Charlie Chaplin Filmography Continued

 

 

 

 

 

KEYSTONE     ESSANAY     MUTUAL    UNITED ARTISTS

 

 

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How To Make Movies

1918/1982 - 2 reels

 

In this comedy documentary begun during the construction of his new studios

in 1917, and continued after its completion, Charlie Chaplin gives us a

look, however staged, inside the Chaplin workplace. Although never

completed by Chaplin, who wanted to use it to help fulfil his First

National contract, it was reconstructed in 1982 by scholars Kevin Brownlow

and David Gill from material they found at the Chaplin estate. They got the

editing continuity from a page of titles they found in the Chaplin archive.

Some of the footage was used in 1959 by Chaplin as a prologue to his

compilation, The Chaplin Revue, and used again for the documentary on

Chaplin, The Gentleman Tramp.

 

The film begins with a stop action sequence of the studio being built. Then

it shows a dapper, 29 year old Chaplin arriving at work, greeting his

staff, reading his fan mail.  His butler is instructed to bring his famous

costume, which he retrieves from the studio vault. Chaplin is seen

rehearsing his cast and coaching a starlet through a screen test. We are

taken into the Chaplin Studio laboratory where we're shown how film is

developed and processed, and we see Chaplin at work in the editing room.

Then Chaplin is seen dressing in his Tramp costume and applying the famous

mustache. A few scenes from an unreleased Mutual follow, showing Chaplin,

Eric Campbell and Albert Austin on the golf links. Ideas from these

sequences were later used for Chaplin's The Idle Class.  This would be

Chaplin's final pairing with Campbell who died in an auto accident soon

after filming. At the end of the work day Chaplin bids us 'Au Revoir". How

To Make Movies offers us a rare glimpse inside Chaplin's studio, and

although he was always guarded about revealing his working methods, it

gives us the feeling of those exciting, creative days. 

 

Cast (as themselves)

 

Charles Chaplin

Edna Purviance

Henry Bergman

Loyal Underwood

Jack Wilson

Eric Campbell

Albert Austin

Tom Wood

Tom Harington

Granville Redmond

Nellie Bly Baker

Toraichi Kono

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

 

 

A Dog's Life

1918 - 39 min. 

  

Charlie Chaplin's first "Million Dollar Picture" for the First National

Exchange was also the first made in his new studio, which he built in a

then residential area of Hollywood at La Brea Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.

Chaplin left Mutual under friendly circumstances, after brother Syd Chaplin

had negotiated his new contact. It called for eight two reel comedies in a

year for which First National would give him a substantial production

budget and a share in the profits from his films. The nature of the

agreement would change however, due to Chaplin's desire to expand his films

to longer forms and augment the dramatic aspect of his stories and

character.

 

A Dog's Life is set in the same London-like slums as his Mutual Easy

Street, the milieu in which Chaplin grew up. Charlie is truly a Tramp

again. His clothes are tattered and he has no tie or cane. We first see him

sleeping in an empty lot, partially surrounded by a fence. He's awakened by

a hot dog salesman from whom he attempts to steal his breakfast, but he's

observed and chased away by a cop. At an employment office, he tries

applying for a job at a brewery, but in a remarkably timed comic near-

dance, he is beaten to the wicket by other hopefuls each time he

approaches. Charlie meets his counterpart in the character of Scraps, a

small dog he rescues from a dog fight.  Scraps is as much like the Tramp

character as was Jackie Coogan in the later film The Kid, and parallels

are drawn between them throughout the film.

 

Charlie and Scraps visit a lunch wagon run by Syd Chaplin. The broke

Charlie is able to sneak hot dogs for Scraps and pastries for himself from

under the nose of the increasingly suspicious proprietor, until he is again

observed by the cop and chased away.  Next, Charlie wanders into the seedy

Green Lantern cafe, hiding Scraps in his copious trousers, which becomes

 

obvious to everyone when Scraps' tail emerges from a hole in the seat of

his pants. Charlie meets Edna Purviance, a soulful singer who starts

everyone crying with her song, but is inept as a dancehall girl who must

flirt with the customers to get them to buy drinks. Although Charlie

doesn't get her attempts at flirtation at first, he's clearly interested,

but is ejected by a waiter when it becomes clear he can't afford the price

of a drink. 

 

Meanwhile, two toughs from the saloon rob a rich drunkard and bury his

wallet in the vacant lot where Charlie soon returns to sleep. The crooks

return to the Green Lantern and when Edna refuses their advances, she's

fired by the manager (popular artist Granville Redmond) and despondently

sits at a table and cries. While Charlie sleeps, Scraps digs up the wallet

and Charlie returns to the saloon. About to celebrate his new found wealth

with Edna, Charlie is knocked over the head and robbed by the crooks who

have recognized the wallet. In the ensuing fight Charlie is again ejected

from the saloon. He sneaks back in and regains the money in an hilarious

scene in which, from behind a curtain, he knocks out one of the crooks and

substitutes his own arms for the crook's, cajoling and knocking out the

second robber. Escaping the Green Lantern, he's chased by the thieves into

the lunch stand and is receiving a beating until Scraps rescues him, just

as Charlie had done for the dog earlier. The cops arrive and arrest the

crooks, but the threesome escape. We next see them in scene of domestic

bliss - Charlie now a farmer planting his crops, Edna now his mate

preparing tea, and in the cradle by the fireplace - Scraps with >her< new

litter.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp

Edna Purviance - Bar Singer

Mut - Scraps

Syd Chaplin - Lunch Wagon Owner

Henry Bergman - Unemployed Man and Dance Hall Lady

Charles "Chuck" Riesner - Clerk and Musician

Albert Austin - Crook

Granville Redmond - Dance Hall Manager

Dave Anderson - Unemployed Man

Ted Edwards - Unemployed Man

Louis Fitzroy - Unemployed Man

James T. Kelly - Unemployed Man

Loyal Underwood -Unemployed Man, Man in Dance Hall

Rob Wagner - Dance Hall Man

Tom Wilson - Policeman

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Music

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

 

 

The Bond

1918 - 10 min.

 

This short promotional film for the US Liberty Loan bond campaign was shot

in a few days during the shooting of Shoulder Arms. Using rather stark,

expressionistic sets and props, it tells the story of the various types of

bonds between people. The bond of friendship, shows Charlie meeting friend

Albert Austin who tells him jokes, borrows money, then invites him for a

drink with the money he's borrowed. The bond of love is represented by

Charlie and Edna, who are struck by cupid's arrows and soon enter into the

bond of matrimony. But the "most important of all" is the Liberty Bond.

Edna is Miss Liberty, threatened by the Kaiser who is subdued a soldier in

uniform. Charlie is seen buying bonds from Uncle Sam who gives the money in

turn to a worker, who gives a guns to a soldier and sailor. Finally,

Charlie kayos the Kaiser with a mallet inscribed "Liberty Bonds" and

extorts the audience to help the cause.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Himself

Syd Chaplin - The Kaiser

Edna Purviance - Herself

Dorothy Rosher - Cupid

Albert Austin -  Friend and Uncle Sam

 

NB: - Although production stills show Henry Bergman in costume for

the role of John Bull, he does not appear in the finished film.

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Producer, Director, Writer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

 

 

Shoulder Arms

1918 - 40 min.

 

Shoulder Arms was Charlie Chaplin's final contribution to the World War I

effort, along with his personal appearances selling Liberty Bonds and his

film The Bond. It was released shortly before the end of the war and

Chaplin made prints available to soldiers fighting overseas, for which he

was lauded for cheering the severely tested troops.

 

Charlie is a member of the "Awkward Squad" and we first see him

being put through his paces in training camp. He has problems with making a

proper about-face and with marching, his out-turned feet constantly

annoying his drill sergeant.  Exhausted after a hard drill he collapses on

his cot.

 

"Over there", somewhere in France, the troops are engaged in trench warfare

and Chaplin gives us a hilarious view on the difficulties experienced by

the troops - flooded quarters (which he shares with a sergeant played by

brother Sydney Chaplin), constant shelling, sniping and homesickness. In

a touching scene, a mail-less Charlie reads a letter from home over the

shoulder of another soldier and on his face we can see his emotional

reactions to the good and bad news that the soldier reads. Charlie is sent

over the top and ends up capturing a squad of German soldiers single

handedly.  His next foray, in the guise of a tree, provides a wonderful

look at Chaplin's pantomime talents as he "becomes" a tree each time the

enemy soldiers approach. Escaping the enemy squad he hides in a bombed out

house where a French girl, Edna Purviance, lives. She discovers him in

her bed and tends to his wounds. Soon they're beset by the enemy squad,

searching for Charlie. In the chase they collapse the rickety house and

Charlie escapes, but Edna is arrested for aiding the enemy. Meanwhile

Charlie's sergeant buddy is captured while attempting to telegraph

information on the enemy to the allied camp.

 

Edna and Sydney are both brought to the enemy headquarters and Edna is

threatened by the evil commandant.  Charlie, sneaking down the chimney of

the commandant's house rescues Edna from his advances and locks him in a

closet. At that moment the Kaiser, Crown Prince and their General arrive at

the camp. Charlie, rushing to the closet, takes the commandant's uniform

and impersonates him. Taking charge of Edna and escorting her outside, he

is recognized by his captive buddy, and the three of them overcome and

restrain the Kaiser's driver and guards and replace them. When the Kaiser

and the others enter the limousine, the allies drives them off to the

American camp, where Charlie is hailed as a hero and is hoisted on the

shoulders of his comrades. But it was all a dream - in the classic

Chaplinesque style Charlie is shaken awake by his drill sergeant - still in

boot camp!

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Doughboy

Edna Purviance - The Girl

Sydney Chaplin - Charlie's Comrade and the Kaiser

Henry Bergman - Fat Whiskered German Soldier, the Kaiser's General and

Bartender

Albert Austin - American Soldier, Clean Shaven and Bearded German Soldiers

Jack Wilson  - German Crown Prince

Tom Wilson  - Training Camp Sergeant and Dumb German Wood Cutter

Loyal Underwood - Small German Officer

John Rand - US Soldier

Park Jones - US Soldier

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Producer, Director, Writer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

 

 

Sunnyside

1919 - 3 reels - 34 min.

 

 

Charlie Chaplin's third film in his First National contract is a simple

story of country life, an idyll, which contains two separate dream

sequences, a characteristic Chaplin story device.  Charlie is a farm hand

and general factotum at a combination farm, general store and hotel. His

boss, Tom Wilson, drives him hard, waking him early to prepare breakfast

while he sleeps in. Charlie has devised some labor saving techniques, such

as sitting a chicken on the frying pan so she can lay an egg in it, or

milking the cow directly into the coffee cups. After Sunday breakfast the

boss goes off to church along with most of the town, while Charlie must

tend to the cows. Charlie, reading the bible, loses the herd as they stroll

peacefully up a country road. He finds them in town and must shoo them out

of various buildings. When the whole parrish comes running out of the

church, Charlie enters heroically and comes out riding the bull, which

eventually dumps him in a stream below a wooden bridge. Unconscious,

Charlie dreams of dancing through the meadows with four lovely wood nymphs,

in a scene of balletic grace and humor. Awakened at the bottom of the

stream, he's pulled out by four men including his boss, who kicks him all

the way home.

 

Sunday afternoon is Charlie's time for visiting his girl, Edna Purviance,

bringing her flowers and a ring. Their romantic tryst is hampered by her

mischievous teenage brother, until Charlie sends him out to play blind

man's buff in traffic. Then Edna's father (Henry Bergman) interrupts

their musical interlude at the pump organ, ordering Charlie away.

 

Back at the store/hotel Charlie is again scolded for being late. A traffic

accident outside brings a new visitor, a "city slicker" who is injured and

must stay at the hotel. He's attended to by a horse doctor and shown to his

room by Charlie, who later sits down to rest.

 

Later, the slicker is preparing to leave when Edna enters the store and

attracts the handsome visitor who follows her out of the store. Worried by

the competition, Charlie eventually arrives at Edna's, observing through a

window his rival's fashionable ways - the spats on his shoes, the

handkerchief up his sleeve and the cigarette lighter in the handle of his

walking stick.  Seeing that he's losing Edna, Charlie returns home and

tries to emulate his rival by putting old socks over the tops of his shoes

and rigging a match to the end of a stick. When he visits Edna she rejects

him, giving back his ring. Despondent, Charlie walks out to the street and

stands in the way of an approaching car. The impact he feels, however, is

from the boot of his boss as he awakens Charlie from his second reverie. 

 

The guest is really leaving this time, and when Edna enters the store she

gives the slicker's advances the cold shoulder as Charlie proclaims his

devotion to her.  He helps the slicker load his baggage into the car and

receives a tip. Charlie and Edna celebrate his departure with a loving hug,

as the camera irises in.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Farm handyman

Edna Purviance - Village Belle

Tom Wilson - Boss

Albert Austin - Doctor

Henry Bergman - Villager and Edna's Father

Tom Terriss - Young Man from the City

Loyal Underwood - Fat Boy's Father

Tom Wood - Fat Boy

Olive Burton - Nymph

Helen Kohn - Nymph

Willie Mae Carson - Nymph

Olive Alcorn - Nymph

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director, Music

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

 

 

A Day's Pleasure

1919 - 20 min.

 

Charlie Chaplin's fourth film for First National is generally considered

a lightweight entry and a throwback to earlier days. It begins with

Charlie, Edna and their two boys leaving their house (actually a corner of

Chaplin's studio at La Brea and De Longpre in Hollywood) for a day's

outing.  The family piles into the family flivver, and after Charlie's

amusing efforts to keep the engine running, they arrive at a dock and board

a crowded day cruiser.

 

Charlie has a disagreement with another passenger (Tom Wilson), when he

squeezes himself into a place on the bench next to the fellow's hefty wife,

(Babe London). When Wilson tosses the famous derby onto the dock, Charlie

races off the boat to get it. As the vessel pulls away from the dock, a

large woman with a baby carriage tries to board, but ends up stretched

between the dock and the boat.  Charlie, returning with his hat uses her as

a gangplank, then tries to pull her aboard with a grappling hook.

 

Once the boat is under way, the passengers dance to the music of a small

combo, but soon everyone is feeling the effects of the violently rocking

cruiser. Charlie has to stop dancing with the lovely Edna to sit by the

railing near the trombonist, whose own mal de mer turns the black man quite

pale. Meanwhile, Edna and the kids are napping on deck chairs and Charlie

decides to join them. In typical Chaplinesque fashion, he cannot seem to

assemble his chair. Overcome by seasickness he collapses into the lap of

the equally bilious Babe and is covered with a blanket by a helpful

steward.  When the lady's jealous husband returns with drinks he tries to

attack Charlie, but becomes too nauseated to continue, of which the now

recovered Charlie takes advantage.

 

The return trip in the family car is equally eventful. Charlie runs afoul

of a couple of traffic cops, is blocked by some irate pedestrians, one of

whose foul language spurs Charlie to indicate the divine retribution

awaiting him, and backs into a tar truck which spills its contents on the

street.  The cops, berating Charlie for blocking traffic, get stuck in the

tar along with Charlie, but he cleverly steps out of his large shoes and

drives off with his family, much to the amusement of the onlookers. This

last scene may have originally been intended to occur earlier in the film,

according to continuity sheets existing in the Chaplin archives, but was

placed at he end of the film for the released version.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Father

Edna Purviance - Mother

Tom Wilson - Large Husband and Cop

Babe London - His Seasick Wife

Henry Bergman - Captain, Man in Car and Cop

Marion Feducha - Small Boy

Bob Kelly - Small Boy

Jackie Coogan - Smallest Boy

Loyal Underwood - Angry Little Man in Street

Tom Woods - Fat Woman

Toraichi Kono - Chauffeur

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Music

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

 

 

The Kid

1921 - 54 min.

 

The Kid was Charles Chaplin's first self-produced and directed feature

film; 1914's 6-reel Tillie's Punctured Romance was a Mack Sennett

production in which Chaplin merely co-starred.

 

The story "with a smile and perhaps a tear," begins with unwed mother  

Edna Purviance leaving the Charity Hospital, babe in arms.  Her burden is

illustrated with a title card showing Christ bearing the cross. The father

of the child is a poor artist who cares little for of his former lover,

carelessly knocking her photo into his garret fireplace and cooly returning

it there when he sees it is too badly damaged to keep. The mother

sorrowfully leaves her baby in the back seat of a millionaire's limousine,

with a note imploring whoever finds it to care for and love the child. But

thieves steal the limo, and, upon discovering the baby, ditch the tot in an

alleyway trash can. Enter Charlie, out for his morning stroll, carefully

selecting a choice cigarette butt from his well used tin. He stumbles upon

the squalling infant and, after trying to palm it off on a lady with

another baby in a carriage, decides to adopt the kid himself. Meanwhile

Edna has relented, but when she returns to the mansion and is told that the

car has been stolen, she collapses in despair. Charlie outfits his flat for

the baby as best he can, using an old coffee pot with a nipple on the spout

as a baby bottle and a cane chair with the seat cut out as a potty seat.

Charlie's attic apartment is a representation of the garret Chaplin had

shared with his mother and brother in London, just as the slum neighborhood

is a recreation of the ones he knew as a boy.

 

Five years later, Charlie has become a glazier, while his adopted son (the 

remarkable Jackie Coogan) drums up business for his old man by cheerfully

breaking windows in the neighborhood. Edna meanwhile has become a  world

famous opera singer, still haunted by the memory of her child, who does

charity work in the very slums in which he now lives. Ironically, she gives

a toy dog to little Jackie. Charlie and Jack's close calls with the law and

fights with street toughs are easily overcome, but when Jack falls ill, the

attending doctor learns of the illegal adoption and summons the Orphan

Asylum social workers who try to separate Charlie from his foster son.  In

one of the most moving scenes in all of Chaplin's films, Charlie and Jackie

try to fight the officials, but Charlie is subdued by the cop they have

summoned. Jackie is roughly thrown into the back of the Asylum van,

pleading to the welfare official and to God not to be separated from his

father. Charlie, freeing himself from the cop, pursues the orphanage van

over the rooftops and, descending into the back of the truck, dispatches

the official and tearfully reunites with his "son". Returning to check on

the sick boy, Edna encounters the doctor and is shown the note which she

had attached to her baby five years earlier. Charlie and Jack, not daring

to return home, settle in a flophouse for the night. The proprietor sees a

newspaper ad offering a reward for Jackie's return and kidnaps the sleeping

boy. After hunting fruitlessly, a grieving Charlie falls asleep on his

tenement doorstep and dreams that he has been reunited with the boy in

Heaven (that "flirtatious angel" is Lita Grey, later Chaplin's second

wife). Woken from his dream by the cop, he is taken via limousine to Edna's

mansion where he is welcomed by Jackie and Edna, presumably to stay.

 

Chaplin had difficulties getting The Kid produced. His inspiration, it is

suggested was the death of his own first son, Norman Spencer Chaplin a few

days after birth in 1919. His determination to make a serio-comic feature

was challenged by First National who preferred two reel films, which were

more quickly produced and released.  Chaplin wisely gained his

distributors' approval by inviting them to the studio, where he trotted out

the delightful Jackie to entertain them.  Chaplin's divorce case from his

first wife Mildred Harris also played a part; fearing seizure of the

negatives Chaplin and crew escaped to Salt Lake City and later to New York

to complete the editing of the film.  Chaplin's excellent and moving score

for The Kid was composed in 1971 for a theatrical re-release, but used

themes that Chaplin had composed in 1921. Chaplin re-edited the film

somewhat for the re-release, cutting scenes that he felt were overly

sentimental, such as Edna's observing of a May-December wedding and her

portrayal as a saint, outlined by a church's stained glass window.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Tramp

Jackie Coogan - The Kid

Edna Purviance - Mother

Tom Wilson - Policeman

Charles "Chuck" Reisner - The Bully

Raymond Lee - His Kid Brother

Lillita McMurray (Lita Grey) - Flirting Angel

Albert Austin - Man in Shelter

Beulah Bains - Bride

Nellie Bly Baker - Slum Nurse

Henry Bergman - Professor Guido (Impressario) and Flophouse Proprietor

Kitty Bradbury - Bride's Mother

Frank Campeau - Welfare Officer

Jack Coogan, Sr. - Guest, Pickpocket, Devil

Robert Dunbar - Bridegroom

Rupert Franklin - Bride's Father

Jules Hanft - Physician

Baby Hathaway - The Kid as a Baby

Walter Lynch - Tough cop

John McKinnon - Chief of Police

Carl Miller - Artist

Granville Redmond - Artist

Esther Ralston - Extra in Heaven Scene

Edgar Sherrod - Priest

Edith Wilson - Woman with Pram

Baby Wilson - Her Baby

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Music

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

 

 

The Idle Class

1921 - 28 min.

 

Charlie Chaplin's eighth film under his million dollar contract with First

National is a return to the two reel form, and to the lightness of the

Mutual style. Chaplin plays dual role, that of a vacationing Tramp, and a

high society inebriate husband.

 

Arriving in Miami on the same train are Edna, a neglected and lonely wife,

who descends from the coach, and Charlie, who emerges from the baggage

compartment under a train car, complete with baggage and golf clubs.

Charlie hitches a ride on the back of Edna's limousine. Edna's forgetful,

alcoholic husband is a natty double for Charlie. A telegram tells us he was

supposed to meet Edna at the train. Already late, he leaves the hotel room

without his pants. Escaping notice of the other guests in the lobby causes

him to delay his departure, to the point where newly arrived Edna finds him

hiding in bed.

 

That afternoon he receives a note telling him that his wife has moved to other

lodgings until he stops drinking. He gazes longingly at Edna's picture and,

his back turned to the camera, appears to be sobbing. As he turns, however,

we see the cocktail shaker he is expertly manipulating.

 

Edna, meanwhile, is out for a horseback ride, and Charlie has found the

nearby golf links. His hilarious golf game, highlighted by his run-ins with

Mack Swain and John Rand pauses when he sees Edna pass by on horseback.

After looking longingly at her, he fantasizes rescuing her from her runaway

horse (in another of Chaplin's dream sequences), imagining their lives all

the way through marriage and children. But the dream ends and Charlie returns

to his golf game, in which his drive breaks Swain's whisky bottle causing him

to burst into tears, and in which he again runs afoul of Rand.

 

The inebriate husband has received a note from his wife, saying that she

will forgive him if he attends her costume ball. Dressed in a suit of armor,

his visor jams closed, preventing him from taking a drink, and he spends great

effort trying to open it.

 

Meanwhile Charlie has got himself in trouble with the law - while sitting

on a park bench his neighbor has been pickpocketed and Charlie is the

suspect. Pursued by a cop, he sneaks his way through an arriving limo

and into Edna's costume ball. Edna, naturally mistaking him for her husband,

makes moves toward reconciliation, which Charlie welcomes as affection.

When greeted by Mack, who turns out to be Edna's father, Charlie expects

trouble from their golfing encounter, but is amazed that Swain thinks he's

Edna's husband. Charlie denies that thy are married, which gets him knocked

down several times. Caught together by the still visored husband, Charlie

is attacked but the unknown assailant is subdued by the other guests.

Eventually he frees himself and identifies himself to Swain, who tries to

remove the helmet. Eventually Charlie uses a can opener to peel back the

visor (revealing an unknown actor double), and the confusion is explained.

Told unceremoniously to leave, Charlie departs, but Edna decides they've

treated him shabbily and sends Mack after him to apologize. Charlie accepts

his hand, but points to Mack's shoelace. When Mack bends over to tie it,

Charlie delivers a swift kick to the derriere, before sprinting off into

the distance. 

 

How gorgeous is Edna in this frame capture?

 

The golf sequences in The Idle Class were inspired by an earlier, unfinished

Mutual called The Golf Links, featuring Eric Campbell and Albert Austin,

portions of which were included in Chaplin's 1918, How to Make Movies. A

still, showing Campbell and Chaplin teeing off on the same ball made its way

into Chaplin's autobiography, captioned as being from The Idle Class (made four

years after Campbell's death) and was a source of confusion to Chaplin

aficionados, until How to Make Movies was assembled by Kevin Brownlow and

David Gill. Chaplin's lovely score for The Idle Class was composed for its

reissue in 1971.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Tramp and Husband

Edna Purviance - Neglected Wife

Mack Swain - Her Father

Lillian Mc Murray - Maid

Lillita Mc Murray (Lita Grey) - Maid

Allan Garcia - Cop and Guest

John Rand - Golfer/Guest

Henry Bergman - Sleeping Hobo and Guest in Policeman Costume

Loyal Underwood - Guest

Rex Storey - Pickpocket and Guest

Edward Knoblock - Extra

  

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Screenwriter, Director, Music

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

 

Who is that in the armor?

 

Pay Day

1922 - 22 min.

 

Charlie Chaplin's last two reeler recalls earlier comedies such as

the Essanay Work, with Chaplin casting himself as a worker rather than

a Tramp, but the film shows great advances in film technique.  Charlie is a

construction worker, who arrives late for work, bringing a flower as peace

offering for his boss, Mack Swain. As a ditch digger, Charlie leaves

something to be desired, but as a brick catcher, he's amazing, due to a

very clever reverse action scene. 

 

Lunchtime brings Mack's daughter, Edna Purviance with his lunch and

Charlie seems smitten.  He has no lunch, but is lucky enough to partake of

some of his co-workers' food due to a very active work elevator, which they

all seem to use as a sideboard. 

 

It's pay day and Charlie argues about his wages, despite being overpaid.

His battleaxe wife Phyllis Allen (in their first re-teaming since the

Keystone days) shows up at the end of the workday to collect his wages,

some of which he's able to retain despite her efforts.

 

That night, Charlie and his co-workers go drinking and are quite looped at

the end of the evening - bellicose but songful. In a rare night time

photography scene, Charlie tries to catch the last streetcar home but is

pushed out one end when huge Henry Bergman pushes his way on at the

other. In his drunkenness Charlie boards a hot dog cart, thinking it's

another streetcar, holding onto a suspended salami as a hand strap. 

 

Arriving home at daybreak, Charlie has just started undressing for bed when

the alarm clock rings, waking the wife. Pretending to leave for work, he

tries to settle down to sleep in the bathtub, but is caught and sent out to

work by his nagging mate.

 

Payday began life as Come Seven, a story about two rich plumbers. Production

was interrupted by Chaplin's trip to Europe after only eight scenes were

photographed.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - Laborer

Phyllis Allen - His Wife

Mack Swain - Foreman

Edna Purviance - Foreman's Daughter

Henry Bergman - Workman/Drinking Companion

Syd Chaplin - Workman/Drinking Companion and Lunch Cart Owner

Allan Garcia - Drinking Companion

John Rand - Workman/Drinking Companion

Loyal Underwood - Workman/Drinking Companion

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Producer, Director, Writer, Music

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

 

 

The Pilgrim

 1923 - 44 minutes

 

In the final film of his First National contract (an early working title

was The Tail End), Charlie Chaplin spoofs small town life and morality.

 

Outside a prison a guard posts a wanted notice - Charlie is an escaped

convict who steals the clothes of a swimming minister. At the railroad

station he nearly gives himself away by guiltily running away from an

eloping couple who want him to perform an impromptu wedding. He boards a

train and travels to a small town, Devil's Gulch, Texas, where he is

welcomed by his congregation, who have never met the new reverend they've

been expecting. He meets the townsfolk and is enchanted by Edna, in whose

house he will be boarding. Charlie arrives just in time for church services

and on the way he picks a liquor bottle from the pocket of a large Deacon,

only to have it break when they both slip on a banana peel. The Deacon

thinks that the spilled whisky has come from his pocket.

 

The plucky fugitive goes along with the ruse and after seeing to the church

collection, pitting one side of the congregation against the other in

competition to see who contributes the most, he gives a wonderful sermon in

pantomime - the story of David and Goliath. His story is so effective that

a young boy breaks into wild applause which Charlie acknowledges with the

aplomb of a seasoned theatrical.

 

At the home of Edna and her Mother, his impersonation is severely tested by

a visit from a couple with a mischievous child, Dinky Dean Riesner. (In

later recollections Riesner tells of how he had to be cajoled into punching

and slapping his "Uncles" Charlie and Syd, something abhorrent to him in

real life).

 

A stroll with Edna through town brings him face to face with a former

cellmate, who is invited home for tea by the unsuspecting Edna. During the

visit he observes the hiding place of Mother's mortgage money and Charlie

valiantly but unsuccessfully tries to prevent the crook from stealing it.

When the thief escapes, Charlie gives chase, but the sheriff, by now aware

of Charlie's identity as an escapee, causes everyone to believe that the

two are in league. Charlie however, overpowers the crook and returns the

money to Edna.

 

When the Pilgrim's true intentions are revealed, rather than arresting him,

the sheriff escorts him to the Mexican border. He orders the fugitive to

pick a bouquet of flowers. When Charlie obeys, the sheriff boots him across

the border and takes off, leaving him stranded between warring bandit

factions on one side, and arrest as a fugitive on the other, slowly walking

into the sunset with one foot in Mexico and the other in the USA.

 

Cast

 

Charles Chaplin - The Pilgrim, aka Lefty Lombard, aka Slippery Elm

Edna Purviance - The Girl, Miss Brown

Syd Chaplin - Little Boy's Father/Eloper/Train Conductor

Mack Swain - Deacon Jones

Kitty Bradbury - Edna's Mother, Mrs. Brown

Tom Murray - Sheriff Bryan

Charles "Chuck" Riesner - The Crook, Howard Huntington aka Nitro Nick aka

Picking Pete

Dinky Dean Riesner - Bratty Little Boy

Phyllis Allen - Congregation Member

Monta Bell - Policeman

Henry Bergman - Sheriff on Train/Man in Railroad Station

Edith Bostwick - Congregation Member

Florence Latimer - Congregation Member

Raymond Lee - Boy in Congregation

Loyal Underwood - Small Deacon

May Wells - Little Boy's Mother

Jack Wilson - Swimming Minister

 

 

Production Team

 

Charles Chaplin - Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Composer

Charles Hall - Production Designer

Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh - Cinematographer

Jack Wilson - Cinematographer

 

Music score composed for the 1959 The Chaplin Revue re-release by Charles

Chaplin, including theme song "I'm Bound For Texas", sung by Matt Monro.

 

Continue to the United Artists

 

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