1914

Mabel's Strange Predicament - Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin in the hotel lobby

Mabel’s Strange Predicament, starring Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand

Mabel’s Strange Predicament, starring Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand – February 9, 1914

Mabel NormandMabel’s Strange Predicament is a short film, 17 minutes long, starring Mabel Normand, with Charlie Chaplin as the villain of the picture.   Mabel Normand was, at the time, a major film star, as well as one of the first female movie directors.   However, she is now remembered primarily for her work with Charlie Chaplin.   In this movie, however, Mabel Normand is clearly the star, with Charlie Chaplin in a supporting role (more…)
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Between Showers - Charlie Chaplin the Little Tramp trying (and failing) to help a pretty girl across a flooding street

Between Showers, starring Charlie Chaplin

Between Showers (1914) starring Charlie Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin

In this early Charlie Chaplin film, Charlie competes with another man (Ford Sterling, at the time a major comedy film star) in trying to help a pretty young lady cross a muddy street.   The two rivals fight over various items in their struggle to be first to help the lady, including a wooden plank and Sterling’s umbrella (more…)

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The Face on the Bar Room Floor - starring Charlie Chaplin, originally released August 10, 1914, by Keystone Studios

The Face on the Barroom Floor, starring Charlie Chaplin

DVD - Chaplin at Keystone - including The Face on the Bar Room FloorThe Face on the Barroom Floor – starring Charlie Chaplin, originally released August 10, 1914, by Keystone Studios

Buy from Amazon.com The Face on the Barroom Floor is a different film for Charlie Chaplin – he plays the part of a painter, who loses the woman that he loves to one of the men whose portrait Charlie is painting.   Charlie loses his love and his interest and eventually becomes a barfly – Charlie the Little Tramp (more…)

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Charlie Chaplin with Mabel Normand in Caught in a Cabaret.

Caught in a Cabaret

Caught in a Cabaret, starring Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand originally released April 27, 1914

Caught in a Cabaret is another Mabel Normand film where Charlie Chaplin begins to steal the show.  Caught in a Cabaret has Charlie the Little Tramp overworked as a waiter in a cafe, who gets a free hour off from work and unexpectedly rescues Mabel from a mugging.

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A Film Johnnie (1914) starring Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Edgar Kennedy, Ford Sterling, Mabel Normand

A Film Johnnie

A Film Johnnie (1914) starring Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Edgar Kennedy, Ford Sterling, Mabel Normand

The Charlie Chaplin short film, A Film Johnnie, has Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character as a star-struck movie patron.  He becomes determined to meet the film heroine that he’s become infatuated with at the Keystone movie studio.   Attempting to get into the studio, Charlie’s little tramp has comedic interactions with Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Edgar Kennedy, Ford Sterling, and Mabel Normand.   Failing to enter the film studio legitimately (more…)

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The Star Boarder - Charlie Chaplin and his landlady

The Star Boarder, starring Charlie Chaplin, Edgar Kennedy

The Star Boarder – Charlie Chaplin, originally released April 4, 1914

In The Star Boarder, Charlie Chaplins little tramp character is staying at a boarding house, where he is clearly his landlady’s favorite,  Much to her husband’s (Edgar Kennedy) displeasure.   Barely able to prevent attacking Charlie outright, the husband’s anger only increases when the landlady tries to teach Charlie how to play tennis.  This is one of the funnier bits in the short film.   Looking for a lost tennis ball almost turns into a kiss, which the landlady’s son captures on a camera-like device.  (more…)

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Mabel's Married Life - Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin

Mabel’s Married Life

Mabel’s Married Life, starring Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand, originally released June 20, 1914

Mabel’s Married Life is another early Charlie Chaplin comedy from Keystone Studios.  By this time, the studio was aware of what a large box office draw Charlie Chaplin was.  Which explains why they kept teaming him with Mabel Normand, one of their largest stars.  In this particular short silent film, Charlie and Mabel are married.  But Charlie is too timid (or has too strong a sense of self-preservation) to step in when another man (Mack Swain, one of Charlie Chaplin’s regulars) tries to hit upon his wife romantically.  Charlie is crushed, his self-confidence gone, feeling that he has utterly failed his wife.  And like so many other men in that situation, he goes to a bar and gets drunk.

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Mabel at the Wheel - Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand

Mabel at the Wheel, starring Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin

Mabel at the Wheel – Charlie Chaplin originally released April 18, 1914

In Mabel at the Wheel, Charlie Chaplin is not playing his familiar tramp clown, but a generic movie villain.   The basic premise has the villainous Charlie trying to win a race by hook or crook, as well as trying to impress Mabel Normand.  At the time, she was one of Keystone’s biggest stars.  But he drops her in a puddle instead. (more…)

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Kid Auto Races in Venice - Charlie Chaplin's first appearance as the Little Tramp

Kid Auto Races at Venice

Kid Auto Races at Venice – Charlie Chaplin’s first appearance as the little tramp – February 7, 1914

Kid Auto Races at Venice, released on February 7, 1914, is a milestone in film history.   In it, Charlie Chaplin portrayed his world-famous tramp character for the first time.

"<yoastmarkA very short film at 6 minutes, it is very funny film, with a film crew trying to film a soap box derby, with Charlie Chaplin’s tramp character constantly trying to get in the picture (more…)

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Twenty Minutes of Love - Charlie Chaplin being kissed by a pretty girl

Twenty Minutes of Love

Twenty Minutes of Love, starring Charlie Chaplin originally released April 20, 1914

Buy from Amazon.com  Charlie Chaplin is quoted as having said, “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman, and a pretty girl.” Twenty Minutes of Love is proof of that statement.   A funny short silent film, Twenty Minutes of Love is, in fact, 20 minutes long, and deals with Charlie Chaplin walking through a park on a summer’s day, observing young people in love.   At first mocking the young couples, Charlie the Little Tramp is soon envious, and trying to get in on the act.

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