Making a Living

Making a Living (1914) starring Charlie Chaplin

Making a Living, made in 1914 for the Keystone movie studio, was Charlie Chaplin‘s first movie role.   In many ways, it is a typical Keystone picture, short (15 minutes) with lots of slapstick and energy.   Charlie Chaplin is not his well-known tramp clown here.

In Making A Living, Charlie Chaplin plays a swindler who tries to become a reporter, stealing a competing reporter’s camera with a picture of a car going over a cliff, taking credit for the photo himself, and then trying to avoid the other photographer when the picture gets published.

Making a Living - Charlie Chaplin as a stereotypical Keystone villain
Making a Living – Charlie Chaplin as a stereotypical Keystone villain

In short, a high-energy film, entertaining though not laugh-out-loud funny, mostly worth seeing for its’ historical interest as Charlie Chaplin’s first film appearance.   It’s available on DVD as part of The Actors: Rare Films of Charlie Chaplin

 Trivia for Making a Living

  • In addition to Charlie Chaplin, many other early film clowns make an appearance, including Billy Gilbert, Chester Conklin, and Edgar Kennedy

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