Charlie Chaplin Filmography Continued

 

 

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His New Job

1915 - Two Reels

AKA  Charlie's New Job

 

Charlie Chaplin began his new job at Essanay Studios, who lured him away

from Keystone with an offer of $1250 a week plus a bonus of $10,000, with a

parody film on his former employer. It features two actresses at the

beginning of their careers in minor roles - Gloria Swanson and Agnes

Ayres.

 

Charlie applies for work at the Lockstone Motion Picture Company.

Arriving at the office just after him is cross-eyed comedian Ben Turpin.

Charlie is interviewed by the boss who uses a funnel and long tube as a

hearing aid. Charlie uses the device with a cigarette in his mouth which

gets lodged in the funnel. Charlie tries to dislodge it by pouring ink into

the funnel and blowing but ends up with the ink on his own face.  Hired as

an assistant carpenter/prop man, he disrupts rehearsals and gets into

trouble with the director. He is told to don an extra's military costume

for the Russian melodrama being filmed, but goes instead into the star's

dressing room and steals his costume. Charlie is as inept as an actor as he

is a carpenter, sitting on the train of the leading lady's gown, tearing it

off as she walks up a staircase and blowing his nose in it as he overacts

tearfully. (This scene contains one of the first dolly shots in Chaplin

films). He later topples a large column which lands on top of him and is

sat upon by Turpin, who, having replaced him as prop man is called to lift

the column.. Eventually, the star actor arrives and enraged at finding his

costume missing, starts a melee on stage which ends with everyone but

Charlie unconscious.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Film Extra

Ben Turpin - Film Extra

Leo White - Actor, Receptionist

Charlotte Mineau - Film Star

Gloria Swanson - Extra, Stenographer

Agnes Ayres - Extra, Secretary

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

The Beautiful Edna Purviance

 

A Night Out

1915 - Two Reels

 

In his second Essanay comedy Charlie Chaplin is teamed with cross-eyed

comic Ben Turpin as two drunks on a spree. It is noteworthy as his first

film with Edna Purviance, who was to be his love interest in films for the

next eight years, and in real life for the next three. It combines elements

from at least three Keystones, Mabel's Strange Predicament, The

Rounders and Caught in the Rain, but uses a number of comic

transpositions of the type that were to become Chaplin's hallmark. Charlie

and Ben carouse to a saloon and a restaurant, incurring the wrath of a

French boulevardier and a restaurant manager. Ejected from the restaurant,

they return to their hotel room where they meet Edna, whose room is across

the hall. Charlie flirts with Edna until her husband, the restaurant

manager returns and chases him away. Charlie and Ben then have a fight and

Charlie packs and leaves the hotel, checking into another one nearby. Edna

and hubby decide they don't like the hotel either and move in to Charlie's.

Charlie undresses for bed in his room while Edna, across the hall, plays

fetch with her dog.  When she throws her slipper into the hallway, the dog

takes it into Charlie's room and under his bed. Chasing the dog, Edna hides

under Charlie's bed when he re-enters the room from the bathroom. He

escorts her back to her room but is caught there by the irate husband.

When hubby draws a pistol Charlie escape through the window, but makes his

way back into the hotel. He encounters Ben who has come looking for

Charlie's share of the rent on their former room, and a fight ensues in

which Charlie ends up floundering in the bathtub. 

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Drinker

Ben Turpin - Fellow Drinker

Bud Jamison - Head Waiter

Edna Purviance - Head Waiter's Wife

Leo White - French Boulevardier and Desk Clerk

Ernest Van Pelt -Second Desk Clerk

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Asst. Director

 

 

The Champion

1915 - Two Reels

AKA  Battling Charlie

 

The Champion, Chaplin's third film for Essanay, is easily his most

advanced film to date in plotting and characterization and one of the

funniest. We meet Charlie and his bulldog sharing a found hot dog, which

the dog won't eat until it is salted.  They pass a gymnasium advertising

for sparring partners who can take a punch. Charlie finds a lucky horseshoe

and after witnessing the condition of the previous sparring partners,

decides to employ it in his left boxing glove.  He thereby kayos the club

champ and becomes the new golden boy. He begins to train for the big

championship fight against Champ, Bud Jamison.  The beautiful daughter of

the Gym owner, Edna Purviance gets his interest and seems taken with him.

A shady character Leo White, a slimy betting tout, oozes into camp and

tries to bribe Charlie into throwing the big fight, but while Charlie takes

his money, he treats him with total contempt. On the day of the fight

Charlie says an emotional goodbye to his dog and enters the ring. In the

audience are cowboy star Bronco Billy Anderson, one of the founders of

Essanay (whose initials, along with partner George K. Spoor's are the

source of its name), and Ben Turpin as the vendor. The hilarious

slapstick prizefight is pretty even at first but by the fourth round

Charlie's getting the worst of it. Seeing the trouble his master is in, the

bulldog jumps into the ring and restrains the opponent by the seat of his

pants while Charlie delivers a series of coup-de-grace punches. Charlie is

hoisted on the shoulders of his cornermen as the new Champion.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Challenger

Edna Purviance - Trainer's Daughter

? - Trainer

Ernest Van Pelt - Club Champ, later Bud's Trainer

Bud Jamison - World Champion

Leo White - Dishonest Better

Gilbert M. Anderson - Enthusiastic Fan

Lloyd Bacon - Sparring Partner/ Referee

Bill Cato - Sparring Partner

Ben Turpin - Salesman

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Asst. Director

 

 

In The Park

1915 - One Reel (12 minutes)

 

Charlie Chaplin's fourth release for Essanay is very similar to his

Keystone Twenty Minutes of Love. He had taken longer than planned to

complete his previous film, The Champion, and he felt obliged to give

Essanay a new film quickly, so he shot and edited this park farce in the

course of a week. It opens with Leo White in his French Count costume and

Leona Anderson (Broncho Billy's sister) spooning on a park bench, observed

by an amused Edna Purviance seated on a nearby bench, wearing a nursemaid's

outfit and minding a baby carriage. Charlie, strolling through the park, encounters an

inept pickpocket, from whose pocket Charlie picks a cigarette and a match.

Charlie comes upon the couple and mocking their emotions, gets chased away.

Edna is joined by her boyfriend Bud Jamison, who goes off to buy a hot dog

from a vendor. Finding Edna alone, Charlie makes eyes at her and gets a few

smiles in return, but when he tries to mash her she spurns him. Meanwhile

the pickpocket steals Leona's purse while the couple are necking.

Returning to Edna, Bud chases Charlie away. Charlie encounters the same hot

dog vendor and steals a string of hot dogs which he hangs from his breast

pocket and eats by swinging them up to his mouth. The pickpocket steals

Charlie's hot dogs, but Charlie steals the purse from his pocket. While

Charlie sells the purse to Bud for $2, the pickpocket starts a brick fight

during which everyone except Charlie is knocked out. Charlie gives the

purse to Edna, who rewards him with a hug, but Bud awakens and returns to

claim the purse and Edna. By this time Leona has discovered her purse is

gone and sends Leo over to Bud to retrieve it. He is beaten back by Bud and

when Leona spurns him for his ineptitude he contemplates suicide. Charlie

comes along and obliges him by booting him into the lake. Meanwhile Leona

has summoned a cop who gets the purse back from Bud and confronts Charlie,

but ends up in the lake along with Bud, as Charlie strolls away.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Edna Purviance - Nursemaid

Bud Jamison - Her Boyfriend

Leo White - European masher

Leona Anderson - His Girlfriend

Ernest Van Pelt - Hot Dog seller

Paddy McQuire - Hot Dog thief

Lloyd Bacon - Pickpocket

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

A Jitney Elopement

1915 - Two reels - 26 mins                                             

AKA Charlie's Elopement

Married in Haste

 

 

The title of Charlie Chaplin's fifth comedy for Essanay refers to the

popular term for a Model T Ford, a jitney. Its theme of impersonation was

one Chaplin had used before in Caught in a Cabaret and Her Friend the

Bandit, and would use again in The Count and other films. Charlie's

girlfriend Edna is about to be forced by her father to wed the wealthy

Count de Ha-Ha, whom neither has met. Charlie, dropping by for a visit,

stands below her bedroom window whistling for her. She tosses him a note

from the Count, announcing his visit and pleads to be rescued. Charlie

impersonates the Count and is welcomed by her mercenary father. He's given

drinks and cigars and sits down to lunch with Edna and her father. Chaplin

performs a bit that he had done in one of the Karno sketches, that of

carving a loaf of bread into a spiral and using it as an accordion.

Although his table manners are decidedly not upper class, Charlie pulls off

the impersonation until the real Count arrives. The enraged father kicks

Charlie out of the house, then goes out for a spin with Edna and the Count

in the latter's car. They drive to a park where father hopes the Count can

sweet talk Edna into marrying him.  At first horrified by his intentions,

she breaks out into gales of laughter at the sight of the tattered seat of

his pants. Charlie happens by and steals Edna away, dispatching Count and

father, along with a couple of cops. The fleeing couple steal the Count's

jitney, and lead Count, father and cop, now following in a car they've

taken, a merry chase.  The chase leads them to a pier, where in a clever

stop motion photography scene, the cars jockey about until Charlie bumps

the other car off the pier and into the water. A happy Charlie and Edna are

about to kiss as the film fades out.

  

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Charlie

Edna Purviance - Edna

Ernest Van Pelt - Her Father

Leo White - Her Millionaire Suitor, Count de Ha-Ha

Lloyd Bacon - Butler &  Policeman

Paddy McQuire - Old Servant &  Policeman

Bud Jamison - Policeman

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

  

 

The Tramp

1915 - Two Reels - 20 minutes

 

The Tramp, Charlie Chaplin's sixth film for Essanay is generally

considered his first masterpiece. It is the first of his films that blended

pathos with comedy and contains subtle pantomime along with the knockabout

slapstick. Charlie is truly a tramp in this film, wandering down a dusty

country road carrying his bindle. He is knocked down by near misses from

two passing autos and pulls a whisk broom from his pocket and dusts himself

off. He sits by a tree to eat his lunch but it is stolen by a hobo, Leo

White. Despondent, Charlie salts some grass and eats it. We next meet farm

girl Edna Purviance and her father Ernest Van Pelt, who gives her some

cash and sends her on an errand. She stops on her way to count her money

and is robbed by Leo.  Her cries bring Charlie who rescues her from Leo and

two other tramp thieves. Edna brings Charlie home to the farm where he is

rewarded with a job as a farm hand.  He is inept at the job, the source of

several funny scenes with fellow hand Paddy McQuire. The three thieving

hobos show up and try to involve Charlie in a scheme to rob the farmer's

money. Charlie foils their efforts by hitting them on their heads with a

mallet as they reach the top of the ladder that he has set up at his

bedroom window. Farmer Ernest, alerted by the noise, grabs his shotgun and

chases off the crooks, but Charlie gets shot in the leg accidentally. This

scenes is played completely straight and is utterly convincing as Charlie

passes out from the pain. Charlie is next seen recuperating from his

injuries, lounging at an outdoor table with Edna and squirting seltzer into

his drink. But his happiness is short lived.  Edna's boyfriend, Lloyd

Bacon, arrives on the scene and Charlie, seeing that his love for Edna is

unrequited, goes into the farmhouse and writes a note: "i thout your

kindness was love but it ain't cause i seen him". He turns his back to the

camera and picks up Edna's hat, kisses it and walks outside. Bidding Edna

and Lloyd farewell, Charlie refuses the money offered by Lloyd. The film

closes with what would become Chaplin's classic ending -Charlie walking

sadly back along the road, but suddenly putting an optimistic little spring

in his step as the camera irises in.

 

The iconic final scene


Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - A Tramp

Edna Purviance - Farmer's Daughter

Ernest Van Pelt - Farmer

Lloyd Bacon - Edna's boyfriend & thief

Paddy McQuire - Farmhand

Leo White - Tramp/thief

Bud Jamison - Thief

Billy Armstrong - Poet

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

By the Sea

1915 -One Reel

 

Charlie Chaplin's last one-reeler (with the exception of The Bond), is

an impromptu film shot on the beach at Crystal Pier in Los Angeles, his

first film shot there since leaving Keystone. It is superior to similarly

made Keystones in that the timing and gag ideas are much better realized.

The film opens with couple Billy Armstrong and Margie Reiger at the

beach on a windy day. Margie goes off telling Billy to stay put. Charlie

comes walking down a seaside street eating a banana and, after tossing the

peel away, he slips on it. He encounters Billy when both men's hats,

attached to them by elastics, get blown off by the wind and entangled. This

causes a fight between them in which Charlie gets Billy in a headlock and

knocks him unconscious, but fleas from Billy's head jump onto Charlie's

arms. He performs a precursor of the flea circus routine that is featured

in Limelight and the never released The Professor.  Just then Edna

Purviance passes by and Charlie flirts with her. She is amused by his

antics despite herself.  She goes off and sits down by her boyfriend, Bud

Jamison, who has been waiting for her on a nearby bench. Charlie and Billy

make up and Billy offers to buy them refreshments at a nearby ice cream

stand operated by Snub Pollard. They again begin to fight as Billy

refuses to pay. During the fight Bud gets hit by flying ice cream and joins

the fray. The fight is broken up by a cop, who drags Billy off. Escaping,

Charlie sits down next to Edna, bouncing her up and down by sitting down

heavily. He's chased off by the returning Bud and joins Margie (who has

been looking for Billy) on another bench until all the others arrive,

whereupon Charlie tips over the bench and makes his getaway.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Billy Armstrong - Husband

Margie Reiger - Wife

Edna Purviance - Girl

Bud Jamison - Jealous Boyfriend

Harry "Snub" Pollard - Ice Cream Vendor

Ed Armstrong - Tobacconist

Ernest Van Pelt - Policeman

Paddy McQuire - Policeman

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

Work

1915 - Two Reels -  20 minutes

 

 

 

Work, Charlie Chaplin's eighth film for Essanay casts Charlie as a

wallpaper hanger's assistant who must pull the wagon containing the boss

(Charles Insley) and all his gear through the city streets and up some

imposing hills (created by using tilted camera angles). Charlie is little

more than a beast of burden and must do all the work when they arrive at a

wealthy couple's (Billy Armstrong, Marta Golden) home. The woman of the

house suspects the workers of being dishonest when she catches Charlie

admiring a small statue and locks up her valuables in a safe.  This prompts

Charlie to "lock up" his and his boss' watches and cash by pinning them

into his pants pocket. Charlie proves to be an inept decorator, making a

huge mess and causing his boss to get a bucket of wallpaper paste over his

head. He befriends Edna Purviance, the maid, and in a rather intimate

scene, tells her his story and his hopes for the future.  The wife's lover,

Leo White arrives, but when he sees that Billy is still home, he pretends

to be a workman.  Billy is wise to the dodge and attacks Leo, eventually

pulling out a revolver and chasing him around the house.  A stray bullet

hits the gas stove which explodes, partially burying everyone. In the

famous last scene Charlie emerges from the inverted oven door, exhales some

smoke and sizing up the situation, smiles into the camera.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Charlie, the Paperhanger's Assistant

Edna Purviance  - Maid

Charles Insley  - Boss Paperhanger

Marta Golden - Wife

Billy Armstrong - Husband

Leo White - Lover

Paddy McQuire - Cart Passenger

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

A Woman

1915 - Two reels - 20 minutes

Director Charles Chaplin

 

 

 

Charlie Chaplin's ninth film for Essanay contains his third and last

female impersonation. It begins, as so many of Chaplin's early films do, in

a park. Edna Purviance is seated on a park bench with her parents,

Charles Insley and Marta Golden. Mother has fallen asleep and is

snoring loudly, much to Edna's disgust. Bored, Edna herself soon falls

asleep and Father, spotting a fetching lady (Margie Reiger), chases after

her. Charlie appears wandering through the park and, after Father departs

to buy sodas, joins Margie and flirts with her. When Father returns he is

enraged and hits Charlie on the head with one of the soda bottles,

escorting Margie away. A couple of dandies out for a stroll, Leo White

and Billy Armstrong, sit down next to Charlie and when he's caught taking

a sip out of one of their sodas, they fight. Leo runs away and Billy is

knocked unconscious. Meanwhile Father and Margie are playing hide and seek

and Margie has taken the opportunity of a blindfolded Father to escape.

Charlie comes upon him and leads him around by the neck with his cane until

they reach the lake into which Charlie throws Father. Charlie wanders off

to discover Edna and Mother still asleep. Awakened, they become acquainted,

inviting Charlie home for tea. Father meets Billy and invites him home for

a drink.  When they show up at home, Charlie is recognized and when a fight

breaks out, Charlie runs upstairs to hide. Hiding in  Edna's room, he dons

her dress and hat. Edna, finding Charlie in the hall falls down laughing at

Charlie's female impersonation, but suggests he shave his mustache and don

a pair of her shoes.  When this is done, the illusion is perfect. So

perfect that both Father and Billy are totally fooled and flirt

outrageously with Charlie, much to Edna's amusement and Mother's anger.

Both men ask for a kiss and Charlie suggests that they kiss opposite cheeks

at the count of three. Of course Charlie steps back at three and the men

kiss each other. This starts another fracas during which Billy is ejected

from the house. Still enamoured, Father accidentally pulls off Charlie's

dress, revealing his true identity. Edna intervenes and begs forgiveness

for Charlie, but Father gives him the boot and he ends up on the sidewalk

beside Billy to whom he delivers a knockout slap as the film ends.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Charlie

Edna Purviance  - Daughter

Charles Insley  - Father

Marta Golden - Mother

Margie Reiger- Girl in park

Billy Armstrong - Father's Friend

Leo White - Dandy in park

Jess Robbins - Soft drink salesman

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

The Bank

1915 -  Two reels 20 minutes

 

 

 

Charlie Chaplin's tenth Essanay film marks a further development for him

in story construction, gag development and the use of pathos along with

physical comedy. Charlie enters the bank importantly, strolls down a

staircase and opens a large safe. But he emerges carrying a mop and bucket

and dons his janitor's uniform. He wanders into the lobby/reception area

and accidentally puts his soaking mop into the top hat of a bond salesman,

(Lawrence A. Bowes) who's waiting for the arrival of the Bank President.

Hitting the salesman and a bank worker Leo White with the wet mop, he's

chased away to the back office where he finds fellow janitor Billy

Armstrong with whom a series of minor battles occur. Edna Purviance, a

stenographer, arrives at work with a birthday present, a tie, for a cashier

who's name is also Charles, (Carl Stockdale). She types a note: "To Charles

with love from Edna". Charlie finds the note and tie and assumes they're

for him, and it's clear he loves Edna. He brings her a bouquet of flowers

and leaves a note "To Edna with love, Charlie". The bank President arrives

and rejects the bond salesman's pitch and the angry salesman vows revenge.

As the salesman stands dazed, Charlie, told to mail a letter, indicates

that he doesn't look well, takes his pulse and tells him to stick out his

tongue, on which  Charlie moistens the postage stamp. The Cashier comes in

to thank Edna for the tie and tells her that it wasn't he who left the

flowers, but Charlie the Janitor.  Angry, Edna calls Charlie a fool and,

unaware that he's watching through the door, throws the flowers into a

trash basket. Crushed, Charlie retrieves the flowers, goes back downstairs

to the vault and sits down to rest. Shortly, the bond salesman along with

four seedy crooks enter the bank.  Two of them go upstairs and see the

President, Edna and the Cashier counting money. When Edna and Charles head

downstairs to the vault, they hold up the President.  The other three

intercept Charles and Edna downstairs.  At the first opportunity Charles

pushes Edna over and runs away, but he's held at gunpoint by one of the

crooks as the other tussles with the President.  Meanwhile Edna's screams

have awakened Charlie and he rescues her, kicking three of the crooks into

the safe and locking it as Edna collapses. Carrying her over one shoulder,

he climbs the stairs and rescues the cashier by disarming the crook. He

then takes care of the other thief, rescuing the President.  When the

police have the robbers in custody, Charlie is congratulated by the

President. He wanders into the office and takes the flowers out of his

coat.  Edna enters and picks up the flowers, smiling, and the look of love

and hope on Charlie's face is truly angelic.  They embrace, but just then

the camera crossfades -it was all a dream, and Charlie awakens in the vault

kissing a mop. As the picture fades he wanders off screen holding the

flowers. 

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Janitor

Edna Purviance - The Stenographer

Charles Insley - The Bank President

Carl Stockdale - Charles the Cashier

Billy Armstrong - Another Janitor

Lawrence A. Bowes - Bond Salesman

Leo White - Bank Officer

Paddy McQuire - Clerk & robber

Fred Goodwins -  Clerk & robber

Lee Hill - Robber

 

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

Shanghaied

1915 -  20 minutes

AKA Charlie on the Ocean

Charlie the Sailor

 

Shanghaied, Charlie Chaplin's eleventh film for Essanay was shot

largely on board the SS Vaquero, which Chaplin had rented for the film.

Chaplin's cameraman, Harry Ensign, devised a pivot for the camera which

simulated the violent rocking of the ship as well as rockers for the stage,

anticipating the shipboard shots in The Immigrant. Charlie is in love

with Edna, whose father owns a ship which he plans to have blown up for the

insurance money. Forbidden to see Charlie, Edna runs away, leaving a note:

"Father - I have stowed away on your boat. Goodbye. Your unhappy daughter,

Edna". Coincidentally, Charlie is hired to hit prospective crew members

over the head with a mallet, whereupon they are shanghaied.  He is himself

shanghaied by the first mate in the same fashion. Charlie is a willing but

inept seaman, knocking the whole crew overboard by misdirecting a loading

crane, and washing dishes in the soup that the cook is preparing. As the

ship's rolling increases, Charlie has difficulty serving dinner and becomes

seasick. He discovers Edna hiding in the hold just before the Captain and

First Mate light the fuse on a keg of TNT and escape in a launch.Meanwhile,

Edna's father has found her note and is chasing after them in a speeding

boat, trying to stop the explosion. Charlie throws the TNT keg overboard

and into the skiff of the escaping Captain, saving the Vaquero. When Edna's

father arrives Edna and Charlie join him in his launch, but when he will

still not approve of Charlie even after saving his daughter and his boat,

Charlie kicks him overboard, much to Edna's delight. 

 

Cast

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Edna Purviance - Daughter of the Shipowner

Billy Armstrong - Shanghaied Seaman

Fred Goodwins - Shanghaied Seaman

Lawrence A. Bowes - Mate

Paddy McQuire - Shanghaied Seaman

John Rand - Ship's Cook

Wesley Ruggles - Shipowner

Leo White - Shanghaied Seaman

Lee Hill - Sailor

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

A Night in the Show

Alternate title  A Night at the Show

1915 - Two Reels -  20 minutes

 

Charlie Chaplin's twelfth film for the Essanay Film Company is largely a

filmed version of the Fred Karno music hall sketch, A Night in an English

Music Hall, known in England as Mumming Birds.  Chaplin plays two roles,

Mr. Pest, his famous inebriate role from the Karno sketch and Mr. Rowdy, a

drunk in the balcony. Mr. Pest disturbs his fellow audience members,

continuously changing his seat and making passes at Edna Purviance, until

her boyfriend returns to his seat. He gets into a row with the orchestra

leader, John Rand, before being moved to a seat in a box by the stage.

When the show starts he interferes in the acts, an exotic dancer, a snake

charmer, a fire eater and two terrible singers who are pelted with tomatoes

and ice cream cones thrown by Mr. Rowdy from the balcony, much to the

delight of the audience. Alarmed by the fire eater, Mr. Rowdy fetches a

fire hose and drenches everyone below, including his doppleganger, Mr.

Pest.

  

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Mr. Pest/Mr. Rowdy

Fred Goodwins - Audience Member

Paddy McQuire - musician (clarinet)

James T. Kelley - musician (trombone)

Harry DeRoy - musician (tuba)

Edna Purviance - Woman in audience

Charles Insley - Audience Member

Bud Jamison - Dash (Singer)

Loyal Underwood - Dot (Singer)

John Rand - Orchestra Leader

Wesley Ruggles - Audience member

Leo White - Man in Stalls and Black Man in Balcony

Dee Lampton -Fat Boy

Charlotte Mineau - Audience Member

May White - Fat Lady in Stalls, Exotic Dancer

 

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

Charlie Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen

1916 - Two Reels - 44 minutes

 

Burlesque on Carmen was intended by Charlie Chaplin to be a two reel

film, but to his annoyance additional material, shot by Leo White and

featuring Ben Turpin, was added for its release after Chaplin left

Essanay. It is a parody of two contemporary films based on Bizet's opera,

by Cecil B. De Mille (starring opera star Geraldine Farrar) and Raoul

Walsh (starring vamp Theda Bara).

 

Chaplin plays Darn Hosiery (Don Jose) the Corporal of the Guard who is

seduced by Carmen (engagingly played by Edna Purviance) so that Gypsy

smugglers can get their swag through the city gates. His chief rivals for Carmen's

 affections are Escamillo, the Toreador and a fellow soldier of the guard,

Leo White. The interjection of the Turpin sections and the use of out takes of

the Chaplin materialmakes the plot rather murky.

 

Don Jose is charmed by Carmen and ignores his military duties. He allows

the smugglers to enter the city gates but other

guards, alerted by his rival White, give chase. Later, as the guards and

gypsies struggle at a village gate, Don Jose gets into a duel for Carmen's

attentions with White, during which Don Jose engages in some Chaplinesque

fencing and wrestling, but aided by Carmen he kills White. Realizing the

depth of his deed he pursues Carmen who has taken off out a window. He

catches up with her, but the Toreador interrupts his accusations and takes

Carmen away. Sometime later they are seen arriving at the bull ring. Don

Jose catches up with Carmen and, playing it perfectly straight, chillingly

accuses her of infidelity and when she mocks his love, stabs her and then

himself. They are discovered by the Toreador, but Don Jose revives, mule

kicks Escamillo back into the arena and picks up Carmen who also comes back

to life. Looking into the camera, they smilingly show the audience the

collapsible knife as the camera irises in.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Darn Hosiery (Don Jose)

Edna Purviance - Carmen

John Rand - Escamillo, the toreador

Ben Turpin - Remendado, a smuggler

Leo White  - Officer of the Guard

Jack Henderson - Lilas Pastia

Wesley Ruggles - Vagabond

May White - Frasquita

Bud Jamison - Soldier

Lawrence A. Bowes -Gypsy

Frank J. Coleman - Guard

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Leo White - Director (added material)

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

 

 

Police

1916 - Two Reels

 

Charlie Chaplin's last film for Essanay (not counting the compilation,

Triple Trouble) was released after he had moved on to the Mutual Film

Corporation. Charlie is released from prison with the customary few dollars

in his pocket. He's approached on the street by a fake preacher who asks

Charlie to "Let me help you go straight", making him sob with his touching

sermon, while picking his pocket. Charlie encounters a drunk with his

pocket watch hanging from his vest, but resists the temptation of stealing

it. A few moments later, after realizing he has been robbed, Charlie sees

the preacher with the drunk and notes, after the preacher departs, that the

watch is gone. Approached by a real preacher this time, Charlie chases him

down the street. As evening approaches Charlie goes to a seedy flop house,

but is ejected because he cannot pay. He encounters an old cell mate on the

street and is recruited to participate in the robbery of Edna's house.

Charlie proves an inept burglar making so much noise that Edna is roused

and calls the police before confronting them. She begs them not to go

upstairs because her mother is very ill and the shock might kill her. She

even provides food and beer for the burglars, asking Charlie to let her

help him to go straight. But Charlie's partner is heartless and heads

upstairs despite Edna's pleas. When Edna tries to stop him he threatens to

strike her and that is too much for Charlie, who fights with the thief

until the police arrive. Firing his pistol the thief escapes through a back

window, but the cops catch Charlie before he can escape. Edna, grateful to

Charlie for his protection lies to the police telling them Charlie is her

husband.  After the cops leave, Edna gives Charlie a coin and sends him off

down the road in a spirit of renewed hope.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Edna Purviance - Girl

Wesley Ruggles - Thief

Billy Armstrong - Fake Preacher and Policeman

Fred Goodwins - Real Preacher and Policeman

Bud Jamison - Flophouse patron

Paddy McGuire - Flophouse patron

Harry "Snub" Pollard - Flophouse patron

James T. Kelly - Drunk with Pockets Picked

John Rand - Policeman

Leo White - Fruitseller and Doss House Owner and Policeman

George Cleethorpe -  Policeman

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Asst. Director

 

 

Triple Trouble

1918 Two reels

 

Triple Trouble, although commonly acknowledged in Chaplin filmographies,

was not really a Charlie Chaplin film in that it was released without his

permission, and much to his annoyance by Essanay three years after he left

them. Its jumbled story is cobbled together out of pieces of Police,

Work and the unfinished feature, Life, which Essanay insisted Chaplin

abandon in favor of making more quickly produced two-reelers. It also

contains new footage shot in 1918 by Leo White in order to provide the

weak plot on which to hang the Chaplin footage. Chaplin is a janitor in the

home of Colonel Nutt, the inventor of a new secret weapon, the wireless

bomb.  Edna Purviance is the cleaning woman in the same household and

Charlie incurs her anger by spilling garbage on her clean floor, getting

her into trouble with their boss, the cook Billy Armstrong. A group of

foreign diplomats led by White plan to get the formula from the Professor

by either bribe or theft. When he is ejected from the house by the butler

at the Colonel's request, Leo hires a thief to do the dirty work, but is

overheard by a cop. Meanwhile, in a scene excised from Life and

Police, Charlie goes to a flop house for the night where he encounters

some rather odd characters including a drunk who won't stop singing until

Charlie smashes him with a bottle, but not before preparing his bed and

pillow and tucking him in afterward. A riot starts at the flophouse when

Charlie robs a pickpocket who has been robbing the sleepers. Chaplin uses a

gag he was to repeat in The Gold Rush, that of laying covered in bed,

wrong way round, with hands in shoes. The thief, having co-opted Charlie,

arrives at the Nutt house and tries to steal the formula, but the cops are

there and a melee ensues in which the thief fires his gun into the

Colonel's invention and the house, the diplomats and everyone else

explodes. Charlie is seen emerging from the oven door - just as he had at

the end of Work.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Charlie, the Janitor

Edna Purviance  - Maid

Billy Armstrong - Cook and Pickpocket

Wesley Ruggles -  Crook

Leo White - Diplomat/Spy and Flophouse owner

James T. Kelley - Singing Drunk

Bud Jamison -  Flophouse patron

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter

Harry Ensign - Cinematographer

Ernest Van Pelt - Assistant Director

Jess Robbins - Producer

Leo White - Director of 1918 material

 

Continue to the Mutuals

 

Back Home

 

My thanks to David Kiehn who gave his kind permission for the use of the cast listings in his book "Broncho Billy and the Essanay Film Company" (2003) in updating those in this section of my filmography.

 

 c)1995-2008 Phil Posner