In this, Chaplin is less of the buffoon and more of the actor. But his comedy is all there and there is not a dull moment once the comedian comes into the picture, which is along about the middle of the first reel.
Introduced as ‘a picture with a smile – perhaps a tear’, it proves itself just that. For while it will move people to uproarious laughter and keep them in a state of uneasing delight, it also will touch their hearts and win sympathy, not only for the star, but for his leading woman, and little Jackie Coogan.
There are characteristic ‘Chaplin touches’. A fine instance of imagination is where he dreams of Heaven. His slum alley is transformed into a bit of Paradise, with everybody – including his Nemesis, the cop, and a big bully who had wrecked a brick wall and bent a lamppost swinging at Charlie – turned into angels.