assistant Director: Charles Reisner
Second Camera Operator: Jack Wilson
Seamstress: Mother Vinot
Driver for Mr. Chaplin: Toraichi Kono
Secretary for Mr. Chaplin: Nellie Bly Baker
Unit Publicist: Elsie Codd
Assistant for Mr. Chaplin: Tom Harrington

Runtime: 46 Minutes
Released: October 20, 1918