Charlie Chaplin
The laughter he brought to the lives of others equaled the sufferings he experienced in his own.
Born in the London of 1889, Charles Spencer Chaplin started out bleakly. He was to endure some very tough years of childhood before his infectious stage persona and razor-sharp characterizations would pull him out of a desperate situation and into the limelight. And even after he achieved success, Chaplin maintained an ambiguous relationship with the society that brought him fame and fortune.
Reportedly, Chaplin "could sing before he could talk and dance as soon as he walked." Not unlikely, given his mother was a vaudeville performer. However, during all this precocious singing and dancing, Chaplin's mother suffered mental breakdowns and his father was usually drunk. The stage proved to be a surrogate home for young Charlie -- at the age of five he stood in for his mother when she was too hoarse to sing. The adulation was immediate, as patrons threw money and affection at the charming waif. Throughout his youth, he performed any way he could -- clog dancing, miming, acting in circuses -- to keep himself out of orphanages and work houses.
Chaplin's luck turned when he returned to vaudeville in his late teens. His talent for comic mime quickly garnered him spots with various touring troupes. After visiting America, he decided to set up camp there in 1910. By 1914, he had debuted in his first feature film, "Making a Living," with Keystone Films. And make a living he did, playing the baggy-suited, cane-carrying Tramp character. Chaplin's Tramp hit a nerve with audiences everywhere -- he was a passionate symbol of humanity's triumph over adversity and persecution, of emotional individualism in the jaws of mechanized modernity.
Chaplin was so popular that studios had a hard time keeping up with his asking salary. Plus, he was still single, a rarity for such a star. He soon impulsively married, but he wouldn't stay wed for long -- a total of four marriages were tested against his intensely driven career. His first love was movies, and a controlling lover he was. Not content with silver-screen stardom, Chaplin helped establish United Artists in 1919 in order to produce and distribute his films independently.
Fully in charge, Chaplin rose to new levels of artistry. He relied heavily on improvisation and worked out the scenes on film with minimal prior rehearsal. He shot scenes over and over, experimenting with subtleties of expression and timing. As many as seven years could lapse before he released a film.
The string of films he produced -- including "The Kid" (1925), "City Lights" (1931), "Modern Times" (1936), "The Great Dictator" (1940), "Monsieur Verdoux" (1947), and "Limelight" (1952) -- show the fruits of such painstaking labor. They reveal a physical expressiveness otherwise lost in the world of "talkies." Full of both satire and pathos, they criticize and sympathize in equal measure. As he matured, Chaplin took on timely social issues. His "Modern Times" is a pointed commentary on industrialization and its alienating effects, while "The Great Dictator" made Hitler look ridiculous in a way only Chaplin could get away with.
His career moved along smoothly until the '50s, when he accused of ties with the Communist Party. His work made him an easy target for "Red" paranoia -- films like "The Idle Class" (1921) and "Modern Times" are blatantly suspicious of commerce and the idle rich. Chaplin was forbidden from leaving the United States until 1952, when the FBI admitted it had insufficient evidence to support its claims. He and his family immediately left the country and claimed permanent residence in Switzerland. He got his revenge in 1957 with the film "The King in New York," a satirical look at the House Committee on Un-American Activities, among other things. Chaplin and America did make amends in 1972, when he returned briefly to receive a special Academy Award for lifetime achievement.
Despite the controversy, Chaplin died in 1977 a universally loved cultural icon. He could provoke laughter with the roll of his eyes or that little ducky waddle. He could evince tears with the downturn of his shoulders. And he addressed social concerns from the heart, not the soap box. His work embodies all those things we hope to not forget in our modern times: freedom from conformity, compassion for the downtrodden, humanity in times of danger. Perhaps his own encounters with adversity prompted him to address these topics with such a loving hand.
On this special page devoted to the great Charlie Chaplin, we offer on DVD many of his most popular and critically acclaimed movies. They are all in the public domain. On DVD the first one is $9.99... then each additional movie is $5.00. US shipping $1 first class. International us$3.
(SPECIAL PRICING is available to EDUCATORS of English, Drama, Film... eMail us for details)
The Adventurer
1917 ~ B&W ~ 31 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie escapes from Sing-Sing prison. He burrows up through sand on a beach and is chased by guards. Nearby, Edna's mother is drowning and her beau is afraid to rescue her. Charlie rescues Edna and her mother and is nearly drowned by her suitor. Found by the chauffer, Charlie is brought to Edna's house to recuperate. There he romps through drinks, encounters Edna, her friend, and the law. Charlie Chaplin as the super clown. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell.
The Bank
1915 ~ B&W ~ 33 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie does anything but an efficient job as a janitor. Edna buys her fiancé, the cashier, a birthday present. Charlie mistakes the present for him. He presents her a rose which she tosses in the garbage. Depressed, Charlie dreams of a bank robbery and his heroic role and saving the manager and Edna. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Carl Stockdale.
Behind The Screen
1916 ~ B&W ~ 20 minutes ~ Silent
Three movies are being filmed simultaneously and Chaplin is an exhausted scene shifter. The foreman is waited on hand and foot until all the shifters but Charlie go on strike. A girl looking for work disguises as a man and helps Charlie. He discovers her gender and falls in love with her. The foreman thinks that they are gay and in the ensuing fight, they become involved in a long pie throwing scene from one of the movies in production. Meanwhile, the frustrated workers dynamite the studio. Charlie Chaplin, Eric Campbell, Edna Purviance.
Between Showers
1914 ~ B&W ~ 15 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie and another man compete in trying to help a young lady cross a muddy street. The rival finds a wooden plank, which Charlie seizes from him. Then they fight over an umbrella owned by the other man. A policeman settles the rigmarole and arrests the other man. An innocent tramp is pushed to the lake. Very Funny! A good short film! Charlie Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin.
The Bond
1918 ~ B&W ~ 5 minutes ~ Silent
Half-reel made for the Liberty Loan Committee and distributed free throughout the country. The actors show that bonds of friendship, love, and marriage are inspiring. But the most important bonds of all are Liberty Bonds, the blockbuster which will knock out the Kaiser. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Syd Chaplin.
A Burlesque Of Carmen
1916 ~ B&W ~ 67 minutes ~ Silent
The opera "Carmen" is spoofed by Chaplin as he plays a soldier sent to catch a band of Gypsies in the south of Spain, only to fall in love with Carmen, their seductive leader. The studio Chaplin worked with added scenes featuring screw-eyed Turpin ogling a Rubenesque woman and some slapstick duels. Written and Directed by Charlie Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Ben Turpin, May White.
A Busy Day
1914 ~ B&W ~ 6 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie plays a woman, jealous over her husband's interest in another woman. She gets in the way of a cameraman, knocks over the director and a policeman. She is then thrown into a crowd of spectators in a military parade. She attacks her husband and his new flame. The husband throws her off the pier and into the harbor. Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Phyllis Allen.
By The Sea
1915 ~ B&W ~ 15 minutes ~ Silent
The setting is a windy bathing resort. After fighting with one of the two husbands, Charlie approaches a wife played by Edna Purviance. Meanwhile the two husbands are fighting among themselves over ice cream. Driven away by her husband, Charlie turns to the other's wife. Charlie Chaplin, Billy Armstrong, Edna Purviance.
Caught In A Cabaret
1914 ~ B&W ~ 33 minutes ~ Silent
Given an hour off at his job as a cafe waiter, Charlie rescues Mabel from a thug, is given an invitation to her home, and arrives presenting a card which falsely identifies him as a Greek Ambassador. Before he can return to work, her parents invite him to a garden party. Her jealous lover has Charlie followed to the cafe. Charlie is a hit at the garden party, but as he leaves to return to work, the lover invites everyone to the cafe so he can expose Charlie. Mabel and Charlie have great chemistry. Comedy heaven! Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Chester Conklin.
The Champion
1915 ~ B&W ~ 33 minutes ~ Silent
Walking along with his bull dog, Charlie stumbles upon a good luck horseshoe just as he passes a training camp for a boxing partner "who can take a beating." After watching others lose, Charlie puts the horseshoe in his glove and wins. The trainer prepares Charlie for world champion fight. Meanwhile, a gambler wants to throw the fight. He and the trainer's daughter fall in love. Good sportsmanship promoted. Charlie Chaplin, Bud Jamison, Lloyd Bacon.
Charlie's Recreation
1914 ~ B&W ~ 12 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Tango Tangles," this short presents Charlie as a clean-shaven dandy, who out of costume and a bit drunk, visits a dance hall. There a girl has three rival admirers: the band leader, one of the musicians, and now Charlie. Charlie Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin.
Charlot Et Mabel Aux Courses
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Mabel and her beau go to an auto race and are joined by Charlie and his friend. As Charlie's friend is about to enter the raceway through a hole, his friend gets stuck and a policeman shows up. Charlie sprays the cop with soda until his friends makes it through the hole. In the grandstand, Mabel abandons her beau for Charlie. Friends of Charlie and Mabel are arrested and hauled away. Charlie Chaplin gets his start! Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain.
Charlot Garcon De Theatre
1920 ~ B&W ~ 18 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie Chaplin.
Chase Me Charlie
1918 ~ B&W ~ 55 minutes ~ Silent
Compilation of many Essanay-Chaplin comedies. Written by Charlie Chaplin. Directed by Charlie Chaplin.
The Count
1916 ~ B&W ~ 34 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie burns a count's trousers while ironing them and is fired. The tailor finds an invitation to dinner at Miss Moneybags and goes in place of the count. Charlie goes into the kitchen of the same house and is immediately attracted to the cook. So are the butler and policeman. Once discovered by the tailor-count, Charlie must pretend to be the Count's secretary. Pretty good slapstick. Charlie Chaplin, Eric Campbell, Edna Purviance.
Cruel, Cruel Love
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
A rich lord loves a girl. A maid who has seen the two accosts the lord in a park and embraces him. The girl witnesses this and calls off the relationship. The lord decides to commit suicide, but the butler replaces the poison with water. The girl, her love now restored, returns to what she believes is the lord's deathbed. Chaplin is enjoyably hammy in this early role. Charlie Chaplin, Edgar Kennedy, Minta Durfee.
The Cure
1917 ~ B&W ~ 30 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie goes to a spa to dry out, taking a trunk of liquor with him. He tangles with another's gouty foot in a revolving door. Later he thinks the gouty man is making love signs to him (he doesn't see Edna, the object of the man's affection). Charlie signs back. He interprets a massage to be a wrestling match. When management throws his liquor into the fountain and flows with the water, everyone becomes inebriated. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell.
A Day's Pleasure
1914 ~ B&W ~ 25 minutes ~ Silent
Father takes his family for a drive in their falling-apart Model T Ford, gets in trouble in traffic, and spends the day on an excursion boat. As the boat is about to leave Charlie rushes ashore for cigarettes. As he returns the boat is leaving, but a fat lady has fallen forward with feet on the dock and hands on the deck so Charlie is able rush aboard across her back. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Marion Feducha, Bob Kelly, Jackie Coogan, Tom Wilson, Babe London, Henry Bergman, Loyal Underwood, Albert Austin.
Dough And Dynamite
1914 ~ B&W ~ 33 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie and another waiter have to become bakers when the regular bakers go out on strike. The strikers put dynamite in a piece of bread which is delivered to the cake counter. It winds up in the oven and explodes. Charlie Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Fritz Schade.
Easy Street
1917 ~ B&W ~ 19 minutes ~ Silent
The Tramp is smitten by the charming Edna en route to a mission. He then returns a collection he had originally taken. Reformed, he becomes a policeman and is assigned to rough and tumble Easy Street. Unable to trick or beat Eric, Charlie puts Eric's head in a gas pipe and anesthetizes him. A hero, he now helps many poor people living on Easy Street. Eric escapes jail and kidnaps Edna. Charlie comes to the rescue. Easy Street is transformed. So is Eric. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell.
Exchange Is No Robbery
1920 ~ B&W ~ 13 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Getting Acquainted", "A Fair Exchange", "Hello Everybody". Charlie and his wife are walking in the park when they encounter Swain and his wife. The partners become fond of their counterparts and begin chasing each other around. A policeman looking for a professional Don Juan becomes involved, as does a Turk. Charlie Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy, Edgar Kennedy, Cecile Arnold.
Face On The Barroom Floor
1914 ~ B&W ~ 14 minutes ~ Silent
Chaplin's 22nd Keystone comedy, based on a famous poem by Hugh Antoine D'Arcy entitled "The Face Upon The Floor," stars the Tramp bumming drinks at a saloon. He offers to tell the story of his downfall and the film begins a long flashback sequence. He was once a successful artist. Dressed in a tux, working in his studio, painting a portrait of his wife. His next client is a well-to-do client. His wife and the client fall madly in love. They run away together, leaving a note pinned to the portrait. Charlie returns to the studio and explodes into a rage upon finding the note. He is now a Tramp in the park. His ex-wife and new lover come by with four children in tow and another in a baby carriage. She is berating her new man and doesn't notice Charlie, but her husband looks at him enviously. Charlie, relieved, strolls off. Back in the barroom, Charlie is handed chalk. Attempting to draw a portrait of his wife in his drunkenness, he is ordered out of the bar by patrons. A fight breaks out and Charlie collapses, unconscious with his face upon the floor. Charlie Chaplin, Wallace MacDonald, Hank Mann.
A Fair Exchange
1920 ~ B&W ~ 13 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Getting Acquainted", "Exchange Is No Robbery", "Hello Everybody". Charlie and his wife are walking in the park when they encounter Swain and his wife. The partners become fond of their counterparts and begin chasing each other around. A policeman looking for a professional Don Juan becomes involved, as does a Turk. Charlie Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy, Edgar Kennedy, Cecile Arnold.
The Fatal Mallet
1914 ~ B&W ~ 18 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie throws a brick at a man and a woman. The brick is thrown back at him. They fight. The woman leaves with a third suitor. Charlie finds a wooden mallet with which he subdues both rivals, locking them in a barn. He kicks the lady who instantly falls for him. Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett.
Film Johnnie
1914 ~ B&W ~ 15 minutes ~ Silent
In Charlie's 5th Keystone comedy, we get a look inside the famous laugh factory. Charlie is a movie fan and we see him causing havoc at a theater where he becomes too involved with the action on the screen and the beautiful actress on the film. Ejected from the theater, he proceeds to Keystone himself where he mooches money from Roscoe Arbuckle as he arrives at work. Charlie sneaks into the studio and disrupts the filming. He mistakes a scene where the starlet is being manhandled for reality and comes to her rescue. Firing a prop pistol in all directions, he clears the stages before leaving. Meanwhile a Keystone scout sees a building on fire and telephones the studio. The cast and crew then do some location filming at the fire. Charlie shows up and again disrupts filming. The director runs after him with a club. The firemen arrive and see the struggle between the director, the cast, and Charlie. They turn the hoses on the melee. Charlie again tries his luck with the beautiful actress and receives a good shaking in response. In a classic Chaplin move, he twists his ear as water squirts out from his mouth. When the actress laughs at his condition, Charlie gives up on his movie fanaticism. Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett.
The Fireman
1916 ~ B&W ~ 32 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie is a fireman who does everything wrong. A man talks a fire chief into ignoring his burning home (he wants the insurance money), unaware that his daughter ( the love of the Chief) is upstairs at the house. When the house next door catches fire, its owner rouses Charlie, who then rouses the force. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Lloyd Bacon.
The Floorwalker
1916 ~ B&W ~ 15 minutes ~ Silent
After causing havoc on the sales floor, Charlie goes to the office floor. There he turns to the store inspector (who looks exactly like him) who has just robbed the safe and knocked out the manager. Charlie thinks he is in front of a mirror until he notices he holds a stock and his 'image' the bag of loot. Very Funny! Charlie Chaplain, Eric Campbell, Edna Purviance.
Getting Acquainted
1920 ~ B&W ~ 13 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "A Fair Exchange", "Exchange Is No Robbery", "Hello Everybody". Charlie and his wife are walking in the park when they encounter Swain and his wife. The partners become fond of their counterparts and begin chasing each other around. A policeman looking for a professional Don Juan becomes involved, as does a Turk. Charlie Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy, Edgar Kennedy, Cecile Arnold.
The Good-For-Nothing
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "His New Profession," Charlie meets a couple and agrees to care for the man's crippled uncle. After the couple breaks up, the man's new girl drops some eggs which Charlie slips on while trying to control the wheelchair. Charlie sets up the uncle near another wheelchair on a jetty, from which he lifts a beggar's cup and "invalid" sign. These he places with the uncle, and money begins to roll in. Charlie takes the money and buys himself a drink. Returning, he gets to know the abandoned young woman. After pushing the uncle and his chair into the drink and battling the beggar and two policemen (one of whom arrests the uncle) Charlie beats up the rival and gets the girl. Charlie Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Fritz Schade.
Hello Everybody
1920 ~ B&W ~ 13 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Getting Acquainted", "Exchange Is No Robbery", "A Fair Exchange". Charlie and his wife are walking in the park when they encounter Swain and his wife. The partners become fond of their counterparts and begin chasing each other around. A policeman looking for a professional Don Juan becomes involved, as does a Turk. Charlie Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy, Edgar Kennedy, Cecile Arnold.
His Favorite Pastime
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie's 7th film for Keystone. This time, his favorite pastime is drinking and chasing women. It opens in a saloon where he is partaking a free lunch and teasing a down-on-his-luck Arbuckle, who is trying to bum a drink. We see an early Chaplin "transposition" gag when he tries to light a sausage, thinking it's a cigar. After leaving the bar, he accosts beautiful but married Pearce as she and her maid await her husband to return to their taxi. After being shooed away by her husband, he returns to the saloon and starts fights with the patrons. In the men's washroom, Charlie polishes his shoes with a towel to a man who has soap in his eyes, causing him to blacken his face. Exiting the bar again, he follows the maid's taxi home and begins fighting with the maid, the maid's employer, and the employer's irate husband. They eject Charlie from their home. Charlie Chaplin, Peggy Pearce, Roscoe Arbuckle.
His Musical Career
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Musical Tramp", Charlie and his partner are hired to deliver a piano to 666 Prospect Street and repossess one from 999 Prospect. The two confuse the addresses. The difficulties of delivering the piano by mule cart, and most of the specific gags, appeared later in Laurel and Hardy's "Music Box." Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Charley Chase.
His New Job
1915 ~ Color ~ 24 minutes ~ Silent
A parody film on his old employer, Keystone company, Charlie applies for work at the Lockstone Motion Picture Company. Charlie is interviewed by a 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. He tries to dislodge it by pouring ink into the funnel but ends up with ink on his face. Hired as assistant carpenter/prop man, he disrupts rehearsals and gets into trouble with the director. He is told to don a Russian military costume as an extra. He is as inept an actor as a carpenter, tearing off a lady's gown during a scene. The Scene contains one of the first dolly shots in Chaplin films. He later topples a column that drops on him. The column is then sat upon by Ben Turpin, who as prop man is assigned to lift the column. Eventually, the actor arrives and enraged at finding his costume missing, starts a fight, leaving everyone but Charlie unconscious. Charlie Chaplin, Charlotte Mineau, Bud Jamison.
His New Profession
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "The Good-For-Nothing," Charlie meets a couple and agrees to care for the man's crippled uncle. After the couple breaks up, the man's new girl drops some eggs which Charlie slips on while trying to control the wheelchair. Charlie sets up the uncle near another wheelchair on a jetty, from which he lifts a beggar's cup and "invalid" sign. These he places with the uncle, and money begins to roll in. Charlie takes the money and buys himself a drink. Returning, he gets to know the abandoned young woman. After pushing the uncle and his chair into the drink and battling the beggar and two policemen (one of whom arrests the uncle) Charlie beats up the rival and gets the girl. Charlie Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Fritz Schade.
His Prehistoric Past
1914 ~ B&W ~ 12 minutes ~ Silent
In his 35th and last Keystone comedy, Chaplin parodied D.W. Griffith's drama "Man's Genesis." Charlie is caveman Weakchin, dressed in derby, cane, and bearskin. He plucks some fur from his bearskin and fills his pipe with it, lighting the pipe by picking up a stone and striking it against his thigh. He is an outsider and invading the territory of King Lowbrow. At first welcomed by the King, Charlie persists in wooing Sum Babee, on e of the king's favorite wives. Rescued by his sycophantic court jester, the King sneaks into the cave and clobbers Weakchin with a rock. Charlie then wakes up in a park with a cop looking over him. It has all been a dream. Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Gene Marsh.
His Trysting Places
1914 ~ B&W ~ 32 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie's wife sends him to the store for a baby bottle with milk. Elsewhere, Swain offers to post a love letter to woman at his boarding house. The two men meet at a restaurant and each takes the other's coat by mistake. Charlie's wife thinks he has a lover. Swain believes that he has an illegitimate child. Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain.
The Idle Class
1921 ~ B&W ~ 27 minutes ~ Silent
In this 1921 First National production, Charlie plays dual roles: the Little Tramp and the wealthy but alcoholic husband of the female lead played by Edna Purviance. Playing these two characters, opposites, though the same in appearance, gave Chaplin the opportunity to first set the Tramp against the upper crust and then to raise questions about the validity of such distinctions. As the Little Tramp, Chaplin is familiar: he appears at the summer resort in his usual outfit and quickly wrecks havoc on the golf course. As the wealthy alcoholic he is languid. Wandering into the hotel lobby without his pants, the wealthy alcoholic must hide in a telephone booth - Charlie does not get stuck like this. Later in the film, Edna Purviance will mistake Charlie for her husband at a costume party. In the absence of signifying exteriors, how is one to tell the difference between the rich man and the Tramp? Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance.
The Immigrant
1917 ~ B&W ~ 20 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie is on his way to USA. He wins in a card game and puts the money in Edna's bag. Edna and her sick mother have been robbed of everything. When he tries to retrieve a little money for himself, he is accused of being a thief. Edna clears his name. Later, penniless Charlie goes into a restaurant after finding a coin. There he finds Edna, whose mother has died. She asks him to join her. He offered to pay for the meal with the coin, but it has fallen through a hole in his pocket. The funniest Chaplin short! Charlie Chaplin, Eric Campbell, Edna Purviance.
In The Park
1915 ~ B&W ~ 32 minutes ~ Silent
A tramp steals a girl's handbag, but when he tries to pick Charlie's pocket loses his cigarettes and matches. He rescues a hot dog man from a thug, but takes a few with his walking stick. When the thief tries to take Charlie's sausages, Charlie gets the handbag. The handbag makes its way from person to person then to its owner, who is angry with her boyfriend who didn't try to protect her in the first place. The boyfriend tries to throw himself in the lake in despair. But Charlie comes to the rescue. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Leo White.
Jitney Elopement
1915 ~ B&W ~ 33 minutes ~ Silent
Edna's pa wants her to marry wealthy Count He-Ha. Charlie, Edna's true love, impersonates the Count at dinner. The real count shows up and Charlie is thrown out. Later on, Charlie and Edna are chased by her father, the Count, and three policemen. The pursuers drive off a pier. Introduces some of Chaplin's favorite themes: identity mix-up and upper class attitude. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Fred Goodwins.
The Kid
1921 ~ B&W ~ 68 minutes ~ Silent
Chaplin's first feature-length film. The Tramp rescues a baby abandoned by its despairing mother, brings it up to become his partner in a window-repair business - although it is the Kid's business to break the windows first - then loses him again to the mother, who is now a famous and wealthy singer. It is perhaps the only film in which Chaplin was almost acted off the screen. Jackie Coogan became a top child star but his earnings, enormous for the time, were ripped off by his mother and stepfather. (The scandal resulted in the Coogan Act, passed to protect child stars from this kind of abuse). When asked what happened to his career, Coogan just grinned and said "I grew up." Interesting prop: a large luxury car is used in the film. Chaplin borrowed it from the greatest director of the period, D. W. Griffith. Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller, Edna Purviance, Chuck Riesner.
Kid Auto Races In Venice
1914 ~ B&W ~ 11 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie, dressed as a tramp for the first time, goes to a baby cart race in Venice, California. He causes a great deal of confusion and trouble, both on and off the track, such as getting in the way of the cameraman and interfering with the race. He succeeds in irritating both the participants and the public. A milestone in film comedy. Charlie Chaplin, Henry Lehrman, Frank D. Williams.
Knockout
1914 ~ B&W ~ 27 minutes ~ Silent
To prove his bravery to his girl, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle challenges the champion to a fight. Charlie is the referee, trying to avoid contact with the two monsters. One of Chaplin's best! Charlie Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy, Roscoe Arbuckle.
Laffing Gas
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Chaplin's 20th film for Keystone marks a turning point in his career. From this point on, he was going to write and direct future films. Here, he plays a dentist's assistant entering the office officiously. The patients are fooled in thinking that he is the dentist until he picks up the spittoons and enters the back room. There, he confronts a midget-sized coworker. The Dentist finally arrives. Laughing gas is administered to the first patient. The extraction is performed but the patient is unable to wake up. He sends Charlie to the pharmacy for an antidote. He encounters Swain, who is the victim of Charlie's hat tricks. The two break into a fight and involve an innocent bystander. Swain and the bystander are both hit in the face with a brick, resulting in a trip to the dentist. Chaplin, upon arriving at the office, flirts with the dentist's wife and accidentally tears off her skirt. The dentist attends to his wife while Chaplin admits a beautiful patient, pretending to be a dentist and kissing her. The two men from the previous fight arrive and catch sight of Charlie. Everyone is involved in a huge melee, leaving Charlie and the wife in the waiting room. Charlie Chaplin, George Summerville, Fritz Schade.
The Landlady's Pet
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "The Star Boarder," Charlie is the favorite of his landlady. The other boarders are jealous. He cares for her after she falls from her ladder. Her son photographs what looks like an amorous moment. He next photographs his father in a similar situation with another woman. That evening, the boy puts on a slide show for everyone, resulting in a battle between Charlie and the husband. Early Chaplin, trying to find his style. Charlie Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy.
Mabel's Busy Day
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
A hot dog girl gives one to a policeman and he offers her a free entrance into a race track. While other customers swipe her hot dogs, Charlie steals the whole box, pretending to sell them while actually giving them away. She calls her policeman. A battle ensues. What makes this short comedy interesting and unique is that Charlie plays the antagonist. Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Chester Conklin.
Mabel's Married Life
1914 ~ B&W ~ 17 minutes ~ Silent
Mabel goes home after being humiliated by a masher whom her wimpy hubby won't fight. The husband goes off to a bar and gets drunk. Meanwhile, Mabel receives unwanted attention from Swain. She buys a boxing dummy, hoping that it will inspire her husband. But upon his return home, he picks a fight with the dummy, taking it to be the ladykiller. Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain.
Mabel's Strange Predicament
1914 ~ B&W ~ 17 minutes ~ Silent
An inebriated Charlie runs into an elegant lady in a hotel lobby. He becomes tangled in her dog leash and falls down. He later runs into her in the corridor, locked outside of her room. They proceed to run through various rooms. She winds up in a room of an elderly husband and hides under the bed. The jealous wife and Mabel's lover enter. Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Chester Conklin.
Making A Living
1914 ~ B&W ~ 15 minutes ~ Silent
An out-of-work swindler takes a job as a reporter. After witnessing a car run off a cliff, he grabs a rival reporter's camera and takes the scoop to the newspaper office to enter the photo as his own. His rival is delayed when he gets caught in a woman's bedroom by her jealous husband. The swindler follows the distribution of the paper, containing the story, around town where he is chased by the rival reporter. Both end up on the cow catcher of a streetcar. Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Kirtley, Alice Davenport.
The Masquerader
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie is an actor in a film studio. He messes up several scenes and is tossed out. Returning dressed as a lady, he charms the director. Even so, Charlie never makes it into the film, winding up instead at the bottom of a well. Charlie Chaplin as a woman! Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle, Chester Conklin.
Musical Tramp
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "His Musical Career", Charlie and his partner are hired to deliver a piano to 666 Prospect Street and repossess one from 999 Prospect. The two confuse the addresses. The difficulties of delivering the piano by mule cart, and most of the specific gags, appeared later in Laurel and Hardy's "Music Box." Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Charley Chase.
New Janitor
1914 ~ B&W ~ 15 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie is the janitor for a firm. His manager receives a threatening note about his gambling debts. He throws a bucket of water out the window, which lands on his boss and costs him his job. The office, attempting to steal the money, is caught by his secretary. Charlie comes to save her and the money. He is briefly accused of being the thief and ultimately triumphs. Charlie Chaplin as writer, director, and actor. Charlie Chaplin, Fritz Schade, John Francis Dillon.
A Night In The Show
1916 ~ B&W ~ 20 minutes ~ Silent
Mr. Pest tries several theater seats before winding up front in a fight with the conductor. He is finally thrown out into the lobby, where he pushes a rotund woman into the fountain. He then returns to sit with Edna. Mr. Rowdy in the gallery pours beer down on Mr. Pest and Edna. He attacks patrons, the harem dancer, the singers Dot and Dash, and a fire eater. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Charlotte Mineau.
Nut
1921 ~ B&W ~ 87 minutes ~ Silent
Fast-paced society farce about Greenwich Village bachelor Fairbanks who is in love with a social worker with a theory that poor children can be made into proper citizens by being exposed periodically to wealthy families. Original music score by Blaine L. Gale. Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite De La Motte, William Lowery, Charlie Chaplin (cameo).
One A.M.
1916 ~ B&W ~ 34 minutes ~ Silent
After a night on the town, Charlie comes home to the house where he is staying, drunk and unable to find his key. For the next twenty minutes, he staggers into, out of, and through the house in a drunken confrontation with the house itself. An inspiring and fantastic one-man mime show! Charlie Chaplin, Albert Austin.
Paper Hanger
1915 ~ B&W ~ 21 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Work", a chaotic comedy about a middle-class couple having their home papered by incompetent workers. Charlie plays a paper hanger's assistant. When we first see him he is strapped to a harness and pulling a cart filled with wallpapering paraphernalia while his domineering boss flicks him with a whip as if he were a horse. Chaplin's comic inspiration continues as the two men arrive at the house they are to redecorate and explore every imaginable mishap with the ladders, boards and buckets of their trade. Edna Purviance plays the household's maid, with whom Charlie shares confidences. Charlie Chaplin, Billy Armstrong, Marta Golden, Charles E. Insley, Paddy McGuire, Edna Purviance.
The Pawnshop
1916 ~ B&W ~ 32 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie competes with his fellow shop assistant. He is fired by the pawnbroker and rehired. He nearly destroys everything in the shop and himself. He helps capture a burglar. He destroys a client's clock while examining it in detail. Pretty good Chaplin short feature. Charlie Chaplin, Henry Bergman, Edna Purviance.
Pay Day
1922 ~ B&W ~ 28 minutes ~ Silent
Chaplin's last two reeler has Charlie casting himself as a worker rather than a Tramp, but the film shows great advances in film technique. Chaplin is a construction worker, who arrives late for work, bringing a flower as peace offering for his boss. As a ditch digger, Chaplin leaves something to be desired, but as a brick catcher, he's amazing, due to a very clever reverse action scene. Lunchtime brings the boss' daughter 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 Chaplin argues about his wages, despite being overpaid. His battleaxe wife 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, Chaplin 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, Chaplin tries to catch the last streetcar home but is pushed out one end when a huge chap pushes his way on at the other. In his drunkenness Chaplin boards a hot dog cart, thinking it's another streetcar, holding onto a suspended salami as a hand strap. Arriving home at daybreak, Chaplin 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. Charlie Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Edna Purviance, Sydney Chaplin, Albert Austin, John Rand, Loyal Underwood, Henry Bergman, Allan Garcia.
Police
1916 ~ B&W ~ 34 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie is released from prison and immediately swindled by a fake parson. A house's owner catches them and calls the police. Charlie, however, manages to charm his way out of trouble...at least for the moment. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Wesley Ruggles.
Recreation
1914 ~ B&W ~ 7 minutes ~ Silent
Shot in a day, this features Charlie walking in a park. A girl leaves a seaman on one bench and joins Charlie on another. The seaman wakes up. He and Charlie stage a brick fight. Policemen are pummeled and arrest both men. During an ensuing fight on the dock, all characters fall into the water. Charlie Chaplin, Charles Murray, Norma Nichols.
The Rink
1916 ~ B&W ~ 30 minutes ~ Silent
After amusements working in a restaurant, Charlie uses his lunch break to go roller skating. Mr. Stout makes advances toward the unwilling Edna, whose father and Mrs. Stout had earlier on carried the restaurant. After a roller skating ballet, Charlie, as Cecil Seltzer, is invited to a party at Edna's. All the couples, including a new partner for Mr. Stout show up. Brilliant!
The Rival Mashers
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Those Love Pangs," Charlie and a rival vie for the affections of a landlady. In the park , they each fall for a different girl, although Charlie's already has a man. Charlie considers suicide. But a policeman talks him out of it. Later, he throws his girl's male friend into the lake. Frightened, the girls go off to a movie. Charlie shows up there and flirts with them. Both rivals substitute themselves for the girls and attack the unwitting Charlie. In an audience-wide fight, Charlie is tossed from the screen. Charlie Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Cecil Arnold.
The Rounders
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Two drunks live in the same hotel. One beats his wife, the other is beaten by his. They go off and get drunk together. They try to sleep in a restaurant and use the tables as beds. They are eventually thrown out. They lie down a row boat which fills with water, drowning them (a fate apparently better than going home to their wives.) Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle, Phyllis Allen.
Shanghaied
1915 ~ B&W ~ 30 minutes ~ Silent
A ship owner intends to scuttle his ship on its last voyage to get the insurance money. Charlie, a tramp in love with the owner's daughter, is grabbed by the captain and promises to help him shanghai some seamen. The daughter stows away to follow Charlie. Charlie assists in the galley and attempts to serve food during a gale. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Wesley Ruggles.
Shoulder Arms
1918 ~ B&W ~ 45 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie is in boot camp, in the "awkward squad." Once in France, no letters arrive from home. He finally receives a package containing limburger cheese which requires a gas mask and which he throws over into the German trench. He goes "over the top" and captures thirteen Germans, then volunteers to wander through the German lines disguised as a tree trunk. With the help of a French girl, he captures the Kaiser and the Crown Prince. He is then given a statue and a victory parade in New York. He wakes up, realizing to his dismay that it was all a dream. A wonderful combination of comedy, commentary, and adventure. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Syd Chaplin.
The Star Boarder
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "The Landlady's Pet", Charlie is the favorite of his landlady. The other boarders are jealous. He cares for her after she falls from her ladder. Her son photographs what looks like an amorous moment. He next photographs his father in a similar situation with another woman. That evening, the boy puts on a slide show for everyone, resulting in a battle between Charlie and the husband. Early Chaplin, trying to find his style. Charlie Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy.
Sunnyside
1914 ~ B&W ~ 12 minutes ~ Silent
In his third million dollar comedy, Charlie is a worker on a farm, toiling from 4 a.m. to late at night. He gets his food on the run (milking a cow into his coffee, holding a chicken over a frying pan for eggs.) He loves the neighbor's daughter Edna, but is disliked by her father. He rides a cow into the stream and is kicked off. Unconscious, he dreams of a nymph dance. Back in reality, a city slicker is hurt in a car crash and is being cared for by Edna. When Charlie is rejected after imitating to imitate the slicker, he tries to commit suicide by walking amid the busy traffic. Again he awakes from a dream. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Tom Wilson.
Tango Tangles
1914 ~ B&W ~ 12 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Charlie's Recreation," this short presents Charlie as a clean-shaven dandy, who out of costume and a bit drunk, visits a dance hall. There a girl has three rival admirers: the band leader, one of the musicians, and now Charlie. Charlie Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin.
Those Love Pangs
1914 ~ B&W ~ 16 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "The Rival Mashers," Charlie and a rival vie for the affections of a landlady. In the park , they each fall for a different girl, although Charlie's already has a man. Charlie considers suicide. But a policeman talks him out of it. Later, he throws his girl's male friend into the lake. Frightened, the girls go off to a movie. Charlie shows up there and flirts with them. Both rivals substitute themselves for the girls and attack the unwitting Charlie. In an audience-wide fight, Charlie is tossed from the screen. Charlie Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Cecil Arnold.
Tillie's Punctured Romance
1914 ~ B&W ~ 73 minutes ~ Silent
Slick gigolo Chaplin convinces a naive rich girl to steal money from her father and join him in the big city. Hailed as the first American feature-length film, it also marks Chaplin's feature film debut. Produced and Directed by Mack Sennett. Charlie Chaplin, Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, Charles Bennett, Mack Swain, Edgar Kennedy, Charley Chase, Slim Summerville, Al Fuzzy St. John, Keystone Kops.
The Tramp
1915 ~ B&W ~ 32 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie is a tramp on the road. A hobo manages to exchange Charlie's sandwich for a brick. Charlie now has to eat grass. The same hobo molests a farmer's daughter. Charlie rescues her with the brick. Two more hobos show up. Charlie throws all three into the lake. The grateful girl takes Charlie home where he fails as a farmhand. He again helps drive off the hobos (who are now trying to break into the house). The girl's fianc&eacate; arrives. Though a hero, Charlie knows he must go. He leaves a note heads for the open road. Charlie Chaplin, Fred Goodwins, Edna Purviance.
Triple Trouble
1918 ~ B&W ~ 24 minutes ~ Silent
Released without Chaplin's permission, this jumbled story is put together by pieces from "Life," "Work," and "Police." Chaplin is a janitor in the home of Colonel Nutt, the inventor of a new secretweapon, the wireless bomb. Edna is the cleaning woman of the same household. Charlie spills garbage on her kitchen floor, getting her in trouble with the boss. Another piece involves Charlie going to a flop house for a night where he encounters odd characters. A riot explodes in the house when he robs a pickpocket who has been robbing the sleepers. Charlie uses a gag he used in "The Gold Rush." The thief arrives at the Nutt house and tries to steal the formula. Cops are there and a melee ensues. The thief shoots with his gun, and hits the invention. The house explodes. Charlie is seen emerging from the oven door. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Leo White.
Twenty Minutes Of Love
1914 ~ B&W ~ 20 minutes ~ Silent
Charlie is amidst a number of couples in a park. He parodies a couple by hugging a tree. A girl asks her beau for a love token. He steals a pocketwatch from a sleeping man. Charlie takes it away and gives it to the girl. He later gets it back and tries to sell it to his original owner who calls a policeman. Many park visitors wind up getting tossed in the lake. Charlie Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy.
The Vagabond
1916 ~ B&W ~ 10 minutes ~ Silent
An impoverished violinist falls for a beautiful gypsy girl. Together they meet an artist who paints the girl's portrait. Charlie, the violinist, believes the girl is in love with the painter. Later, when a wealthy woman recognizes her as her kidnapped daughter in the painting, she tracks down the girl with the artist's help. The gypsy girl is taken back to her rightful heritage, leaving Charlie thinking she has gone off with the artist. But has she? Does she? Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell.
A Woman
1916 ~ B&W ~ 20 minutes ~ Silent
Mother, Father and Daughter go to the park. The women dose off on a bench while the father plays a hide-and-seek game with a girl, blindfolded. Charlie leads him into a lake. Both dozing ladies on the bench fall for Charlie and invite him for dinner. The father returns home with a friend. Charlie rushes upstairs and dresses like a woman, shaving his moustache. Both men fall for Charlie. Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Charles Inslee, Marta Golden, Margie Reiger, Billy Armstrong, Leo white.
Work
1915 ~ B&W ~ 25 minutes ~ Silent
Also known as "Paper Hanger". Charlie and his boss have difficulties just getting to the house they are going to wallpaper. The house owner is angry because he can't get breakfast and the wife is screaming at the maid as they arrive. The kitchen gas stove explodes. Charlie offers to fix it. The wife's secret lover arrives and is passed off as the workers' supervisor. The husband doesn't buy this and fires shots. The stove explodes violently, destroying the house. Among the better of Chaplin's earlier comedies. Charlie Chaplin, Billy Armstrong, Marta Golden.
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