The world has always been concerned with class and high society. We all think people of high society have it all: the money, the fame, the glory, the power, and whatever the hell their hearts desire. But of course all of those things can only make them happy for so long. At the risk of sounding cheesy, without love all of those things do not matter. In The Idle Class we see that love, not money, is all anyone really wants in life.
It is summer time and all the rich and idle head down to Miami for some sun. Edna (Edna Purviance) is one of those idle people who has come down for vacation. Her husband (Charlie Chaplin) is already at the hotel. From her telegram to him he is apparently a drunk who does not really pay attention to her. While trying to get down to the lobby to meet Edna the husband walks out of the room without his pants on. He gets back to his room just as Edna has walked in and ran to the bedroom. Edna sees him in his suit and hat in bed and thinks he is drunk from the night before. She writes him a letter that she is staying in another room for a while.
Another person who arrived in Miami is The Tramp (also Charlie Chaplin) via the baggage compartment on the train. His first day around the resort he plays a round of golf. As in all of Chaplin’s films the round of golf gets crazy and silly when The Tramp makes a very big guy stumble and fall all over the place. He has to chase after the golf ball and he just happens to see Edna riding by on a horse and he falls madly in love with her.
That afternoon Edna writes a letter to her husband hat if he attends the costume ball being held at the resort she will consider staying with him. The husband dresses up in a suit of armor complete with a helmet that of course gets stuck and he cannot get it off. Meanwhile The Tramp has gotten into a little mix up and he has to run away from a police officer. He manages to evade the officer and runs into the ball. He also just so happens to look like Edna’s husband and one of the resort employees tells him someone is waiting for him. The Tramp cannot believe that the woman he had seen riding a horse earlier in the day is waiting for him. He is even more thrilled to be sitting with her when she begins to hold his hand.
Edna’s husband comes down to the party and starts attacking The Tramp and then gets kicked out. The big guy from golf earlier in the day is also at the party and it turns out he is Edna’s father but since he looks a lot like Edna’s husband the situation is alright until The Tramp says he and Edna are not married.
Of course the truth comes to light that The Tramp is not really Edna’s husband and he is yet again all alone.
I really, really liked The Idle Class. I thought it was really funny and I liked all the little jokes and gags Chaplin threw in it. What I really liked about it though was how all Edna wanted was for her husband to be better and love her. The Tramp is kind and I like how all he wanted was to be loved too. The Idle Class is one of the best Charlie Chaplin I have seen and I really hope you all go watch it as soon as you can. It is available to view in full on YouTube.