Down 28,497 this week

A Busy Day (1914)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  7 May 1914 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.1/10 from 571 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

A jealous wife is chasing her unfaithful husband during a parade, after he starts to flirt with a pretty woman.


0Check in

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1383 titles
created 17 Nov 2011
a list of 822 titles
created 02 Dec 2011
a list of 1225 titles
created 10 Mar 2012
a list of 40 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 36 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Search for "A Busy Day" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A Busy Day (1914)

A Busy Day (1914) on IMDb 5.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Busy Day.


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Charlie is a clumsy waiter in a cheap cabaret, suffering the strict orders from his boss. He'll meet a pretty girl in the park, pretending to be a fancy ambassador, despite the jealousy of her fiancée.

Director: Mabel Normand
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Dan Albert
The Masquerader I (1914)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

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 film, winding up at the bottom of a well.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Chester Conklin
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

In a hotel lobby an inebriated Charlie runs into an elegant lady, gets tied hup in her dog's leash, and falls down. He later runs into her in the hotel corridor, locked out of her room. ... See full summary »

Director: Mabel Normand
Stars: Mabel Normand, Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Charlie is janitor for a firm the manager of which 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... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, John T. Dillon, Al St. John
The Star Boarder II (1914)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A brat's magic lantern show exposes an indiscreet moment between a landlady and her star boarder.

Director: George Nichols
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An out-of-work swindler takes a job as a reporter. After witnessing a car go over cliff, he grabs a rival reporter's camera and races to the newspaper office to enter the photo as his own. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Lehrman
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Emma Bell Clifton, Chester Conklin
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Charlie and another man compete in trying to help a young lady cross a muddy street. The rival finds a wooden plank which Charlie takes from him. They fight over an umbrella belonging to ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Lehrman
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Charlie is hanging around in the park, finding problems with a jealous suitor, a man who thinks that Charlie has robbed him a watch, a policeman and even a little boy, all because our friend can't stop snooping.

Directors: Joseph Maddern, Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Charlie attempts to meet his favorite movie actress at the Keystone Studio, but does not win friends there.

Director: George Nichols
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Peggy Pearce
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When a married couple become separated in the park, Charlie takes up with the lady and is beat up when her husband rejoins her. He takes a room in their hotel, and she sleepwalks into his ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Alice Davenport
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A silly aristocrat who believes he's been jilted attempts suicide, but is saved from death and reunited with his fiancee.

Directors: George Nichols, Mack Sennett
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edgar Kennedy, Minta Durfee
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Charlie, competing with his rival's race car, offers Mabel a ride on his motorcycle but drops her in a puddle. He next joins some dubious characters in abduction of his rival just before ... See full summary »

Directors: Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy


Complete credited cast:
The Wife
Mack Swain ...
The Husband


Charlie plays a woman, jealous over her husband's interest in another woman. She gets in the way of a cameraman, knocks over a director and a policeman, and gets thrown into a crowd of spectators at a military parade. She attacks her husband and his new flame. The husband throws her off the pier into the harbor. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy





Release Date:

7 May 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Busy as Can Be  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Charles Chaplin's first appearance on film dressed as a woman. He would later play women in two subsequent films, The Masquerader (1914) and A Woman (1915). See more »


Featured in Chaplin's Goliath (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Who was that lady?
24 October 2003 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'A Busy Day' is proof of something I've often maintained: namely, that no so-called 'lost' film should ever be considered truly lost unless it was deliberately destroyed. 'A Busy Day' was unavailable for many decades, and was generally assumed to be lost ... until an acetate-stock dupe print (intended for home-movie exhibition) was discovered in 1970; the movie is now widely available on video.

'A Busy Day' was made by Mack Sennett's Keystone studio, and even by that studio's slapdash methods this was a cursory effort. It ran only about 5 minutes. Cinema projectionists' reels run about 10 minutes; to make up the difference, Sennett purchased an educational film from an outside source ... releasing the two unrelated subjects as a single 'split-reel'.

'A Busy Day' is also a good example of Keystone's guerrilla filmmaking techniques. Sennett and his crews would often take advantage of some local event, placing their actors (in costume) in front of this so as to co-opt the event as background for the actors' slapstick antics. When a military band performed its manoeuvres near Venice, California, the Keystone gang ad-libbed this movie at the edge of the parade grounds ... using the musicians as a backdrop.

This movie features Keystone's mushroom-faced comedian Mack Swain ... but without the bushy moustache he usually wore in his 'Ambrose' characterisation. Swain is teamed here with Charlie Chaplin, in the role of (wait for it) Swain's wife!

Cross-gender casting was fairly common in silent films ... usually employed when a female character had to endure some rough stuff, so a male 'actress' was cast. In two other films ('The Masquerader' and 'A Woman'), Chaplin - a small, graceful actor with delicate features - played a man who dons female disguise: in both cases, he looked quite passable as a *beautiful* woman. (On at least one occasion offscreen, Chaplin wore female disguise in public, without being detected, so as to escape from some overly zealous fans.) In 'A Busy Day', for the only time in his screen career, Chaplin played a biological woman ... so, it's intriguing that 'she' has no sex appeal at all. This woman is a pantomime dame, like Widow Twanky or Monty Python's pepperpot women. She shrieks, she leaps into the air, she blows her nose on her long skirt and beats her husband with an umbrella.

Because Chaplin stars in 'A Busy Day', it is often assumed that he also directed this film. That is almost certainly incorrect. Chaplin's personal archives in Vevey did not include a print of this film, indicating that he did not care to own a copy ... and that he had probably participated in 'A Busy Day' only as an actor for hire, rather than as scenarist or director. Surviving records from Sennett's studio indicate that this film was probably directed by George Nichols, a general factotum at Keystone whose best talents were managerial.

There is some clever editing work in this movie, of a type that I call 'modular' filmmaking. Two different camera set-ups are used for a sequence in which Chaplin's female character is tossed back and forth by two men. The two set-ups function as two separate modules, or even two separate movies running simultaneously, with Chaplin tossed back and forth between them. The effect is amusing, but I suspect that it was born of necessity ... to make two separate locations look as if they were geographically adjacent.

I'll rate 'A Busy Day' 4 points out of 10. It's not especially funny, but it has some historical value as an early example of on-the-fly filmmaking.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss A Busy Day (1914) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: