Mabel Normand

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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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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Mabel's Busy Day, starring Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin

Mabel’s Busy Day

Mabel’s Busy Day, starring Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand originally released June 13, 1914

Mabel’s Busy Day has Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand returning to auto races, this time as spectators.   Mabel is trying to make some money selling hot dogs.  Mostly unsuccessfully, due to customers that try to walk away with free samples.   Charlie enters, and begins by simply trying to enjoy the races.  And picking up free food wherever he can. (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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Caught in the Rain - Charlie Chaplin short film originally released May 4, 1914

Caught in the Rain

Caught in the Rain – Charlie Chaplin short film originally released May 4, 1914

Caught in the Rain is another early Charlie Chaplin film from Keystone Studios, where the character of Charlie the little tramp isn’t quite what we’re used to from his later work.   Slightly tipsy, Charlie tries to make time with Alice Davenport‘s character, unaware that she’s married, leading to his being beaten up by her husband, Mack Swain.

Later that night in the hotel where he’s staying, a sleepwalking Alice comes into his room, and Charlie tries to get her back into her own room while avoiding her prowling husband, ending up with the married couple happily reunited, but with poor Charlie trapped out on a window ledge in a downpour.  Hence the title.

Caught in the Rain - Charlie Chaplin short film originally released May 4, 1914
Caught in the Rain – Charlie Chaplin short film, co-starring Alice Davenport and Mack Swain

Trivia for Caught in the Rain starring Charlie Chaplin

  • Also released as:
    • At It Again
    • Charlot y la sonámbula (Spain)
    • De kvinnorna, de kvinnorna (Sweden)
    • In the Park (USA) (reissue title)
    • Who Got Stung?
  • This is the first film that Chaplin wrote and directed entirely on his own.

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Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914)

Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914) starring Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand

Buy from Amazon.com In Tillie’s Punctured Romance, Charlie Chaplin is not playing his beloved Little Tramp character.   Instead, he plays a city slicker, a con man who, after a fight with his girlfriend (Mabel Normand), has escaped from the city — a wise guy who sought country lanes when city streets became too hot for him.  He stumbles upon Tillie (Marie Dressler), a homely farm girl whose father has a large bankroll of cash to pay his farm hands.   Cad that Charlie is, he entices Tillie to “borrow” the money and run away with him to the city.   Smitten by his charms, his attention, and his smooth talk, she does exactly that — only to have Charlie abscond with the money and reunite with Mabel at the first opportunity – after getting Tillie drunk at a restaurant. (more…)

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