Comparing Best Of Old With Newest Of New
Deadwood, South Dakota Gets Comedy's Greatest Since Shoulder Arms For Thanksgiving 1935
Suppose they took a poll in 1926 ... 1927 ... or 1935 ... to name the Greatest Of All Comedies so far made. What, or whose, would head the list? From ad evidence here, Shoulder Arms appears to have been at or near the top. It came back, and often, after acclaimed first-runs during 1918 and through '19. San Francisco's Strand Theatre played an "Exclusive First Run" for two weeks at thirty cent evening admission, loges at forty, not what you'd call cheap seats ninety-five years ago ("All Prices Include War Tax"). I guess it's safe to say that Shoulder Arms made the biggest impression of any Chaplin comedy up to that time. He'd not ring the bell so loudly again until The Kid three years later. Chaplin would lease his First National comedies to Pathé for 20's reissue. Their merchandising emphasized Shoulder Arms' growing repute as funniest among Chaplin comedies, a best of all laugh-makers, in fact. The two Rialto dates shown below represent 1926 (accompanying feature Diplomacy), and but a year later, Shoulder Arms back and billed over Children Of Divorce, with Clara Bow.
|Pathe Ad For Chaplins To Come in 1925|
|Spring 1927 Trade Ad For Shoulder Arms Revival|
More of Chaplin, Shoulder Arms, and his First National comedies at Greenbriar Archive here.