Although many of Mack Sennet's Keystone pictures are burlesques of Griffith's works -- as I noted in my comments to THE BANGVILLE POLICE, it is a send-up of such Griffith works as THE LONELY VILLA -- this is one of the few cases of Chaplin stealing from Griffith after he went out on his own. Or perhaps it was simply the same sort of story and Chaplin wound up borrowing several plot points and images from the Master in which a young man leaves home from the city, goes astray and winds up in prison.
The second half of this movie, in which he escapes from prison and winds up rescuing a young boy, redeeming himself and letting him return home to mother -- although Chaplin contents himself with kicking Eric Campbell, always an enjoyable activity -- is the part that Chaplin stole, including the watery rescue -- although it is no small boy there. Chaplin's version was THE ADVENTURER.
As usual by this period, the photography is excellent, the acting believable, and if Chaplin's burlesque hangs over this film, which is not one of Griffith's better known pieces from this period -- well, it's very good on its own terms.
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