Charlie Chaplin Filmography Continued

 

 

 

 

   KEYSTONE    ESSANAY     FIRST NATIONAL     UNITED ARTISTS

 

 

M U T U A L S

 

The Floorwalker

1917 - 2 reels - 24 min.

 

Charles Chaplin launched his $670,000 contract with the Mutual Film

Corporation with the hilarious The Floorwalker. The film's chief comedic

device, the store escalator, was inspired by Chaplin's visit to New York,

where, at an elevated train station, he saw a minor accident involving one.

The manager of the store receives a letter - his superiors are coming to

investigate him. He's been skimming money from the store, in cahoots with

the bossy and mean floorwalker who bears a striking resemblance to Charlie.

The pair decide they're going to take off with the cash, and begin emptying

the safe in the office upstairs. Meanwhile, Charlie comes wandering in to

the store, trying out everything but buying nothing. The store seems to be

infested with shoplifters and store detectives. Charlie gets caught by one

of the latter when he tries to buy a display rack. He escapes upstairs

where he encounters his doppelganger who has just knocked out the manager

and is escaping with a suitcase full of money. The look-alikes do the

classic mirror routine, copied later by the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup.

They agree to exchange clothes and identities, but the real floorwalker is

arrested as the Tramp, leaving behind the satchel full of loot. Charlie

takes over the floorwalker's duties, getting involved with various

customers, especially the ladies in the shoe department. When Charlie finds

the case he's ecstatic, until Campbell awakens and, mistaking him for his

crooked partner, begins a merry chase up and down the escalator and all

around the store, hampered only by the ever vigilant store detectives. The

real floorwalker returns in custody and comes clean, implicating the

manager. The chase continues until Charlie is caught in the elevator by a

detective as it descends upon the head of Campbell who is also apprehended.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The New Floorwalker

Eric Campbell - Store Manager

Edna Purviance - His Secretary

Lloyd Bacon - Floorwalker

Albert Austin - Shop Assistant

James T. Kelly - Lift Boy

Charlotte Mineau - Beautiful Store Detective

Leo White - Customer and Shoplifter

Tom Nelson - Detective

Frank J. Coleman - Man in Store

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Screenwriter

Vincent Bryan - Screenwriter

William C. Foster - Cinematographer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Assistant Cinematographer

 

 

The Fireman

1916 - 24 min.

 

In his second Mutual two-reeler,Charlie Chaplin is an inept fireman,

responsible for hitching up the horses when an alarm comes in. He sleeps

through the drill alarm and his boss, Eric Campbell, treats him roughly,

kicking the seat of his pants at every opportunity, which gets him a salute

from Charlie every time. Soon the firehouse is visited by the Chief's

sweetheart, Edna Purviance and her father. Charlie is clearly enamoured

but Edna is only bemused. The father takes the Chief aside and confirms a

deal they have in which the Chief will ignore a fire signal when the Father

burns down his house for the insurance money. In return the Chief will get

Edna's hand in marriage. After Chief, father and daughter leave together, a

real alarm comes in. The owner of the burning house, Leo White, is

frantic. He rings in the alarm but Charlie, engrossed in a checkers game,

stuffs a rag between the clapper and bell. When the victim calls in,

Charlie unwittingly pulls out the phone cable. The man finally shows up at

the firehouse screaming "Fire!!", but Charlie calms him down, handing him a

magazine, saying he has to go get his Chief. When the firemen return, the

victim, who has been calmly reading the magazine, remembers what he's doing

there and again erupts in cries of "Fire!!" The fire squad rush to the

scene but Charlie has trouble controlling the powerful hose, and soaks

everyone. Meanwhile, unaware that Edna has gone up to her room, the father

sets the fire in the basement of his townhouse. When Edna's screams bring

him back a moment later, he frantically runs off to the fire station and

then to the site of the other fire. He approaches Charlie who takes the

fire wagon and heads for Edna's with the father in tow.  The other Firemen,

more concerned over the loss of their truck than in putting out the first

fire, follow frantically.  When Charlie reaches the fire he races up the

face of the building in an amazing feat of climbing and rescues Edna,

carrying her down on his back. Reaching the ground, he collapses and is

tended to by Edna. Sending the others away, she and Charlie and kiss and

wander off arm in arm.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Fireman

Eric Campbell - His Chief

Edna Purviance - The Chief's Sweetheart

Lloyd Bacon - Her Father

Albert Austin - Fireman

Frank J. Coleman - Fireman

James T. Kelly - Fireman

John Rand - Fireman

Leo White - Owner of Burning House

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Screenwriter

Vincent Bryan - Screenwriter

William C. Foster - Cinematographer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Asst. Cinematographer

 

 

The Vagabond

1916 - 2 Reels - 25 min.

 

 

 

The Dramatic Escape

 

Charlie Chaplin's third film in his Mutual period is his first minor

masterpiece. It combines comedy and drama in the style that Chaplin had

developed in his earlier Essanay film The Tramp, and anticipates later

dramatic comedies such as The Kid and City Lights. Charlie is an

itinerant violinist whose famous feet we first see emerging from the

swinging doors of a saloon. He takes up his position outside the back door

and begins his concert, but at this moment a street band begins playing

outside the front door. When Charlie enters the saloon to pass the hat, the

patrons, believing he's part of the band, contribute generously. When the

real band leader enters to pass his hat a fight and chase begin from which

Charlie eventually escapes. We are now introduced to "The Mother", an

obviously upper class woman who interrupts her embroidering and looks

longingly at a photograph of her long lost child. Charlie, having forsaken

the city, wanders down a country road where he comes upon a gypsy

encampment where a beautiful drudge Edna Purviance, under the control of

the brutal Gypsy Chief, Eric Campbell, is washing clothes. Charlie plays

a concert for his audience of one, the fast tempo causing her to scrub her

laundry at a lightning pace and his soulful playing evoking her strong

emotions. The concert is interrupted by the Chief who pushes Charlie into a

water basin and beats the girl severely for shirking her duties. Seeing

this brutality, Charlie puts aside his cane and violin in favor of a stout

club and rescues the girl in an exciting scene in which they dramatically

escape in one of the wagons.  Later, encamped by the side of a road,

Charlie prepares breakfast while Edna goes for water. She meets a handsome

artist, Lloyd Bacon, who, noticing a shamrock shaped birthmark on Edna's

arm, asks her to pose for him. After finishing his sketch she invites him

to breakfast. During the meal it's obvious from her face that she's

infatuated with him and Charlie is aware that he's losing her.  When the

artist leaves, Edna gazes longingly after him as Charlie watches her

apprehensively. Some time later the painting is exhibited in a posh gallery

and the Mother, in attendance, almost collapses as she recognizes her

daughter by her birthmark. Meanwhile Charlie tries to cheer up the

despondent Edna by promising that he'll learn to draw too. Suddenly a

limousine pulls up and mother and daughter are reunited. Charlie gallantly

refuses a cash reward and wishes the artist luck just before they drive

off. Alone, Charlie tries to cheer himself but succumbs to his emotions. In

the limousine Edna realizes her true feelings and makes the driver return

to Charlie, whom she excitedly hauls off to the limousine and to a presumed

life of luxury.  This was not the ending originally planned for the film,

in which Chaplin was going to have the Tramp attempt a drowning suicide,

only to be rescued by a homely farm girl, and seeing her, jumping back in

again. Fortunately he opted for the happier, more optimistic ending.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Saloon Violinist

Edna Purviance - The Gypsy Drudge

Eric Campbell - The Gypsy Chief

Charlotte Mineau - Girl's Mother

Lloyd Bacon - Artist

Albert Austin - Trombonist

Frank J. Coleman - Gypsy and Musician

James T. Kelly - Gypsy and Musician

John Rand - Trumpeter, Band Leader

Leo White - Old Jew and Gypsy Woman

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Screenwriter

Vincent Bryan - Screenwriter

William C. Foster - Cinematographer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

 

Edna Purviance - A costume test for The Vagabond

 

 

One A.M.

1916 - 20 min.

 

Charlie Chaplin's fourth film for Mutual is a tour de force solo

performance, with Chaplin playing his classic drunk, returning home in the

wee hours. The only other character in the film is the taxi driver who is

oblivious to Charlie's difficulties getting out of the cab and receives a

lit cigarette in his outstretched palm. Charlie has equal problems getting

into his house. He can't find his key and enters via a window, but soon

finds his key in his vest pocket and exits via the window, reentering in

the proper way, through the door. His house is filled with inanimate

objects which to his mind are ganging up against him. The stuffed animals

seem to attack him, he slides on throw rugs along the slippery floor, tries

to reach a liquor bottle on a revolving table that keeps eluding him. When

he attempts to climb the stairs he is repeatedly struck by the oversized

pendulum of a wall clock and sent tumbling down the staircase. Finally

reaching his bedroom, his automatic Murphy bed seems to have a mind of its

own, trapping him as it revolves round and round inside its wall

compartment, bucking him like a bronco when he sits on it, and falling on

top of him when he lays on the floor. Finally abandoning the bedroom,

Charlie goes to the bathroom, soaking himself as he tries to get a drink

from the shower stall and then settling down for the night in the bathtub.

Although essentially plotless One A.M. is a brilliant clinic in physical

comedy and the psychology of alcoholic delusions.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Drunk

Albert Austin - Taxi Driver

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Producer, Director, Screenwriter

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

 

The Count

1916 - 24 min.

 

In his fifth film for Mutual Charlie Chaplin returns to his often used

theme of imposture, which had begun as early as his 1914 film Caught in a

Cabaret, and was expanded upon later in The Idle Class and with his

Jewish Barber/Hitler characters in The Great Dictator. In The Count

Charlie is a tailor's apprentice who, attempting to measure a female

customer, is too shy to measure the more personal areas and instead

measures her ear, nose and finger. Fired for burning holes in layers of

clothing with a hot iron, Charlie repairs to the Moneybags mansion where he

can get a free meal from his lady friend who is the cook there.

Meanwhile, the Tailor (Eric Campbell) has found a note in the pocket of a

customer's coat. It is from a count who declines an invitation to Mrs.

Moneybags' party. He dresses up in his finest evening clothes, deciding to

impersonate the count and perhaps ingratiate himself with the Moneybags'

beautiful daughter (Edna Purviance). Charlie, eating limburger cheese

under the admiring eye of the cook is almost caught when the butler comes

into the kitchen, but hides in the garbage basket along with the

objectionably malodorous cheese. When the cook's other paramour, a cop,

comes in to visit, Charlie escapes into the dumbwaiter. Emerging in the

vestibule he catches Eric, who has just arrived. When they make their

entrance into the dining room, it is Charlie who assumes the role of the

count, introducing Eric as his secretary. As many of the guests are in

costume, Charlie's outfit goes unremarked upon. During lunch, Eric's loud

soup slurping prevents Charlie from hearing Edna's conversation. Charlie's

table manners are equally suspect as he ties a cloth napkin around his head

to protect his ears from the juice of the watermelon he is eating. Soon the

ball begins and Charlie dominates Edna's dance schedule. His dancing

creates quite a sensation, despite the slippery waxed floor, allowing

Chaplin to display his comical dance splits and to engage in some

infighting with the disgruntled Eric. A beautiful and exotic female guest

temporarily distracts him, and in the parlor he expresses his sexual fervor

by performing some rather suggestive acts with his cane and a large stuffed

turkey. When he starts swatting other foodstuff into the adjoining ballroom

hitting a number of the guests, the men challenge him and a chase begins.

Just then the real count arrives, and learning of the imposture calls the

police who join in the fray. Finally Eric is arrested, but the slippery

Charlie makes his escape, running down the sidewalk and off into the

distance.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tailor's Apprentice

Eric Campbell - Tailor

Edna Purviance - Miss Moneybags, Heiress

Albert Austin - Guest

Frank J. Coleman - Policeman and Guest

James T. Kelly - Butler

Charlotte Mineau - Mrs Moneybags

Lloyd Bacon - Band Leader

May White - Guest

Leota Bryan? - Girl

John Rand - Guest

Eva Thatcher - Cook

Loyal Underwood - Small Guest

Leo White - Count Broko

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Screenwriter

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

 

The Pawnshop

1916 - 25 min.

 

 

Charlie Chaplin's sixth film for the Mutual Film Corporation is a marvel of

sight gags, comic transformations and brilliant pantomime.  Charlie plays

an assistant in a pawnshop, where he arrives late for work and is scolded

by the portly Pawnbroker, played by Henry Bergman in his first role in a

Chaplin film.  Bergman was to go on to play in most of the Chaplin films

through Modern Times, also filling the roles of Assistant Director,

gagman and confidant.

 

Charlie annoys his rival employee (John Rand) with

his dusting and a series of conflicts between them arise. They must go

outside and clean the store front, and Charlie, trapping Rand between the

rungs of a ladder performs a ballet-like boxing scene, striking his

helpless opponent until a cop arrives on the scene, whereupon Charlie's

movements become the most graceful of dances.  Cleaning the metal pawnshop

balls and shop sign atop the ladder, Charlie rocks back and forth on the

ladder, finally tumbling down as gracefully as any circus acrobat. Back

inside the shop their fight escalates until the Pawnbroker enters and

angrily discharges Charlie. The little fellow's heart breaking pleas for

forgiveness, during which he mimes that he has many children ranging in

height from about two to seven feet, cause the boss to relent. Alone again,

Charlie renews his attack on Rand with vigor, but just as he's about to

deliver the coup de grace, Edna, the boss' daughter enters from the back

room curious as to the commotion. Charlie swiftly lays down on the floor

and Edna scolds the near unconscious Rand for striking "a mere child",

patting Charlie's cheek as he admires her figure. She takes him into the

kitchen and gives him a doughnut, which Chaplin's wonderful pantomime

ability makes us believe weighs twenty pounds, as he exercises with it as

if it were a dumbbell. He helps with the dishes (drying them in a hand

clothes wringer) and with the baking. When Rand enters the fight resumes,

but hearing the racket the boss comes in and Charlie quickly resumes his

role as baker, then goes to the safe to retrieve his lunch.

 

Manning the shop counter, Charlie encounters three customers, the first an

old actor wanting to pawn his late wife's ring for five dollars. His histrionics

touch Charlie deeply. He gives the bereaved man ten dollars from the till

and the ring back as well. When the man offers to gives Charlie change and

pulls out huge wad of bills, Charlie knows he's been had. Soon a well

dressed crook (Eric Campbell) shows up and is taken into the back room by

the boss to be shown some diamonds. Meanwhile another customer arrives

wishing to pawn an alarm clock. In a long, brilliant scene of comic

transformations, better seen than described, Charlie becomes surgeon,

jeweller, ribbon clerk and mechanic as he dismantles and destroys the clock

to the total amazement of the customer, Albert Austin. Gathering the

detritus of the ruined timepiece and sweeping them into Austin's derby,

Charlie rejects the item, sending the protesting customer packing with a

blow from a rubber hammer. His next customer is a lady with a bowl of

goldfish, which Charlie tests for authenticity by pouring muriatic acid

(the famous "acid test") into the bowl. The boss emerges out from his

conference and he sends the lady away. Meanwhile Charlie and Rand are at it

again, and a flying wad of dough catches both boss and crook in the face.

The boss chases Charlie from the kitchen, whereupon Charlie hides in a

trunk to avoid punishment. Just then the crook emerges from the safe, gun

drawn, stolen diamonds under his arm and holds the others at bay. Charlie

heroically emerges from the trunk, and in balletic movements, smashes the

crook over the head, embraces Edna, receives a pat on the back from the

boss and delivers one final back kick to his rival.

 

 

 Charlie hocks a loogie into the cash register!

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The New Employee

Henry Bergman - Pawnbroker

Edna Purviance - His Daughter

John Rand - Pawnshop Assistant

Eric Campbell - A Thief

Albert Austin - Customer with Clock

? - An Old Actor (with Ring)

Frank J. Coleman - Policeman

James T. Kelly - Bum and Female Customer with Goldfish

 

Contrary to prior listings, Wesley Ruggles does not play the Old Actor.

  

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Producer, Director

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

Behind the Screen

1916 - 23 min.

 

 

Charlie Chaplin's seventh Lone Star/Mutual release gives another behind

the scenes look at the workings of a movie comedy factory, as had three

earlier films, A Film Johnnie (not written or directed by him), his own

The Masquerader and his first Essanay release, His New Job. As the film

opens a young, innocent girl, Edna Purviance, dressed like a country

bumpkin asks the producer for an acting job. Taking one look, he turns her

down. Chaplin is David, the prop man's assistant, who must do all the heavy

work while his boss sits and lifts his finger only to point. Lifting a

large male sculpture into position, David notices that the gaze of the

statue is directed upon the nude female statue nearby. With a disapproving

look, he moves the offending statue to a more appropriate position. David

is constantly getting in trouble, nearly kicking over the camera tripod

many times, and getting caught resting after particularly strenuous tasks.

One of these is to move eleven wood chairs, which he accomplishes in

amazing Chaplinesque fashion by slinging them all over his shoulder, taking

on the appearance of a porcupine as he carries them across the studio and

picking up a prop upright piano along the way. Putting the final touches on

the set, David grooms a bearskin rug as a barber would a customer.

Lunchtime finds Goliath eating a stack of pies, while the assistant must

satisfy himself with his two slices of bread, between which he sneaks the

occasional bite of a stagehand's beef flank. David then plays an impromptu

concerto on the overturned pie tins, using two bones as mallets.  When the

snoozing stagehands are roughly told to get back to work, they are furious

and go on strike.  Goliath shows his true colors when he refuses to strike

with the others, brown nosing the producer. David stays on the job too,

mainly because of the retribution he fears from his boss. Meanwhile the

girl has dressed in boy's clothes, hoping to get a job as a replacement

stagehand, which she does. After messing up a dramatic scene by missing his

cue on a trap door, sending everyone down the trap, David finds the "boy"

playing the guitar and singing sweetly. He teases "him" about his

femininity, but discovers she's a girl when she faints upon seeing the

split pants of the director involved in the earlier trap accident. She begs

David not to reveal her secret and he steals a few kisses in the process.

Now they're observed by Goliath, who mocks the apparently gay couple by

mincing about. David and Goliath then get drafted to act in a comedy sketch

involving pies, one of the few times pie throwing is used in a Chaplin

film.  Meanwhile the vengeful strikers plan to set off a bomb at the

studio. While David refuses to be hit with the pies and instead hits

Goliath, the director and the actors in an adjacent set, the strikers carry

out their plot. The first bomber is knocked out from behind by Edna, but

the second drops his bomb through the trap door and struggles with Edna who

tries to restrain him. On the comedy set, David is shoved backwards by

Goliath causing him to hit the lever of the trap door, sending Goliath and

the comedy director through the trap. David finds Edna struggling with the

bomber and with a kick dispatches him through the trap as well. Just then

the bomb explodes, collapsing the set. But David gets his reward for saving

the girl, her smiles and kisses.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - David, Property Man's Assistant

Edna Purviance - Girl Seeking Film Job

Eric Campbell - Goliath, Head Property Man

Albert Austin - Stagehand and Actor

Lloyd Bacon - Director of Comedy and Actor

Henry Bergman - Director of History Film

Frank J. Coleman - Producer

James T. Kelly - Cameraman and Stagehand

Charlotte Mineau - Actress

John Rand - Stagehand

Leo White - Stagehand

Tom Wood - Actor

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

 

The Rink

1916 - 23 min.

 

Charlie Chaplin's eighth film for Lone Star/Mutual was also his last for

1916. He was supposed to have completed all twelve of the films called for

in the contract, but had justifiably taken more time with each succeeding

film and would take another ten months to complete the "golden dozen." The

Rink  is another of Chaplin's imposture films, in which a lower class

working stiff impersonates a member of the upper crust. It is inspired,

mostly in its setting, by the Fred Karno sketch "Skating", which was

written by his brother Sydney and in which both brothers had starred during

their tenures with Karno's pantomime comedy troupe. The film opens on a

scene of domesticity in which society girl Edna Purviance wakes her

napping father while playing with her kitten which is perched on his

shoulder. Charlie is a waiter in a restaurant. He adds up Mr. Stout's

(Eric Campbell) bill by examining the residue on his tie, shirt and ears.

He gets into trouble with the boss for fighting with the other waiter,

going in the out door and annoying the customers. A romantic quadrangle

begins to form as Edna's father, lunching in Charlie's restaurant,

encounters and flirts with Mrs. Stout (Henry Bergman). Meanwhile Mr.

Stout has gone on to the skating rink where he flirts with and tries to

mash Edna. Charlie, on his lunch break also arrives at the rink and here

begins a virtual ballet on skates. He rescues Edna from Stout's advances,

literally skating circles around him, pulling him down at every

opportunity, creating havoc at the rink and charming Edna in the process.

Outside the rink, Edna invites Charlie to her skating party.  He gives her

his calling card, identifying himself as "Sir Cecil Seltzer, C.O.D.".  A

few moments later Edna also invites a female friend to the party, who in

turn invites her old friend, Mr. Stout. When Edna goes home she excitedly

tells her father about the charming Lord she's met, and father calls Mrs.

Stout and invites her as well. That evening at the party Sir Cecil enters

in a rather mock aristocratic manner and the parties to the quadrangle

agree to keep mum about the day's incidents. Soon the skating party

devolves into a show down between Charlie and Stout, clearing the rink of

guests.  The cops are finally summoned, but they and the male skaters are

no match for the deft and speedy Charlie, who makes his escape by catching

on to a passing auto with his cane and skating away with the others in

hopeless pursuit. 

 

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Waiter/Sir Cecil Seltzer

Edna Purviance - The Girl

Eric Campbell - Mr. Stout, Edna's Admirer

Henry Bergman - Mrs. Stout and Angry Diner

James T. Kelly - Edna's Father

Albert Austin - Cook and Skater

Lloyd Bacon - Guest

Frank J. Coleman - Restaurant Manager and Cop

Charlotte Mineau - Friend of Edna

Leota Bryan - Friend of Edna at Rink

John Rand - Waiter

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Writer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

 

Easy Street

1917 - 23 min.

 

Arguably the best of Charlie Chaplin's twelve Lone Star/Mutual comedies,

Easy Street gives us a look at the environment in which Chaplin grew up,

the slums of South London. Indeed the title of the film is likely a

reference to the street where Chaplin was born, East Street in Walworth.

Charlie begins this film as he seldom does, as a truly down and out

derelict, huddled sleeping at the steps of the Hope Mission. The sounds of

a service in progress draws him wearily inside. After the sermon he is

entranced by the beautiful mission worker and organist, Edna Purviance,

and stays after the service. Inspired by their ministrations he vows to

reform, returning the collection box he has slipped into his capacious

pants. Out on Easy Street a gang is pummelling members of the police

department, removing their uniforms for the coins in the pockets. Toughest

of all is the Bully, Eric Campbell), who menaces the other toughs, taking

the spoils for himself. Charlie, passing the Police Station sees the

recruitment sign outside and eventually builds up his resolve sufficiently

to apply. His beat is Easy Street. He encounters the Bully who threatens

him and is impervious to the blows that Charlie delivers with his

nightstick. In a display of his great strength the bully bends a gas

streetlamp in two, whereupon Charlie leaps on his back, covering his head

with the lamp and turns on the gas. (Chaplin was injured during the filming

of this scene; the lamp hit him across the bridge of the nose, holding up

production for several days.)  As the Bully slumps to the ground, Charlie

takes his pulse and decides to give him one more shot of gas for good

measure. The squad is called to retrieve the unconscious Bully and Charlie

is, for the moment, cock-of-the-walk, frightening away the other street

toughs by simply spinning around to face them. His work also entails

charity, as he helps a woman, (who turns out to be the Bully's wife) who

has stolen food from a street vendor by stealing more food for her. Edna

happens by and helps Charlie get her upstairs to her tenement flat. He's

rewarded for his efforts by her ingratitude, nearly dropping a flower pot

on his head. Edna takes Charlie across the way to another apartment where a

couple have a large brood of children whom Charlie helps to feed by

scattering bread crumbs among them as if he were feeding chickens.

Meanwhile, the Bully awakens at the Police Station and despite multiple

blows from the collective nightsticks of the cops, he escapes and returns

to Easy Street. His fight with his wife draws Charlie from across the

street and a chase begins, the Bully seeking revenge for his earlier

capture.  Charlie drops a stove on the Bully from a second story window,

knocking him out, but the street toughs capture Edna and toss her down some

steps into a subterranean speakeasy. She is threatened there by a dope

addict who injects himself with cocaine.  Exiting the Bully's flat Charlie

is mugged by the gang and is himself tossed down into the cellar. Landing

accidentally on the addict's upturned needle, Charlie becomes supercharged,

defeating the junkie and all the denizens of the cellar, rescuing Edna.

Peace is restored to Easy Street and a new mission is in evidence. The

Bully and his wife, dressed in their finest, make their way to the

services, under Charlie's approving eye. Edna approaches and Charlie greets

her joyously and the pair stroll arm in arm towards the welcoming minister

and missionary of The New Mission.

 

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Derelict

Edna Purviance - The Mission Worker

Eric Campbell - The Bully

Albert Austin - The Minister and Policeman

James T. Kelley - The Missionary

? - Bully's wife

William Gillespie - Drug Addict

Henry Bergman - A Tough

Frank J. Coleman - Policeman

John Rand - Mission Visitor and Policeman

Loyal Underwood - Small Father and Policeman

Charlotte Mineau - Mother

Janet Miller Sully - Mission Visitor

Tom Wood - Chief of Police

 

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Writer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

 

The Cure

1917 - 23 min.

 

In Charlie Chaplin's tenth film in his series for Lone Star/Mutual, and

one of the funniest, he plays a gentleman of means who is at a health spa

to take the cure, presumably for his alcoholism. His costume is somewhat

different from that of his classic Tramp's: he wears a light colored jacket

and a straw boater. The baggy pants and oversize shoes are there and his

derby is in evidence in his trunk. The main feature of the sanatorium is

the health spring well, around which the rich guests sit and take the

waters. Charlie is pushed onto the scene in a wheelchair and soon gets

caught up in a revolving door, where he traps and incurs the anger of a

large, gouty patient, Eric Campbell. Shown to his room by an attendant,

he is present when his trunk is delivered and he checks the contents for

damage - bottle upon bottle of liquor, which astonishes the elderly bellhop

who delivers it. Taken down to the well again he's cajoled by another

attendant (Albert Austin) and a pretty nurse to try the waters, resulting

in his immediate departure to his room for a drink. The bellhop has

obviously been into the trunk and Charlie ejects the old fellow. He makes

his way downstairs where he encounters a beautiful fellow visitor (Edna

Purviance), rescuing her from the advances of the amorous Campbell, almost

getting himself thrown off the premises. Edna steps in to rescue him,

refuting Campbell's protestations to the manager. Charlie is brought to the

steam room/gymnasium, where a huge masseur, Henry Bergman, terrifies him

as he works on a rubbery fellow-patient (actually a contortionist Chaplin

hired for the part). He escapes damage himself as he mock wrestles with the

burly masseur and his assistant and pushes everyone, including Campbell,

into the pool. Meanwhile the manager searches Charlie's room and finding

the trunk full of liquor and the drunk bellhop in the bed, orders all the

liquor thrown away. This is done by the now equally drunk Austin who has

obviously been partaking of Charlie's stash.  He throws the bottles out the

window and into the health spa well. Now sober, Charlie departs the gym,

but in the lobby there's a party going on - the waters have had "a strange

effect" and everyone but Charlie and Edna are drunk. Charlie rescues Edna

again from the clutches of two aggressive drunks, and the two repair to the

well to escape the festivities. Edna urges Charlie to drink from the spring

to keep sober for her sake. Eagerly downing jug after glass of the spiked

waters transforms Charlie, and he begins to chase Edna too, but he gets

caught up in the revolving door and ends up revolving his way all the way

to the gym and into the pool. The next morning the hangover reigns supreme

over all the guests. Edna apologizes to Charlie for making him drink the

water that was full of liquor, and at her entreaty, Charlie promises not to

sample the waters again. The two walk off confidently, arm in arm, until

Charlie steps into the well, bobbing up and down as the film fades out.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Inebriate

Edna Purviance - The Girl

Eric Campbell - Gentleman with Gout

Albert Austin - Sanatorium Attendant

Henry Bergman - Masseur

Frank J. Coleman - Head of Sanatorium

James T. Kelly - Ancient Bell Boy

John Rand - Sanatorium Attendant and Masseur

Loyal Underwood - Sanatorium Visitor

Tom Wood - Patient

? - Nurse

Janet Miller Sully - Sanatorium Visitor

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Writer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

 

The Immigrant

1917 - 24 min

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Charlie Chaplin said about The Immigrant, his eleventh film for the

Lone Star/Mutual Film Corporation: "The Immigrant touched me more

than any other film I made." (MY LIFE IN PICTURES, 1972).  It is obliquely

autobiographical, portraying America as at once welcoming and daunting,

probably influenced by Chaplin's own feelings when he was the immigrant

only four years earlier.

 

The film opens on board a ship full of immigrants

headed for America. We are introduced immediately and comically to the

difficulties they are facing, the worst of which seems to be seasickness

caused by the extreme rolling of the boat. We see Edna and her mother

seated on deck, mother obviously not well. We first see Charlie from the

rear, leaning over the ship railing evidently succumbing to mal de mer.  In

a classic transposition gag, Charlie turns to reveal the fish which he has

been struggling to land. After losing the fish, Chaplin demonstrates the

rocking of the ship with a dance-like promenade on the deck and temporarily

catches a bad case of hiccups from another passenger (Albert Austin). The

dinner bell precipitates a stampede into the dining hall where Charlie gets

caught up with a large woman (Henry Bergman) rolling around on the floor,

propelled by the violent rocking of the ship. As the mess crew distributes

the dinner plates, Charlie and his opposite diner share the plate that

slides between them. Edna enters and Charlie is captivated, offering her

his seat and casting a longing gaze her way as he exits the mess hall.

Charlie next engages in some gaming, first a dice game, then poker.

Charlie's baseball-pitcher-like windup before he throws the dice is classic

Chaplin. He wins a nice little bundle mainly from one adversary, who gets

more money for his ante by robbing Edna's mother while she's sleeping. In

the poker game Charlie drives up the stakes, and buys a pistol from the

violently sore loser so that he may cover Charlie's bet. As Charlie picks

up his winnings and turns his back on his opponent to pick up his hat, he

stops an attack by pointing the pistol through his legs and turning

quickly, all the time keeping the violent gambler at bay.  Seated next to

Edna, counting his winnings, Charlie observes Edna's distress and without

her knowledge slips most of his winnings into her pocket. Challenged by a

ship's officer who thinks Charlie has picked Edna's pocket, Edna rescues

Charlie from arrest and then breaks down in tears at his kindness. The

immigrants' "Arrival in the Land of Liberty" is, as Chaplin said, both

"inspiring and ironic" as portrayed in the hopeful yet apprehensive look on

the faces of Charlie, Edna, her mother and the others in the background as

the get their first sight of the Statue of Liberty and a moment later are

herded and roped off like cattle in preparation for disembarkation.

 

Sometime later we find Charlie broke and wandering the streets. He finds a

coin on the sidewalk, which promptly falls from his pant leg through a hole in

his pocket. He immediately proceeds into a nearby restaurant for a meal,

and encounters a huge, intimidating waiter (Eric Campbell), who has a

difficult time communicating to Charlie that wearing a hat indoors is not

acceptable behavior. While eating his beans, Charlie looks up and sees Edna

seated across from him and invites her over to his table. Greeting Edna, he

sees by the black lining on her handkerchief that her mother has died. At

this moment there is a touching pause in the film in which Chaplin, with

masterful use of face and body, mimes his sympathy and genuine feelings for

Edna.  Just as quickly he wipes the sorrow away with an optimistic smile.

Food is ordered for Edna, but when he's presented with the bill, Charlie

comes to the shocking discovery that he's lost the coin. To cover his

surprise and buy some time he orders coffee for Edna, over her

protestations. Charlie and Edna witness a rather brutal beating (largely by

Waiter Eric) of a customer who was ten cents short on his bill. Outside, a

shabby man finds the coin that Charlie had dropped on the sidewalk earlier.

He enters the restaurant, sits at Edna's former table and orders coffee.

When he pays, the coin slips through a hole in Campbell's pocket this time,

and there are a few moments of terrific pantomime as Charlie attempts to

pick up the coin from the floor without attracting Waiter Eric's

attention. He now asks for the new bill and pays with the coin (the same

exact coin he had picked up outside). This time, seeming to distrust

Charlie, the gigantic, menacing waiter inserts the coin between his teeth

and bends it double, proving it a counterfeit. The little fellow melts in

fear and shock, almost sinking below the table only to be yanked up again

by the behemoth. He orders more coffee. An artist seated nearby (Bergman

again) spies the couple and hires them to pose for him, starting the next

day. Charlie's bill is again delivered, and the artist asks for his own

bill as well. Charlie, still broke, stares at his bill, whereupon the

Artist offers to pay. In a perfectly timed and very funny "Alphonse and

Gaston" routine, Charlie protests once too often and again winds up with

the bill. He cleverly pays it from the change from Bergman's bill, left as

a tip. Charlie magnanimously tips the waiter with the remaining dime, while

Campbell glowers at the artist indicating how parsimonious he thinks he is.

Outside in the pouring rain, Charlie asks the artist for "a couple of

dollars on account". We see the happy couple outside the Marriage License

Bureau, where Charlie cajoles the giggling Edna into entering, under the

gaze of the straight-laced Registrar. He playfully carries her across the

threshold, albeit with some difficulty (Edna was gaining a bit of weight,

according to Chaplin), as the picture fades out.  In MY LIFE IN PICTURES

Chaplin wrote, "I thought the end had quite a poetic feeling". In fact the

whole film has that same poetic feeling. It is one of Chaplin's true early

masterpieces. 

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Immigrant

Edna Purviance - Immigrant

Kitty Bradbury - Her Mother

Albert Austin - Slavic Immigrant and Diner

Henry Bergman - Female Immigrant and Artist

Eric Campbell - Head Waiter

Frank J. Coleman - Ship's Officer, Restaurant Owner and Gambler on Ship

James T. Kelly - Shabby man in Restaurant

John Rand - Tipsy Diner Who Cannot Pay

Loyal Underwood - Small Immigrant

Tom Harrington  - Marriage Registrar

 

NB: Stanley "Tiny" Sandford, usually erroneously credited in the role of

the Gambler does not appear in this film.

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Writer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

The Adventurer

1917 - 23 min.

The Adventurer was Charlie Chaplin's last film in his contract for Lone

Star/Mutual, and it is the fastest paced, with its opening and closing

chases which are the apotheosis of the Keystone-style rally. It begins with

a manhunt filmed on the coast near Santa Monica, California. (During the

filming Chaplin rescued a seven year old girl from drowning after she had

been swept into the waters from a rock as she watched.)

 

The police are after an escaped convict (Chaplin) who appears out of the

sand beside a resting prison guard(Frank J. Coleman). Soon five guards

are chasing Charlie over and through the hills and crags of the rough

seacoast. The chase ends with Charlie taking to the ocean where he steals a

swim suit from a boater. Meanwhile Edna Purviance and her suitor Eric

Campbell are lunching at a seaside cafe and hear the cries of Edna's

mother who has fallen off the pier into the ocean.  Edna begs Eric to jump

in and rescue her, but he refuses to risk his life and instead can only

stand on the pier and cry for help. Edna bravely jumps in, but is no better

a swimmer and is soon also yelling for rescue. As Eric yells from the pier

a swarthy seaman standing next to him yells along, and in the process

breaks the railing, plunging them both in the drink. Charlie has meanwhile

swum to shore but hearing the cries for help, swims to the pier where

mother, daughter and Eric are all treading water. The Little Fellow swims

agilely between the three, deciding who to save first. He rescues Edna, who

sends him down again for her mother and then for Eric, whom Charlie tows

along to the pier by his beard. The ladies' chauffeur (played by Chaplin's

own chauffeur, secretary and valet Toraichi Kono) aids in helping the

ladies to their limousine, where Charlie explains that he heard their cries

"from my yacht". When Eric is accidentally dumped back into the sea by

Charlie, he foils Charlie's second rescue by kicking him off the ladder to

the pier. At Edna's orders, Kono discovers the unconscious Charlie and

carries him to the car.

 

 

Waking in a strange bed with bars on the headboard

and dressed in someone else's striped pajamas, Charlie thinks he's back in

prison until the butler enters with clothes for him. A party is under way

in the household. The hero of the day introduces himself as Commodore Slick

and meets Edna's father, Judge Brown, who eyes him suspiciously. Charlie is

very interested in Edna, but also in all the free drinks.  His rivalry with

Eric soon escalates into covert kicking and seltzer squirting, until Eric

finds Charlie's picture in a newspaper article about his escape. Before

Eric can bring the article to Judge Brown's attention, Charlie cleverly

draws Campbell's beard on the photo, allaying the judges suspicions. Not to

be denied, Campbell calls the authorities.  Meanwhile Charlie samples the

pleasures of the house, dancing with Edna and eating ice cream on a

veranda.  In a classic bit of pantomime, when Charlie accidentally drops

his lump of ice cream down his pants front, we can trace the exact position

of the freezing lump just by watching Chaplin's face.  When the guards

arrive, a marvellous chase sequence begins, upstairs and down, during which

Charlie eludes capture. Jumping down from the balcony, one of the guards

grabs Charlie who has paused to apologize to Edna for his deception. When

the guard loosens his hold to shake hands with Edna, Charlie takes to his

heels again as the picture ends.

 

This last of Chaplin's twelve short masterpieces marked the end of

Chaplin's most intensively creative period. "Fulfilling the Mutual

Contract, I suppose, was the happiest period of my career, he wrote. "I was

light and unencumbered, twenty-seven years old, with fabulous prospects and

a friendly, glamorous world before me.  Within a short time I would be a

millionaire. It all seemed slightly mad."  Eric Campbell, who holds a

special place in the Chaplin lexicon, appeared in only eleven Chaplin

films. He was tragically killed in an auto accident in December, 1917 at

age 37. Chaplin tried and failed to replace Campbell. He instead changed

his approach to the villain in his films, later to be supplanted by aspects

of society at large.  Chaplin's David was never the same without his true

Goliath.

 

 

Chaplin's Goliath, the great Eric Campbell

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Convict #23, aka The Eel, aka Commodore Slick

Edna Purviance - A Girl

Henry Bergman - Her Father, Judge Brown and a Docker

Eric Campbell - Her Suitor

Janet Miller Sully - Her Mother

Albert Austin - Butler

Frank Coleman - Prison Guard

Loyal Underwood - Small Guest

May White - Large Female Guest

Toraichi Kono - Chauffeur

 

Production Team

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Writer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

 

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