Charlie Chaplin Filmography

(A Work in Progress)

by Phil Posner

 

ESSANAY     MUTUAL     FIRST NATIONAL     UNITED ARTISTS

 

 

K E Y S T O N E  1914

Making a Living

One Reel

(N.B.: all subsequent Keystones are one reel unless otherwise noted).

 

Notable as Charles Chaplin's first film, Making a Living is a standard

Keystone farce. Chaplin plays a ne'er-do-well con man sporting a top hat,

frock coat, monocle and a walrus moustache. He first encounters his rival

Henry Lehrman (who also directed) on the street, where Chaplin begs a

loan. Chaplin then encounters a mother and daughter outside their home

and proposes to the daughter. Lehrman arrives, also enamoured of the

daughter, exposes Chaplin as a bum, and engages him in a fight which is

stopped by the ladies' butler.

 

Lehrman arrives at the newspaper office at which he works.  Passing the

office building, Chaplin sees a sign advertising "Reporters Wanted".  He

goes in to apply, but again is exposed as a bum by Lehrman.

 

While on his rounds Lehrman witnesses a horrific auto accident and takes

pictures and interviews the victim before help arrives. Chaplin happens

upon the accident and steals Lehrman's camera and notebook and runs at top

speed to file the story. In pursuit, Lehrman gets tangled up with a married

couple, in whose flat Chaplin tries to hide.  He arrives at the office too

late, as Chaplin has already filed the story and has even helped to load up

the delivery truck and newsboys with papers.

 

Lehrman catches up to Chaplin and a fight ensues which ends with both

of them caught up in the cow catcher of an oncoming streetcar.

 

 

Cast

Charles Chaplin - Swindler

Henry Lehrman - Reporter  

Chester Conklin - Policeman/Bum

Alice Davenport - Mother

Virginia Kirtley - Daughter

 

Production Team

 

Henry Lehrman - Director

E.J. Vallejo - Cinematographer

Mack Sennett- Producer

 

Mack Sennett - The Boss at Keystone Studios

Virginia Kirtley



Kid's Auto Race

(a.k.a. Kid's Auto Races at Venice, Ca.)

Split Reel

 

 

An impromptu film, shot at a soap box derby at Venice Beach, California on

January 10, 1914, Kid's Auto Race is notable as the first released film

featuring Charlie Chaplin's beloved Tramp character. Keystone Studios

chief Mack Sennett often sent film crews to public events to improvise a

film with the event as a backdrop. The intertitle that introduces the Tramp

character accurately describes the film's plot: "In picturing this event an

odd character discovered that motion pictures were being taken and it

became impossible to keep him away from the camera". In this half-reel,

film-within-a-film, the Tramp continuously gets in the way of the camera

and the soap-box cars, and is constantly being shooed, cajoled and shoved

out of the way by the director, Henry Lehrman. Just as interesting as the

antics of the Little Tramp, are the fascinated reactions of the kids on the

sidelines. They were there to watch the race, but unknowingly got a preview

of the comedy character who was to become known and loved throughout the

world.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Henry Lehrman - Film Director

Frank D. Williams & Hans Koenekamp - Cameramen

 

 

Mabel's Strange Predicament

 

In this Keystone hotel farce starring Mabel Normand, Charles Chaplin

first donned his Tramp costume. It was shot largely before Kid's Auto

Races, the first released film with the Tramp, but released a week later.

Chaplin plays not a penniless Tramp, but a drunk and a masher who staggers

around a hotel lobby trying to ingratiate himself to all the women.  He

flirts with Mabel, a guest in the hotel who is concealing her dog in her

room, but she rejects him. Later, while playing with the dog, Mabel

accidentally gets locked out of her room, wearing only her pajamas. Charlie

stumbles upstairs and again flirts with her, but she escapes into the room

of a quarrelling couple (Chester Conklin, Alice Davenport) across the

hall.  She is discovered hiding there by her jealous suitor (Harry McCoy)

and a fight ensues involving the suitor, the couple and Charlie.  It ends

with Mabel and her boyfriend kissing and making up, the fighting couple

still locked in battle and Charlie heading down the hallway presumably to

return to his bottle and his chair in the lobby.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Inebriate

Mabel Normand - Mabel 

 

Harry Mc Coy - Boyfriend

Chester Conklin - Husband

Alice Davenport - Wife

Al St. John - Bellboy

Billy Gilbert - Bellboy

Billy Hauber - Hotel Guest

Sadie Lampe - Hotel Guest

 

NB: The Billy Gilbert in this and other Keystones is not the more

famous actor of the same name who appeared in Chaplin's "The Great

Dictator".

 

Billy Gilbert (from His Musical Career)

 

Billy Hauber
 

 

 

 

A Thief Catcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edgar Kennedy, Mack Swain, Chaplin and an unidentified actor

 

A recent discovery as a previously unknown appearance, A Thief Catcher is
actually a Ford Sterling film, with Chaplin appearing briefly as a Keystone Kop.
Film historian and preservationist Paul Gierucki found a 16mm print of it by
chance in 2010 at an antiques show in Michigan. After consultations with
other silent film experts, Chaplin was recognized in the film. A Thief Catcher
was released on February 19, 1914, nine days before Between Showers. It
co-stars Mack Swain and Edgar Kennedy as burglars whom Sheriff Sterling is
pursuing. Chaplin appears as one of two cops who rescue Sterling from
captivity by the yeggmen.

 

 

Between Showers

 

In his fourth film for Keystone, Charlie Chaplin was assigned for the

last time to Henry Lehrman, his first director at Keystone.  It was

Chaplin's first film with the ostensible star of the film, Ford Sterling,

who had announced that he would be leaving Keystone for a more lucrative

deal well before Chaplin joined Keystone.  Between Showers is the first

Chaplin film shot partially at Echo Park. It shows a few developments

of his Tramp character, mostly little bits of "business" that would recur

in later films. Sterling plays a womanizer who steals an umbrella from a

cop and his girlfriend.  He encounters a pretty girl, Emma Clifton, on a

street corner who is impeded from crossing the street by a huge puddle.

Ford gives his new umbrella to the girl to hold and goes off to find a

piece of lumber for a makeshift bridge. Charlie, dressed as the Tramp but

without the cane, saunters on the scene and also offers his help. While

they're gone, another cop carries the girl over the puddle. Sterling

returns and when he asks for his umbrella back, the girl refuses. Sterling

attacks her and Charlie comes to  her rescue, although she seems capable of

handling both men. A fight sequence through the park ensues, after which

Charlie restores the umbrella to Emma. It climaxes when Chester the cop,

summoned by Ford, recognizes the umbrella as his own.  Charlie admits to

taking it from Ford, but Ford has no alibi and an amused Charlie watches

Chester haul him off to jail.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - A Masher

Ford Sterling - A Rival Masher

Emma Clifton -  Lady in Distress

Chester Conklin - Cop

Sadie Lampe - His Girlfriend

Sadie Lampe and Chester Conklin

 

Production Team

 

Henry Lehrman - Director

Reed Heustis - Scenario

Mack Sennett/Keystone Film Company - Producer

 

N.B.:  David Robinson (from Mitry) credits Sadie Lampe as Conklin's

girlfriend in Between Showers,  Although I can't confirm this, if this

is correct then a number of roles can be credited to her, most notably

the Hat Check Girl in Tango Tangles.  Therefore I am identifying all

appearances of this actress with that name.

 

 

A Film Johnnie

 

In Charlie Chaplin's fifth Keystone comedy we get a look inside the

famous laugh factory. Charlie is a movie fan and we first see him creating

havoc at a theatre where he gets too involved with the action on the screen

and the beautiful actress in the film.  Ejected from the theatre, he

proceeds to Keystone itself where he mooches money from Roscoe Arbuckle as

he arrives at work. Charlie sneaks into the studio and disrupts the

filming, much to the chagrin of the director. He mistakes a scene where the

starlet is being manhandled for reality and comes to her rescue. Firing a

prop pistol in all directions, he clears the stages before leaving.

Meanwhile, a Keystone scout sees a building on fire in a nearby street and

telephones the studio. In a parody of Mack Sennett's propensity to use

public events and disasters as backdrops for his films, the cast and crew

rush off to do some location filming at the fire. Charlie shows up and

again disrupts the filming, causing the director to take after him

brandishing a club. The firemen arrive and seeing the struggle between the

director and his assistants who are trying to restrain him, turn the hoses

on the fighting men. Charlie again tries his luck with the beautiful

actress and receives a good shaking in response, followed by a soaking by

the fire squad. In a classic Chaplin move, he twists his ear as water

squirts from his mouth. When the beautiful actress laughs at his condition,

a waterlogged Charlie gives up on his movie fanaticism.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Film Johnnie

Edgar Kennedy - Director

Ford Sterling - Himself

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle - Himself 

Henry Lehrman - Himself

Peggy Pearce  - Keystone Actress

Minta Durfee - Actress/Woman in Audience

Hank Mann  - Prop Boy

Harry McCoy - Fireman and Audience Member

Frank Opperman - Audience Member with handlebar mustache

Billy Gilbert - Usher

Billy Hauber - Audience Member

Sadie Lampe - Audience Member

Grover Ligon - Audience Member

George Nichols - Actor in Film

 

N.B. : Previous filmographies credit Mack Sennett in the role

of the director. A closer look reveals that the part is played

by Edgar Kennedy.

 

Production Team

George Nichols - Director

Craig Hutchinson - Scenario

 

 

Tango Tangles

 

Tango Tangles is an impromptu Keystone comedy which exploited the current

"tango craze". A tango contest and exhibition prompted Mack Sennett) to

send a crew out to a local dance hall where some of the film was shot.

Charlie Chaplin appears in a tuxedo, sans the famous Tramp makeup and

costume, as a drunk who flirts with the hat check girl, Sadie Lampe, and

gets into fights with Ford Sterling and Roscoe Arbuckle, both musicians

at the dance hall who are also enamoured with her. Although slight in plot,

the film is interesting because the three principal Keystone actors appear

without comic makeup, and because we can observe the mirthful reactions of

the real dancers in the hall to the comic fight between Chaplin and

Sterling. Also of interest is the blending of location and studio footage,

noticeable due to differences in lighting and set.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tipsy Dancer

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle - Musician

Ford Sterling - Band Leader

Sadie Lampe - Hat Check Girl

Edgar Kennedy - Dance Hall Manager

Chester Conklin - Guest in Police Costume

Minta Durfee - Dancer

Billy Hauber - Flautist

Glen Cavender - Drummer, Guest in Cone Hat

Alice Davenport - Guest

Al St. John - Guest in Convict Costume

Frank Opperman - Clarinettist, Guest

Billy Gilbert - Guest in Cowboy Hat

Dave Morris - Dance Organizer

Hank Mann - Guest in Overalls

 

N.B.:  The role of the Hat Check Girl is often credited to Minta Durfee,

but this is in error (see note on Sadie Lampe above). Durfee appears as

one of the guests in the dance hall.

 

 

His Favorite Pastime

 

In Charles Chaplin's seventh film for the Keystone Company, the Little

Fellow's favorite pastime is drinking and chasing women. The film opens in

a saloon where Charlie is partaking of a free lunch and teasing a down-on-

his-luck Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle who is trying to bum a drink. We see an

early Chaplin "transposition" gag when Charlie tries to light a sausage,

thinking it's a cigar. After leaving the bar, Charlie accosts beautiful but

married Peggy Pierce (with whom Chaplin was involved romantically at the

time) as she and her maid wait for her husband to return to their taxi.

After being shooed away by the husband, he returns to the saloon and gets

into fights with various patrons. In the men's washroom he hands a towel,

with which he's polished his shoes to a man who has soap in his eyes,

causing him to blacken his face. Exiting the bar again, he follows the

maid's taxi home and gets into a melee with the maid, the lady herself and

her irate husband, who, with the aid of his household servants, ejects

Charlie from their home.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle - Drunk

Peggy Pearce - Beautiful Lady

Edgar Kennedy - Bullying Patron at Bar

Harry McCoy - Patron at Bar

Peggy Page- Member of Household

Billy Gilbert - Shoeshine Boy

Billy Hauber - Shoeshine Customer

 

with  Peggy Page  in "Laughing Gas"

 

N.B.: The petite but buxom young actress who debuts in a very minor

role in this film went on to perform roles in half of Chaplin's Keystones.

Playing key parts such as the pretty patient in "Laughing Gas", Garlico's

assistant in "The Property Man", the love interests in "Recreation" and

"His New Profession", Clarice the secretary in "The New Janitor" and the

landlady in "Those Love Pangs", until now has never been properly credited. 

She is often mistakenly cited as Minta Durfee, Norma Nichols or Rhea Mitchell.

In her last Chaplin/Keystone appearance as one of King Lowbrow's cave girl

wives in "His Prehistoric Past", she is assumed by some to be the actress

credited as Gene Marsh, but I am informed by Bo Berglund that Marsh

actually plays the first wife with whom Chaplin interacts and that Marsh

went on to co-star with Harold Lloyd in some of his 1915-1916 comedies.

Until now I referred  to her in this listing as Helen Carruthers, but now,

thanks to articles found by friend and researcher Steve Rydsewski,

I have reason to identify her as Peggy Page.  However I consider it a

possibility that Peggy Page might have been the stage name of Helen

Carruthers, due to her resemblance to an unclear photograph of Carruthers

in a newspaper article from the Oregonian newspaper from 1915.  The

article describes her as a Chaplin co-star at Keystone and tells of a suicide

attempt and recovery.

 

 

Cruel, Cruel Love

 

In his eighth film for Keystone Charlie Chaplin, in frock coat and bushy

mustache, is cast in the role of a melodramatic lover who attempts suicide

over his lost love. The film is a farce, a parody of the overacted

melodramas of the day. Mr. Dovey (Chaplin) is first seen in the drawing

room of his lady, Minta Durfee, on his knees proposing. The couple are

overheard and mocked by the lady's maid, whose laughter causes Minta to

eject her from the house. To get back at her boss, she arranges a hoax with

the gardener.  She feigns injury and her cries bring the departing Dovey to

her aid. When Minta sees her maid flirting with Dovey, she rejects him in a

jealous rage. Back at home the despondent Dovey drinks what he thinks is

poison; only his highly amused butler knows it was just water. Waiting for

the poison to take effect, Dovey has horrifying visions of his eternal

damnation. Meanwhile, Minta has learned of her maid's deception and has

sent the gardener to Dovey with a letter of apology. "It's too late. I've

been poisoned," says Dovey and the gardener goes back to retrieve Minta to

be at her dying man's side.  Dovey now summons doctors to save him,

drinking all the milk he can with evident distaste. When the physicians

arrive the butler lets them in on the joke and they play along too,

jokingly examining him. Minta, having raced to her man's home, learns of

the hoax and tells Dovey he's going to live. First relieved, then enraged,

he attacks all the pranksters and finally embraces his lady, removing from

his fingers a ball of hair he had pulled from his head and blowing it away.

 

Cast

Charles Chaplin - Lord Helpus/Mr. Dovey

Minta Durfee -  The Lady

Edgar Kennedy - Lord Helpus' Butler

Billy Hauber - Gardener

Glen Cavender - Doctor

Billy Gilbert - Ambulance Attendant

Eva Nelson - Maid

 

NB: Previous Chaplin filmographies list Chester Conklin and Alice Davenport

in the roles of Chaplin's butler and Durfee's maid respectively, but

viewing the film clearly reveals this to be in error. The actress playing

the maid has been identified by Bo Berglund as Eva Nelson, who also played

Conklin's girl in "Twenty Minutes of  Love" and Mack Swain's wife in

"Mabel's Married Life". 

 

Production Team

Mack Sennett - Director

Craig Hutchinson - Screenplay

Mack Sennett/Keystone Film Company - Producer

 

 

The Star Boarder

 

In Charlie Chaplin's ninth Keystone comedy Charlie is the star boarder in

Minta Durfee's rooming house. We first see his Tramp's shoes as he lies

in bed, a shot probably inserted to draw applause, a sign that the

character was gaining popularity. He gets preferential treatment at the

dinner table, much to the chagrin of the landlady's husband. After lunch

Minta and Charlie go out to play tennis. Charlie, taking a left handed

baseball swing, sends the ball into the bushes.  They go together to look

for the ball and begin to flirt.  Minta's son mischievously takes their

picture with a box camera as Minta straightens Charlie's tie. Edgar has

followed them and found the ball. His arrival breaks up the flirtation in a

flurry of ball-searching. Edgar then goes off and encounters one of the

female boarders Alice Davenport, who accidentally hits her head and

collapses into Edgar's arms. This too is photographed by the boy.  Later

the boy sets up his slide projector and gets a boarder to hang a sheet for

a screen. With everyone in attendance the slide show proceeds until the

photo of Alice and Edgar brings scowls from Minta and laughter from

Charlie. However the next slides of Charlie and Minta infuriate Edgar who

attacks Charlie, and a general melee ensues during which the boy gets a

spanking from his mother while Charlie finally bests Edgar.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Star Boarder

Minta Durfee - Landlady

Edgar Kennedy - Landlady's Husband

Gordon Griffith - Their Son

Alice Davenport - Landlady's Friend

Phyllis Allen - Boarder

Billy Gilbert - Boarder

Harry McCoy - Piano Playing Boarder

Al St. John - Boarder

 

Production Team

 

George Nichols or Mack Sennett - Director

Craig Hutchinson - Scenario

 

 

Mabel At The Wheel

Two reels

 

Mabel Normand wrote, directed and starred in Charlie Chaplin's tenth

film for Keystone. After disagreements with the directors of his previous

films, Sennett assigned him to Normand, but Chaplin was chomping at the bit

to direct his own films and, for this film at least, the Chaplin/Normand

relationship was not any better. It is another Keystone that takes

advantage of a public event, an auto race, for background. Chaplin plays

the motorcycle riding villain of the film, dressed in frock coat and top

hat (similar to his costume in his first film, Making a Living).  Mabel's

boyfriend, Harry McCoy, is a race car driver who comes to Mabel's house

to take her to the racetrack, but they argue because Harry won't let Mabel

drive. Charlie comes along on his bike and offers Mabel a ride, which she

accepts to make Harry jealous. When the cycle hits a bump, Mabel is thrown

off and lands in a puddle, unnoticed by Charlie who goes on talking. Harry

comes to her aid, they reconcile and he lets her drive the race car.

Charlie, having noticed Mabel's absence, finds them together and tries to

win her back, but is rejected. He decides to ruin Harry's chances of

winning the race, beginning with puncturing one of the tires on his car.

Later Charlie and his henchmen kidnap Harry and tie him up in a shed,

forcing Mabel to drive in the race. Determined to stop Mabel from winning,

Charlie and his men soak the track with water and throw bombs at the car,

but Mabel's driving skills prevail and she wins the race, much to the

chagrin of Charlie who, in a fit of rage, blows himself and his henchmen up

with their last remaining bomb. 

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Villain

Mabel Normand - Mabel

Chester Conklin - Mabel's Father

Mack Sennett -  Rube/Newsman

Harry McCoy - Mabel's Boyfriend

Edgar Kennedy - Man in Grandstand

Mack Swain - Man at Races

Billy Hauber - Mabel's co-driver

Alice Davenport - Woman in Grandstand

 

Production Team

 

Mabel Normand/Mack Sennett - Director, Scenario

 

 

Twenty Minutes of Love 

 

Charlie Chaplin once said, "All I need to make a comedy is a park, a

policeman and a pretty girl".  In this, his eleventh film for Keystone and

arguably his first original screenplay, his milieu is just that - Echo

Park, where most of the Keystone park films were shot. The Tramp makes fun of a

romantic couple (Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy) kissing on a bench.

He hugs and kisses a tree in mock romantic ardor, then goes over to pester

them and insinuate himself with the girl. Meanwhile another couple on

another park bench (Chester Conklin, Eva Nelson) argue because he

has no ring to give her nor the funds to buy one. He goes off and steals a

pocket watch from a sleeping man. His girlfriend has meanwhile wandered off

and encountered Charlie, with whom she flirts. The Little Fellow pursues

her but encounters Conklin who is looking for his girl. Charlie steals the

watch. He next meets a cop who gives him a scare by asking to see the

watch, but only wants to know the time.  Charlie gasps for breath, pats his

heart and wipes his brow after the cop departs. Chester finds his

girlfriend back on the same bench, but when he looks for the watch he finds

that it's gone.  He goes off again to look for it. Charlie finally catches

up with Chester's girl and gives her the watch, for which he receives a few

kisses, then declares his love for her. Chester returns to find Charlie

romancing his girl and accuses him of stealing the watch which Charlie

again steals and flees. As he turns a corner he sees the cop, raises his

right leg and skids to a stop (the first time this famous gag was seen in a

Chaplin film).  The couple get the cop to join in the chase, which ends

with everyone being thrown into the lake with the exception of Charlie, his

new girlfriend and the watch.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Chester Conklin - Pickpocket

Eva Nelson - Chester's Girl

Eva Nelson in "Twenty Minutes of Love"

 

Minta Durfee - Edgar's Girl

Edgar Kennedy - Lover

Josef Swickard - Sleeping Victim

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Writer/Director

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

 

Caught in a Cabaret

Two reels

 

Charlie Chaplin's twelfth film for the Keystone company was also his

directorial debut, getting a co-directing credit with co-star, Mabel

Normand. Chaplin plays a waiter in a seedy cabaret who is always in

trouble with his boss, Edgar Kennedy, and at odds with another waiter,

Chester Conklin.  While walking his dachshund in a park during his lunch

break, he rescues rich girl Mabel from the clutches of a thief who has

chased away her boyfriend, Harry McCoy.. Charlie introduces himself as

O.T. Axle, Ambassador from Greece, (the first of Chaplin's "impersonation"

roles)  and is brought home to meet her parents and receive their thanks,

much to the chagrin of Mabel's boyfriend. He receives an invitation to

return later for a garden party. The suspicious boyfriend follows Charlie

back to work and discovers the truth.  Back at work Charlie deals with a

bullying customer, Mack Swain, by serving him a drink and knocking him

out with a large mallet when Swain tilts his head back to drink. Later, at

the garden party, Charlie misbehaves, getting drunk, flirting with Mabel

and singing loudly along with the band.  The boyfriend, watching from a

distance is now determined to expose him.  When Charlie takes his leave to

return to work, Harry suggests that the party go slumming to the very

cabaret at which Charlie works. When the upper class guests arrive they are

treated like royalty by the workers and other patrons. When Charlie

discovers them at his table he hides the apron he's wearing and sits down

next to Mabel, pretending that he's another guest. When the boss scolds him

for sitting down on the job, Charlie is exposed as a lowly waiter, much to

the shock of Mabel and her father. A melee then ensues between Charlie and

his pistol wielding Boss, who Charlie knocks out while Mabel hides under a

table. Charlie protests his love for Mabel but she responds with a final

knockout blow.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Waiter

Mabel Normand - Mabel

Alice Davenport - Mother

Josef Swickard - Father

Harry Mc Coy - Lover

Chester Conklin - Waiter

Edgar Kennedy - Cafe Proprietor

Mack Swain - Tough at Bar and Party Guest

Phyllis Allen - Dancer

Minta Durfee - Dancer

Hank Mann - Customer

Billy Gilbert - Customer

Billy Hauber - Thief in Park

Grover Ligon - Bartender

Glen Cavender - Piano Player

Gordon Griffith - Boy

Alice Howell - Guest at Party

Wallace MacDonald - Guest at Party

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand - Writer/Director

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

Caught in the Rain

 

Charlie Chaplin's thirteenth film for Keystone marked his first solo effort

as writer and director. It follows the well trodden path of the classic

Keystone park/hotel farces with a few twists added in. The film opens in

Echo Park where couple Mack Swain and Alice Davenport are seated on a bench .

Hubby gets up to buy refreshments at a nearby stand.

 

We first see Charlie by a drinking fountain as he flirts with Alice. Mack returns

and chases Charlie off, fighting with Alice all the while. The arguing

couple return to their hotel, while The Tramp goes off to a saloon.  He

later arrives at the hotel where, it turns out, they are all guests.

Charlie wreaks a bit of havoc in the lobby, flirting with the ladies and

upsetting the desk clerk. His acrobatic efforts to mount the stairs in his

inebriated condition anticipates his classic short One A.M.. Charlie

finally makes it upstairs but enters the wrong room, interrupting the now

reconciled Mack and Alice. Mack, jealous again, ejects Charlie from the

room. Charlie goes to his own room across the hall where he comically

prepares for bed. Meanwhile Mack has gone out for a drink, and his

sleepwalking wife now enters Charlie's room, sits on his bed waking him up,

and begins searching his pants for money. Charlie wakes her up, and is

about to escort her back to her room, when Mack returns. When Mack goes

downstairs to find his missing wife, Charlie takes her back to her room.

Just as Charlie is about to leave, Mack appears in the hall. Panicked,

Alice pushes Charlie, still in his pajamas, out the window and onto the

balcony, in the  middle of a drenching deluge. Meanwhile a suspicious Mack

has again taken up the fight with his wife. A Keystone Kop on the sidewalk

below assumes Charlie's a burglar and begins firing his pistol, which

causes Charlie to burst back into the room. A melee ensues in which the

cops are scared away, Mack collapses in Charlie's room, and Charlie and

Alice pass out on the hallway floor.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tipsy Hotel Guest

Alice Davenport - Wife

Mack Swain - Husband

Alice Howell - Hotel Guest

Peggy Page - Chambermaid

Grover Ligon - Cop

Slim Summerville - Cop

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Writer/Director

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

A Busy Day

Split Reel

a.k.a. Lady Charlie, A Militant Suffragette

 

Notable as Charlie Chaplin's first female impersonation film, the half-

reel A Busy Day is another of the Keystone shorts in which a film crew

was dispatched to improvise a comedy at the site of a public event, in this

case a parade celebrating the opening of a new harbor in San Pedro,

California. Chaplin plays a shrewish wife, attending the event with her

philandering husband, Mack Swain. Mack takes up with a young woman at the

parade and his wife follows him around trying to catch them in the act.  In

the process, "she" gets involved with a film crew trying to record the

event, getting in the way of the camera as Chaplin's Tramp had done in the

earlier Kid Auto Races. In this case the director who manhandles the

obstreperous wife is Keystone boss, Mack Sennett.  The jealous wife also

engages in some humorous dancing as she listens to the band play, and

tussles with a cop who earlier had tried to get her away from the movie

camera. Eventually she catches up to Mack and his paramour and when she

confronts and attacks them, she is thrown off a pier into the ocean

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Wife

Mack Swain - Husband

? - The Other Woman

Billy Gilbert - Cop, Bystander

Mack Sennett - Newsreel Film Director

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Director

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

The Fatal Mallet 

 

Charlie Chaplin's fifteenth comedy for Keystone is another violent park

farce. It is the only teaming of this quartet of Keystone stars. Chaplin,

Mack Sennett and Mack Swain are all suitors for the attentions of

Mabel Normand. Charlie comes upon Sennett (playing his "dumb rube"

character) and Normand flirting by a tree.  Charlie attempts to dispatch

Sennett with a thrown brick, but grazes Mabel, incurring her wrath. Swain,

the rival who seems to have Mabel's favor, shows up and takes Mabel off.

Charlie and Sennett sneak up on Swain, seated on a swing with Mabel, and

knock him out with more bricks.  A series of confrontations between the

three suitors ensue, won mainly by Chaplin.  He ends up temporarily

imprisoning his rivals in a nearby shed, through his deft use of a large

mallet (although not fatal) which he wields with customary grace. Due to

his bullying of a young boy who he discovers sitting with Mabel, Charlie

doesn't win her favor. When the recovered Swain confronts him, Swain winds

up in the lake. Sennett, watching from nearby, returns and similarly

dispatches Charlie, and then strolls away with Mabel on his arm.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Suitor

Mabel Normand - Mabel

Mack Sennett - Rival Suitor

Mack Swain - Another Rival

Gordon Griffith - Boy

 

 

Her Friend the Bandit

 

Chaplin's sixteenth film for Keystone is the only Chaplin film known to be

lost.  What we know of its plot comes from the movie magazines of the day.

Apparently Charlie is the bandit who accosts a Count on his way to a

society party and assumes his clothes, invitation and identity. He

encounters rich girl Mabel Normand there and eventually the Keystone Kops

show up to arrest Charlie. The plot seems to anticipate Chaplin's later

Mutual film, The Count.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Bandit

Mabel Normand - Mrs. De Rocks

Charlie Murray - Count De Beans

 

 

The Knockout

Two reels

 

Although better known as Charlie Chaplin's seventeenth appearance in a

Keystone comedy, The Knockout is really a Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle film.

The big event in Fatty's town is a prize fight in which champ Cyclone Flynn

will meet all comers. Fatty is tricked into accepting the fight by two

hobos who are making book on the fight. Through a note ostensibly from

Flynn, they offer Fatty a split if he throws the fight, but Fatty, thinking

one of the hobos is Flynn, refuses. The real Flynn arrives and dispatches

the impostors. The match proceeds with heavy betting going on and Fatty's

girlfriend dressed as a boy in order to gain entrance to the arena. Charlie

is the referee who is constantly being knocked down by the fighters because

he keeps getting in between them. Angered by losing after a short count,

Fatty grabs two six-guns from a gambler at ringside and begins firing in

all directions. Cyclone takes to his heels and a classic rooftop Keystone

chase ensues, with the Keystone Kops in pursuit of Fatty, in pursuit of

Cyclone. When the Kops lasso Fatty, he drags six of them along the ground

by the rope until he leaps off a pier taking them all with him. With

everyone treading water, the Kops surround Fatty as the film ends.

 

 

Cast

 

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle - Fatty

Minta Durfee - Fatty's Girlfriend

Edgar Kennedy - Cyclone Flynn

Charles Chaplin - Referee

Frank Opperman - Fight Promoter

Joe Bordeaux - Policeman

Charley Chase - Policeman, Spectator

Edward F. Cline - Policeman

Hank Mann - Tough

Grover Ligon - Tough

Al St. John  - Boxer - Fatty's Rival

Mack Sennett - Spectator

Mack Swain - Spectator

Slim Summerville - Spectator

Alice Howell - Party Guest

Billy Gilbert - Singer

 

Production Team

 

Charles Avery - Director

Charles Chaplin - Director (fight scene)

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

 

Mabel's Busy Day

 

Charlie Chaplin's eighteenth film for Keystone was likely co-written and co-directed by co-star Mabel Normand. It was shot entirely on location at an automobile race track during a racing event.

 

Mabel plays a hot dog vendor who sneaks in to the track by bribing the cop who guards the gate with one of her hot dogs. As soon as she sets up shop she's accosted by various male customers who give her a hard time by refusing to pay, or returning a hot dog when she has no change.

 

Chaplin isn't dressed in his usual Tramp outfit, but as a race track tout in a frock coat with a flower in his lapel. He is clearly broke - he sneaks into the stadium by beating up a cop and crashing past a ticket taker and, finding one of Mabel's hot dogs on the ground, first tries to light it from the stub of his cigar, and then eats it hungrily. Charlie rescues Mabel from a particularly aggressive customer, but then steals her tray and tries to sell the hot dogs himself. The other race track fans give him a hard time as well, jostling him about and knocking off his hat. Meanwhile, Mabel has fetched a cop who the agile Chaplin bests in a fight. Defeated, Mabel bursts into tears and Charlie, touched by her emotions, decides he feels sorry for her and walks off with her arm in arm, presumably to protect her from further harassment.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tipsy Nuisance

Mabel Normand - Mabel

Chester Conklin - Policeman

Mack Sennett - Customer

Glen Cavender - Customer

Billie Bennett - Woman

Edgar Kennedy - Spectator

Harry Mc Coy - Spectator

Charley Chase - Spectator

Peggy Page - Spectator

Slim Summerville - Policeman

Wallace MacDonald - Spectator

Frank Opperman - Spectator

Charles Bennett - Spectator

 

 

Mabel's Married Life

 

In his nineteenth film for Keystone Charlie Chaplin plays a somewhat more

sympathetic role as the husband of comedienne Mabel Normand. As so many

of his Keystone comedies do, it begins in a park where Mack Swain,

dressed in a sporty outfit and carrying a tennis racquet, leaves his wife

seated on a bench and goes off to a neighbouring saloon. Charlie and Mabel

are seated on a nearby bench arguing about the state of Charlie's worn out

shoes. Charlie goes off for a drink in the saloon, passing Mack on the way

in, who returns to the park and begins to flirt with Mabel. She is first

bemused by his attentions but then is outraged when Charlie returns and is

unable to rescue her. In fact he isn't even able to get Mack's attention

despite increasingly hard kicks to Mack's posterior, anticipating Charlie's

confrontation with the bully in Easy Street.  Mack eventually flings

Charlie's top hat off in the direction of the bench where Mack's wife is

seated. While Charlie retrieves the hat Mack take Mabel over to the lake

shore where despite her protestations and calls for Charlie to help her, he

persists in mashing her. Mack's wife hears the commotion and, with Charlie,

she confronts Mack and Mabel, accusing Mabel of flirting with Mack.

Charlie, angry with Mabel, sends her home. Mabel, angry with Charlie for

his weakness in not defending her, buys a prizefighter's dummy, which is

dressed just like Mack, from a sporting goods store. Meanwhile, Charlie has

returned to the saloon where he is harassed by the other patrons including

Mack.  Finally, Charlie is drunk enough to defend himself which he does by

felling all four patrons with one well placed kick.  The dummy is delivered

to Charlie and Mabel's apartment and when Charlie comes home, he drunkenly

believes the dummy to be Mack. He is intimidated by the dummy and tries to

pacify it, offering it a drink. Whenever he pushes it, it rebounds and

knocks him to the floor.  Finally, Mabel enters from the bedroom and shows

her soused husband that he's been afraid of a dummy.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Husband

Mabel Normand - Wife

Mack Swain - Wellington, a Ladykiller

Eva Nelson - Wellington's Wife

Alice Davenport - Neighbor

Dixie Chene - Neighbor

Hank Mann - Tough in Bar

Harry Mc Coy - Man in Bar

Charles Murray - Man in Bar

Grover Ligon - Bartender

Frank Opperman - Sporting Goods Salesman

Wallace MacDonald - Delivery Boy

 

 

Laughing Gas

 

Charlie Chaplin's twentieth film for Keystone marks a turning point in
his career. From this point on, with one exception, he was to write and
direct all his future films.

 

In Laughing Gas Chaplin plays a dentist's assistant who is first seen

entering the office officiously. The patients are fooled into thinking he is the

dentist himself, until he picks up the spittoons and exits to a back room. He

confronts a midget size co-worker there. The Dentist finally arrives and the

first patient is admitted.  Laughing gas is administered and the extraction

performed, but the dentist is not able to awaken the patient. He sends Charlie

out to the pharmacy for an antidote.

Charlie encounters Mack Swain who is standing in front of the pharmacy, blocking the
entrance. Charlie gains entrance by performing some of his famous hat tricks, which
non plus Swain. Exiting the pharmacy Charlie gets into a fight with Swain which evolves

into brick throwing.  Swain and an innocent bystander, Slim Summerville, are both hit 


On his way back to the office, Charlie encounters and flirts with the dentist's wife, and accidentally tears off her skirt. When Charlie arrives with the medicine, the patient has left and the dentist has been called away to attend his distraught wife. Charlie admits a beautiful female patient who he pretends to examine, but with whom he flirts by grasping her nose with a pair of pliers and kissing her, to her apparent amusement. Slim and Mack then arrive at the office and Mack catches sight of Charlie in the back room. The dentist and his wife arrive and a melee ensues in which everyone is literally kicked out onto the pavement, except Charlie and the wife who collapse in the waiting room.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Dentist's Assistant

Alice Howell - Dentist's Wife (Mrs. Pain)

Josef Swickard - Patient

Fritz Schade - Dentist (Dr. Pain)

Mack Swain - Patient

Peggy Page - Pretty Patient

Slim Summerville - Patient

Joseph Sutherland - Short Assistant

 

 

The Property Man

Two reels

 

In Charlie Chaplin's 21st Keystone film, Charlie is the prop man and

general factotum at a vaudeville house. The artists arrive backstage as

Charlie swigs beer from a pitcher, refusing to share with his elderly,

hunchbacked assistant, whom he mistreats throughout. The headliners are the

Goo-Goo Sisters, with whom Charlie flirts outrageously, while hiding his

beer in his roomy pants, only to be undone when he bends to pick up one of

the ladies' purses.

 

Garlico the Strong Man and his assistant arrive, and Charlie must struggle

to load in his heavy props trunk and the trunks of the other acts.  He shifts

his burden to his assistant, making him carry the heavy trunk on his back,

while Charlie carries a hat box. After an argument over dressing rooms, the

show begins before a rowdy audience which includes Keystone boss

Mack Sennett in his "Rube" character.

 

Charlie messes up the acts, going onstage, dropping scenery backdrops at

the wrong time and fighting with his assistant all the while. When the

strong man's assistant is accidentally knocked out during the fighting,

Charlie takes her place, disrupting Garlico's act by ripping a piece of

cloth behind his back as he lifts each weight, making him think that it's

his costume that has ripped. When the infuriated Garlico attacks Charlie, a

melee breaks out which ends with Charlie grabbing a fire hose and soaking

actors, scenery and audience alike, anticipating similar gags in the

subsequent films, A Night in the Show and A King in New York.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Property Man

Josef Swickard - Assistant Prop Man

Jess Dandy - Garlico, the Strongman

Peggy Page - Garlico's assistant

Phyllis Allen - Lena Fat

Charles Bennett - Geo. Ham - Lena's husband

Cecile Arnold, Vivian Edwards - Goo-Goo Sisters

Fritz Schade - Singer

Harry Mc Coy - Audience Member

Mack Sennett - Audience Member

Slim Summerville - Audience Member

Dixie Chene  - Audience Member

Frank Opperman - Audience Member

Chester Conklin - Audience Member

Ted Edwards - Audience Member

 

Jess Dandy in "His New Profession

 

NB: Jess Dandy, the actor who plays Garlico, is often mistaken for Fritz

Schade, who is also in this film as a singer. He plays many roles in

Chaplin's Keystones, notably the Lover in "Face on the Barroom Floor" and

the Bank President in The New Janitor, roles generally credited to Schade.

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, scenario

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

The Face on the Bar Room Floor

 

The Face on the Bar-Room Floor, Charlie Chaplin's twenty second

Keystone comedy was based on a well known poem by Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, 

"The Face Upon the Floor". The film begins in a saloon where Charlie, a

destitute Tramp is bumming drinks. He offers to tell the story of his

downfall to the other patrons, and the story goes into a long flashback

sequence. The Tramp was once a successful artist. We see him dressed in a

tuxedo, at work in his studio, painting a portrait of his wife, played by

Cecile Arnold. His next client is a portly man, who is obviously well to

do. When the wife comes into the studio, she and the client fall instantly in

love. Later they run off together, leaving a note pinned to the nose of the

portrait. Charlie returns to the studio and upon finding the note, flies into

a rage, destroying the portrait.

 

Time passes. Charlie is now a Tramp in a park. His former wife and her lover

come into view with four children in tow and another in a baby carriage. She

is berating her new man and doesn't notice Charlie, but her husband looks at

him enviously. Charlie wipes his brow, looking relieved and strolls off.

Back in the bar room, the flashback finished, Charlie is handed a piece of

chalk. Now quite drunk, he attempts to draw his ex-wife's picture on the

floor. He is ordered out of the bar by the other patrons and a fight breaks

out, ending with Charlie collapsing, unconscious on the face upon the

floor.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Artist

Cecile Arnold - Madeleine

Jess Dandy - Lover who Stole her

Vivian Edwards - Model

Chester Conklin - Drinker

Josef Swickard - Drinker

Fritz Schade - Drinker

Charles Bennett - Sailor

Frank Opperman - Drinker

Harry McCoy - Drinker

 

NB: The role of Madeleine's lover has been erroneously credited to

Fritz Schade, but is actually played by Jess Dandy.  Schade is in the bar

scenes wearing a checkered cloth cap.

 

Recreation 

Split reel

 

 

 

For this half reel quickie, Charlie Chaplin's 23rd Keystone comedy,

Chaplin took cast and crew back to Echo Park, scene of so many of the

Keystones, and shot it in a day. While a sleeping sailor and his bored girl

friend occupy a park bench, the little Tramp is contemplating suicide on a

nearby bridge. Leaving her boring beau she passes Charlie and inspires in

him a new will to live. He follows her to another bench and, shyly at

first, begins a flirtation. The sailor wakes and finding them together,

chases Charlie away with a hard slap. Charlie, from behind a tree begins a

brick throwing match in which inevitably, two Kops become involved. One

comes up behind Charlie as he's about to throw another brick and Charlie

(in a bit of business which anticipates a bit he gave to Jackie Coogan in

his 1921 classic, The Kid) dusts off the brick, tosses it idly, and

throws it over his shoulder.  Eventually the Kops catch up with the sailor

and he successfully fights them off, getting them embroiled with each

other. Meanwhile the Girl has escaped to the lake side and is joined by

Charlie. When the sailor and Kops arrive, all five end up treading water in

Echo Lake.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Charles Bennett - Seaman on Park Bench

Peggy Page - Girl

 

N.B.: All Chaplin filmographies identify Charlie Murray in the

role of the sailor. A close examination of the film reveals this

to be in error. Murray, at over 6' tall, towered over Chaplin. The

sailor is roughly the same height and size as Chaplin. He is the

same actor who plays the sailor in "Face on the Barroom Floor"

(in the same costume) and Douglas Banks in "Tillie's Punctured Romance",

Charles Bennett.

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

The Masquerader

 

 

 

Vivian Edwards, Chaplin and Cecile Arnold

 

Charlie Chaplin's twenty fourth short for the Keystone company is a film

about making films at Keystone. It is unusual in that we see Chaplin the

actor, Charlie the Tramp, and Chaplin's second female impersonation in a

film. The film opens outside the Keystone Studio where Chaplin, in street

clothes, is talking to Mabel Normand and a reporter, who is writing on a

pad. Charlie Murray emerges and grabs Chaplin by the ear and drags him

inside - it's time for work.  Murray leaves Chaplin at the dressing room

where Fatty Arbuckle is also preparing for work. Chaplin begins by

brushing off his Tramp pants. Seated at a dressing table across from

Arbuckle he hears Fatty open a beer bottle and tries to sneak a swig, but

Fatty substitutes his hair tonic instead. Meanwhile, on the stage, Murray

is rehearsing a melodramatic scene with two actors.  Chaplin is now in

costume as the Tramp. On the set, Charlie misses his entrance because he is

flirting with two lovely actresses, and messes up the scene. He is replaced

by fellow actor Chester Conklin, but interferes with Chester's entrance

and is chased out of the studios. The next day a "Beautiful Stranger"

appears - it's Charlie in drag and his female impersonation is perfect. He

immediately attracts the attentions of every male in the company,

especially director Murray's. Murray tries to make time with the stranger

and hires her to act in films. He gives her the men's dressing room, amid

the objections of all the actors. While Murray's back is turned Charlie

lets us in on the gag by winking at the camera, and later takes a very

unladylike drag on Murray's cigarette. Alone, Charlie removes his disguise,

and resumes his Tramp outfit.  When the director comes looking for his new

actress, he finds Charlie and discovers his deception. He chases Charlie

through the various film sets until Charlie jumps into what he thinks is a

prop well.  It turns out to be a real one and the film closes as Murray and

the actors mock Charlie as he struggles, sinking, at the bottom of the

well.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Film Actor/Beautiful Stranger

Charles Murray - Film Director

Chester Conklin - Film Actor

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle - Film Actor

Mabel Normand - Actress

Cecile Arnold - Actress

Vivian Edwards - Actress

Charley Chase - Actor

Peggy Page - Actress

Minta Durfee - Leading Lady

Harry Mc Coy - Actor

Jess Dandy - Actor/Villain

Glen Cavender - Other Director

Frank Opperman - Actor

Billy Gilbert - Cameraman

 

 
His New Profession

 

Charlie Chaplin's 25th Keystone comedy is a park farce on the same order

as many of his earlier shorts. It opens with a famous shot of Charlie

sitting on a park bench, reading Police Gazette, the National Enquirer of

its time.  A couple nearby are unhappy; the boy, Charles Parrot (later

known as Charley Chase), has to take care of his gouty, wheelchair bound

uncle, preventing him from going off with his girlfriend. He gets an

idea - find someone to push uncle around for the day. He finds Charlie,

of course, but not before his girlfriend encounters the Tramp. She

accidentally drops her purse in front of him and he retrieves it and tries

to flirt. When Charlie agrees to push Uncle around, the Nephew finds his

girlfriend and they go off for a stroll. Wheeling Uncle past a saloon,

Charlie asks for an advance for a drink but the Uncle refuses.  Charlie

pushes Uncle to a nearby pier where another invalid in a wheelchair with a

tin cup and a "Help A Cripple" sign has fallen asleep. Charlie deftly puts

the sign and cup on Uncle, who is also dozing. The first contribution is

enough to send Charlie off to the saloon for a drink. Meanwhile the couple

arrive at the pier and find the sleeping Uncle in this embarrassing

position. Gene laughingly teases her beau as they again escape. Another

charitable soul comes by and drops a coin in the cup which awakens the

cripple who takes back his sign and cup and strikes Uncle on his gouty foot

with his cane.  Charlie arrives quite tipsy and wheels Uncle further along

the pier, amusing him with his Police Gazette. The couple has meanwhile had

a fight and the girl arrives on the pier and sits down next to Charlie.  He

begins flirting again and when Uncle tries to interfere Charlie pushes him

right to the end of the pier.  Nephew arrives and is enraged to see Charlie

and Gene together. A scrap begins also involving a couple of Kops, one of

whom shoos the boyfriend away before being pushed off the pier. The other

Kop pinches Uncle as a troublemaker, leaving Charlie and Gene to walk off

together. 

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Charlie

Charley Chase - Nephew

Peggy Page - Nephew's girlfriend

Jess Dandy - Uncle

Cecile Arnold - Girl with eggs

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle - Bartender

Billy Hauber - Policeman

Glen Cavender - Man at Bar/Cripple

Charlie Murray - Man at Bar

Vivian Edwards - Nurse

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Scenario

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

The Rounders

 

In his twenty-sixth Keystone comedy Charlie Chaplin pairs off with fellow

Keystone star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Charlie and Fatty are both drunks

and are both married to domineering wives. Charlie, dressed in top hat and

evening clothes, arrives at his hotel drunk and is confronted by wife

Phyllis Allen who berates and manhandles him.  Fatty arrives a few

moments later and, in an adjacent room, meets a similar fate with his wife,

Minta Durfee, his real life spouse. The noise of their fight makes

Phyllis send Charlie over to see what's going on.  Minta begins to attack

Charlie and Phyllis intervenes on his behalf.  With the ladies locked in

battle, the men, realizing that they are lodge brothers, steal money from

their wives' purses and escape to a nearby cafe. At the cafe they cause a

commotion, both eventually bunking down to sleep on the cafe floor. By now

the wives have discovered that they've been robbed and have banded together

to look for Charlie and Fatty. They arrive at the cafe but the boys escape

and stagger to a park. Just before the wives and the outraged cafe patrons

can catch them, they take a rowboat from a couple at the park and row out

to the middle of the lake, where they lay down to sleep. Unfortunately, the

boat has a leak and both men go down with the ship.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Mr. Full, a Reveller

Phyllis Allen - Mrs. Full

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle - Mr. Fuller, His Neighbor

Minta Durfee - Mrs. Fuller

Al St. John - Bellhop/Waiter

Jess Dandy - Diner

Charley Chase - Diner

Wallace MacDonald - Diner

Dixie Chene - Diner

Peggy Page - Diner

Billy Gilbert - Black Doorman

Eddie Cline - Hotel Guest

Cecile Arnold - Hotel Guest

  

The New Janitor

 

In Charlie Chaplin's twenty-seventh comedy for Keystone, and arguably his

best, he plays not a homeless Tramp, but an inept janitor in a bank. The

film is a forerunner of his later Essanay film The Bank.  It is the first

Chaplin film in which is seen a glimmer of the pathos mixed with comedy

that would become his Tramp's defining characteristic.  Charlie is first

seen in the lobby of the building with his broom and dustpan being shut out

of an elevator ride by a nasty elevator operator. He makes the long climb

upstairs and begins his duties cleaning the offices, but bungles most of

the jobs. Dusting in the President's office he is clearly smitten by the lovely

stenographer.  She is in love with the Manager, which is seen

as she caresses his hat hanging outside his office.  In that office the

Manager receives a note from his bookie who threatens to expose him if he

does not pay his gambling debts. He decides to rob the safe in the

President's office.  Meanwhile, Charlie accidentally dumps a bucket of

water out the office window which soaks the President. Enraged, the

President rushes upstairs and fires Charlie, who begs for his job. (During

a rehearsal of this scene, according to Chaplin's autobiography, Alice

Davenport watching from the sidelines found Charlie's protestations so

pathetic she burst into tears.)  Unable to change the Presidents mind,

Charlie heads downstairs to the storage room and prepares to leave. When

the President and the stenographer leave, the Manager sneaks into the

President's office and opens the safe. He's caught by the steno who has

returned unexpectedly and he attacks her, threatening her with a gun. Just

before she faints, she presses a call button which rings in the janitor's

storage room. Charlie, after a moment of indecision, makes his way upstairs

and seeing the situation, knocks the gun from the Manager's hand. Bending

over to pick it up with his back turned, he holds the Manager at bay by

aiming the gun between his legs.  He steps over his arms and goes to the

window, firing some shots which quickly brings a cop to the office. The

President arrives and when it is assumed that Charlie is the hold up man,

he is apprehended by the cop. The stenographer awakens and identifies

Charlie as the real hero, who receives a reward and a handshake for his

efforts.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Janitor

John T. (Jack) Dillon - Villainous Manager

Peggy Page - Secretary

Al St. John - Elevator Boy

Jess Dandy - Bank President

Glen Cavender - Luke Connor

 

N.B.: John T. Dillon, who plays the bank manager, is not to be confused with John

Francis Dillon, who worked at Keystone in 1917.  John T. knew Sennett from his

Biograph days and co-starred with him in Sennett's 1911 directorial debut, 

"Comrades".

  

Those Love Pangs

 

Charlie Chaplin's 28th Keystone comedy pits him against Chester Conklin

as rival for the attentions of their landlady, and for Chester's girlfriend,

Cecile Arnold. After the mid day meal each of the rivals tries to chat up the

landlady, only to be prevented by the other.

 

They decide to go out together to prevent a fight, but split up as Charlie

stops in front of a bar while Chester proceeds to a park. Charlie is

distracted, however, by a passing beauty who gives him the eye. He follows

her a bit but is put off by the lady's large boyfriend. Going on to the

park, Charlie has a confrontation with the large boyfriend and observes

Chester's meeting with his girlfriend who is incredibly solicitous. She

begs for affection and even gives Chester money, much to Charlie's

amazement and envy. Charlie eventually dispatches both boyfriends and

follows the girls to a movie theatre where, sitting between them, he charms

the pair of beauties making some rather amusing gestures with his feet. The

boyfriends show up and replace the girls in their seats while Charlie

dozes. A fight ensues in which Charlie is thrown through the movie screen.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Masher

Chester Conklin - Rival

Peggy Page - Landlady

Cecile Arnold - Blond Girl

Vivian Edwards - Brunette Girl

Harry Mc Coy - Policeman

Fritz Schade - Movie Patron

Fred Fishback - Vivian's Boyfriend

Slim Summerville - Movie Patron

Grover Ligon - Movie Patron

Billy Gilbert - Movie Patron

Billy Hauber - Movie Patron

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Scenario

Mack Sennett- Producer

 

  

Dough and Dynamite

Two reels

 

Charlie Chaplin's 29th comedy for Keystone was one of his most popular,

grossing $130,000 in its initial year of release. It was shot before, but

released after Those Love Pangs, and was originally conceived as an early

sequence of the latter, showing Charlie and Chester Conklin at work in a

combination cafe/bakery. The sequence was so good Mack Sennett suggested

that Chaplin expand it. Waiter Charlie has his mind on a waitress as he

clears one patron's plate onto the food of another. He mans the bakery

counter and is taken with a female customer, especially her hip movements

which he imitates. He gets into fights with fellow waiter Chester and

disrupts work in the bakery below. The bakers strike for higher wages and

Charlie and Chester are imprest into service as bakers at which both are

inept. The striking bakers plot revenge as one of them buys a loaf of bread

and inserts a stick of dynamite into it. They send a little girl to return

it as undercooked, and the owner's wife brings it downstairs to have it

baked further. She observes Charlie's method of bagel making - whipping a

roll of dough around his wrist forming a ring and rolling it off over his

hand. Meanwhile the owner, Fritz Schade, has been noticing that the

waitresses have dough on their derrieres, indicating they've been

socializing with Charlie in the bakery.  When his wife returns from

downstairs, the owner likewise sees dough on her behind, put there by

Charlie, and he flies into a rage. He goes down to the bakery and berates

Charlie, slaps him around and chases him upstairs to the restaurant and

down again. In self defense Charlie flings dough and flour bags at Fritz

and Chester. Just then the oven explodes, covering Chester and Fritz with

debris and burying Charlie under a huge lump of dough from which he

emerges, eyes first, as the film ends. 

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Pierre

Chester Conklin - Jacques

Fritz Schade - Monsieur La Vie, bakery owner

Norma Nichols - Owner's Wife

Vivian Edwards - Customer

Cecile Arnold - Waitress

Jess Dandy - Female Cook

Charles Bennett - Angry Customer

Charley Chase - Customer

Glen Cavender - Head Baker

Slim Summerville - Striking Baker

Phyllis Allen - Customer

Wallace MacDonald - Customer

 

N.B. Some character names in this and other films below were supplied

by Doug Sulpy from the original 1914 Keystone copyright filings in the

Library of Congress.

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Scenario

Mack Sennett - Producer, Scenario

  

Gentlemen of Nerve

 

Charlie Chaplin's 30th Keystone comedy is again set at the auto races, as

were his earlier films, Kid's Auto Race, Mabel at the Wheel and

Mabel's Busy Day. However this time, as Chaplin scholar Harry Geduld

suggests, it was likely shot at the Keystone studios with shots of the race

intercut. Charlie tries to sneak in by walking backwards through the gate

but is turned back. He has a contretemps with Ambrose (Mack Swain), also

trying to sneak in.  The two resolve their differences for the moment and

try to sneak in through a gap in the fence. Swain gets stuck and Charlie

tries to help him through the gap with pushes, kicks and by trying to wedge

him in with a baseball bat. Mabel and boyfriend Chester are there too, but

Chester insists on flirting with the unlikely Phyllis Allen. Mabel, fed up

with Chester's infidelity, is charmed by the nervy gentleman tramp. When

Chester returns to the grandstand to reclaim a protesting Mabel, Charlie

comes to her rescue. He shoves Chester into Ambrose and a cop, who arrests

both as troublemakers, to the delight of Charlie and Mabel. Mabel rewards

Charlie by letting him kiss her hand and playfully tweaks his nose as the

new couple enjoy the rest of the race.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Mr. Wow-Wow

Mabel Normand - Mabel

Chester Conklin - Walrus

Mack Swain - Ambrose

Phyllis Allen - Flirty woman

Charley Chase - Spectator at entrance

Cecile Arnold - Spectator

Peggy Page - Spectator with checkered coat

Harry McCoy - Spectator

Glen Cavender - Spectator at entrance, Cop

Tammany Young - Spectator at entrance

Slim Summerville - Spectator

Vivian Edwards - Spectator

Billy Gilbert* - Spectator

Billy Hauber - Spectator

Dixie Chene - Spectator with bottle

Alice Davenport - Patron at outdoor bar

Fred Fishback - Spectator

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Scenario

Mack Sennett - Producer

  

His Musical Career

 

Charlie Chaplin's musical career is as a piano mover for a music store in

this, his thirty-first comedy for Keystone. The film is a direct

inspiration for Laurel and Hardy's 1932 short, The Music Box. His

Little Fellow is not a tramp but a hard-working labourer.  Charlie is first

seen applying for his job, being examined, muscles and even teeth, by Mack

Swain. In the showroom, we see Mr. Rich (Fritz Schade) deciding to buy a

piano from salesman, Charley Chase, and a few moments later, Mr. Poor

being threatened that his piano will be repossessed if he can't make his

payments. Mack and Charlie are sent to deliver the one piano and pick up

the other, for which, of course, they will mix up the addresses. As they

take the piano outside, Mack pulls Charlie along the showroom floor, as

Charlie smiles to the camera, expressing his delight in a free ride.  They

load the piano onto the horse-drawn wagon. At one point the slope is so

severe that when Mack leans to the back of the wagon, the donkey is lifted

right off the ground. Arriving at Mr. Poor's house the residents are

delighted that they seem to be receiving a free piano, as Charlie carries

the piano on his back and must be straightened out by boss Mack.  Next, the

movers proceed to Mr. Rich's house and proceed to take his piano, over the

objections of Mrs. Rich.  Mr. Rich arrives as Charlie and Mack get the piano out

to the sidewalk. A kick to Mack's backside sends the piano, Charlie and Mack

skidding down a steep hill, and to Mr. Rich's horror, into Echo Lake in Echo Park

where Charlie plays some last notes before they begin to sink.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Piano Mover

Mack Swain - Mike, His Partner

Frank Hayes - Mr. Poor

Peggy Page - Miss Poor

Charley Chase - Piano Store Manager

Billy Gilbert - Piano Store Salesman

Cecile Arnold - Mrs. Rich

Fritz Schade - Mr. Rich

Billy Hauber - Servant

 

His Trysting Place

Two reels

 

In his 32nd film for Keystone, Charlie Chaplin is a married man, an

unusual state for his film character. His wife, played by Mabel Normand,

complains that they have no money for new shoes for her or food for their

baby.  They have a fight and Charlie leaves, promising to bring a present

home for their son. Meanwhile another couple in a hotel room are rather

lovey, as the wife, Phyllis Allen helps hubby Ambrose, Mack Swain

prepare to go out. On his way out, a young lady who has just completed a

love letter asks Ambrose to mail it for her.  He puts the letter in his

coat pocket. Charlie goes to a drug store and buys a bottle for the baby,

which he puts in his coat pocket. He proceeds to a diner where,

coincidentally, Ambrose has gone for lunch. The pair get into a funny food

fight at the lunch counter, and switch coats accidentally. When Charlie

arrives home Mabel finds the note in his pocket and flies into a rage,

eventually breaking an ironing board over his head. Charlie escapes to a

nearby park where Ambrose has met his wife who consoles him over the

beating he has just taken from Charlie. Calmed down, Mack goes to a nearby

refreshment stand.  Mabel has by now caught up with Charlie and is

delivering quite a beating, which delights Mack. Meanwhile, Phyllis has

found the baby bottle in "his" coat pocket and when he returns to their

bench berates him for his infidelity. When Mabel shows Charlie the note she

has found, he examines the coat and the mystery is solved. The two men

exchange coats, but when Charlie returns the love note to Mack, Phyllis

attacks him with her umbrella. But Charlie, Mabel and their baby are

reunited in a picture of connubial bliss.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Clarence, the Husband

Mabel Normand - Mabel, His Wife

Mack Swain - Ambrose

Phyllis Allen - Ambrose's Wife

Peggy Page - Clarice

Nick Cogley - Bearded Diner

Frank Hayes - Diner

Glen Cavender - Cook, Park Cop

Vivian Edwards - Lady Outside Restaurant

Billy Gilbert - Restaurant Patron

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director

Mack Sennett - Producer

 

 

Tillie's Punctured Romance

Six reels

 

This Keystone comedy, Charlie Chaplin's 33rd, is the first feature length comedy

ever made and contributed to making Chaplin and his co-star Marie Dressler major

stars.

 

Chaplin plays a con artist (not the Tramp) who talks Tillie, an innocent country lass,

into taking her father's savings and running off to the city with him. Once there,

he re-establishes his affair with the beautiful Mabel Normand, abandoning

Tillie, who must begin working at a restaurant, while Charlie and Mabel

spend her father's money for new clothes. 

 

Meanwhile, Tillie's millionaire uncle is reported to have died in a mountain climbing

accident. When the opportunistic Charlie learns that Tillie has just inherited three

million dollars, he immediately rushes over to propose. She joyfully accepts, but

is suspicious when she learns of her inheritance. Later, at a wedding gala

at Tillie's new mansion where Normand has begun working as a maid, Charlie

sneaks off for a little tete-a-tete with the latter. Trouble erupts when

Dressler catches them smooching. Suddenly all the slapstick craziness for

which director Mack Sennett is famous erupts as Tillie grabs a pistol and

begins chasing Charlie and Mabel, firing randomly. Just as the wayward

Charlie is to be strangled to death, the "late" uncle suddenly appears and

ejects all the celebrants. Charlie and Mabel, chased by Tillie race out of

the ruined mansion to a pier where they are followed by the ubiquitous

Keystone Kops whom the uncle has summoned. Tillie ends up in the drink, and

when rescued after numerous attempts, rejects Charlie while consoling Mabel

saying, "He ain't no good to neither of us", as the Kops drag Charlie away.

 

Cast

 

Marie Dressler - Tillie Banks, Country Girl

Charles Chaplin - Charlie, City Slicker

Mabel Normand - Mabel, Charlie's Girl Friend

Mack Swain - John Banks, Tillie's Father

Charles Bennett - Douglas Banks; Mortgage Holder; Maitre D'

Chester Conklin - Mr. Whoozis, Friend of Douglas Banks

Phyllis Allen - Wardress

Billie Bennett - Maid and Guest

Charley Chase - Detective at Movie Theatre

Alice Davenport - Guest

Dixie Chene - Guest

Peggy Page - Maid and Waitress

Gordon Griffith - Newsboy

Alice Howell - Guest

Edgar Kennedy - Restaurant Owner, Butler

Glen Cavender - Pianist in Restaurant and Cop

Harry Mc Coy - Second Pianist in Restaurant and Pianist in Theater

Fritz Schade - Waiter and Diner

Charles Murray - Detective in Film

Minta Durfee - Crook's Accomplice in Film

Frank Opperman - Rev. D. Simpson

Billy Hauber - Servant and Cop

Fred Fishback - Servant

Hank Mann - Keystone Cop

Al St. John - Keystone Cop

Slim Summerville - Keystone Cop

Wallace MacDonald - Guest and Keystone Cop

Nick Cogley - Desk Sergeant

 

NB: Claims that Milton Berle played the newsboy are spurious.

 

Production Team

 

Hampton del Ruth - Screenwriter

Mack Sennett - Director

  

Getting Acquainted 

 

 

A publicity still for Getting Acquainted.  Phyllis Allen, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain, Charlie Chaplin

 

Charlie Chaplin's penultimate Keystone comedy takes us back to the

scene of so many of his Keystones, Echo Park. It is unusual in

that it is a story of two married couples with wandering husbands:

Charlie and battle-ax Phyllis Allen, and Mack Swain and Mabel         

Normand.  Mack and Mabel, taking the air, spot a stalled sports car

which fascinates Mack, who leaves Mabel and goes off to help the

driver start it up. Seated on a park bench with Charlie, Phyllis has

has fallen asleep.

 

A beautiful young woman, Cecile Arnold pauses by the bench, looking

for her beau, a mysterious Turk.  Charlie flirts with her and is spurned, but

leaves Phyllis asleep and chases after her.  When he catches up, the Turk

arrives and after a brief confrontation in which he stabs Charlie in the backside,

Charlie is chased off. Charlie comes upon Mabel and begins to mash her. 

Tipping his hat, he hooks her skirt with his upside down cane and raises it

above her knees.  When she protests, he scolds the cane as if it had a mind of its

own.  Mack arrives on the scene and doesn't heed Mabel's complaints but introduces

her to Charlie, who he seems to know.  Mack leaves them alone to go back to the

car, and Charlie persists in mashing Mabel until a cop shows up behind

Charlie. Mabel then turns all smiles and winks hoping Charlie will mash her

in the presence of the cop which he does, until the presence of the cop's

billy club on his shoulder makes him take to his heels.  Meanwhile Mack has

come upon Phyllis and begins to mash her.  Her cries also bring the cop who

chases Mack away. Mabel and Phyllis eventually meet and commiserate with

each other about the mashers they've encountered in the park.  There

follows a series of comedic chases and fights between the cop and Charlie

and Mack. While hiding from the cop in the same bushes they are both

apprehended and dragged off, but Phyllis and Mabel intercede to save their

spouses from the clutches of the police. The two couples reconcile their

differences but Charlie still insists on flirting and Phyllis, to Mack and

Mabel's amusement, drags him off by the seat of his pants.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Mr. Sniffels

Phyllis Allen - Mrs. Sniffels

Mabel Normand - Ambrose's Wife

Mack Swain - Ambrose

Cecile Arnold - Mary

Glen Cavender - Turk

Edgar Kennedy - Cop

Harry McCoy and Peggy Page - Young Couple in Park

Joe Bordeaux - Stalled Driver

 

His Prehistoric Past

Two reels

 

In his thirty fifth and last Keystone comedy, Charlie Chaplin parodied the

recent hit, D.W. Griffith's stone age drama, Man's Genesis. Charlie is

caveman Weakchin, dressed in derby, cane and bearskin. He plucks some fur

from his bearskin and fills his pipe with it, lighting the pipe by picking

up a stone and striking it against his thigh. He is an outsider, invading

the territory and harem of King Lowbrow. At first welcomed by the King, Weakchin

persists in wooing Sum Babee, one of Lowbrow's favorite wives. Eventually the men

clash and Weakchin kicks Lowbrow over a cliff.  Taking over the leadership of the

tribe, Weakchin repairs to the King's cave with another Mrs. Lowbrow.  Rescued by

his sycophantic court jester, the King sneaks into the cave and clobbers Weakchin

from behind with a rock, whereupon Charlie the Tramp awakes on a park bench with a

cop looming over him - it has all been a dream - the first of many dream sequences in

Chaplin's films.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Weakchin

Mack Swain - King Lowbrow

Gene Marsh - The King's Water Maiden

Peggy Page - King's Second Wife

Fritz Schade - Cleo, Medicine Man

Cecile Arnold - Cavewoman

Vivian Edwards Cavewoman

Ted Edwards - Caveman

Grover Ligon - Caveman

 

 

The Unknown Keystone

It's a Keystone, with Chaplin in street clothes, Mabel Normand at the switchboard, and an unidentified third person.  It's not the Normand film "Hello Mabel" as was once suggested.  There's a possibility that the stills come from a late 1913 production "How Motion Pictures are Made" which was shot during Chaplin's earliest days at Keystone. Below is a poster from that film:

That's all anyone can say about these stills, two of which appeared in Maurice Bessy's 1985 book "Charlie Chaplin".  It is an ongoing subject of curiosity and research to Chaplinphiles.

Continue to the Essanays

 

Back Home

 

My thanks to Keystone scholars Steve Rydsewski, Bo Berglund, Brent Walker,
Rob Farr, Glenn Mitchell and Pierre Pageau, who offered suggestions,
changes and additions to the cast lists in the Keystone page of this filmography
,

 

c)1995-2008 Phil Posner