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The Fatal Mallet (1914)

Three man will fight for the love of a charming girl. Charlie will play dirty, throwing bricks to his contender, and using a huge hammer to hurt one of them. But a precocious kid will be the fourth suitor in discord.

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Mabel's Rival Suitor
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Mabel
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Mabel's True Love
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Another Rival
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Storyline

Charlie throws a brick at a man and woman and gets it thrown back at him. The rivals fight. The lady leaves with a third suitor. Charlie finds a wooden mallet with which he subdues both rivals, locking them in a barn. He kicks the lady who instantly falls for him. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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Short | Comedy

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1 June 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hit Him Again  »

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1.33 : 1
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Bonking people on the head
23 May 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In 1914, Charlie Chaplin began making pictures. These were made for Mack Sennett (also known as "Keystone Studios") and were literally churned out in very rapid succession. The short comedies had very little structure and were completely ad libbed. As a result, the films, though popular in their day, were just awful by today's standards. Many of them bear a strong similarity to home movies featuring obnoxious relatives mugging for the camera. Many others show the characters wander in front of the camera and do pretty much nothing. And, regardless of the outcome, Keystone sent them straight to theaters. My assumption is that all movies at this time must have been pretty bad, as the Keystone films with Chaplin were very successful.

The Charlie Chaplin we know and love today only began to evolve later in Chaplin's career with Keystone. By 1915, he signed a new lucrative contract with Essenay Studios and the films improved dramatically with Chaplin as director. However, at times these films were still very rough and not especially memorable. No, Chaplin as the cute Little Tramp was still evolving. In 1916, when he switched to Mutual Studios, his films once again improved and he became the more recognizable nice guy--in many of the previous films he was just a jerk (either getting drunk a lot, beating up women, provoking fights with innocent people, etc.). The final evolution of his Little Tramp to classic status occurred in the 1920s as a result of his full-length films.

The entire plot involves Charlie bonking Mack Sennett on the head with a mallet repeatedly. That's all,...really.


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