MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 11,124 this week

Making a Living (1914)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  2 February 1914 (USA)
5.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 964 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 5 critic

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:

(uncredited)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 27 Sep 2011
 
a list of 1219 titles
created 10 Mar 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 06 Jun 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 28 Feb 2013
 
a list of 7 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Making a Living" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Making a Living (1914)

Making a Living (1914) on IMDb 5.4/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Making a Living.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Laughing Gas (1914)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Charlie pretends to be a dentist though he is only his assistant. When a patient can't stop laughing from the anesthesia Charlie knocks him out with a club. He is sent to the drug store, ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Fritz Schade, Alice Howell
The Masquerader I (1914)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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
The Rounders (1914)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two drunks live in the same hotel. One beats his wife, the other is beaten by his. They go off and get drunk together. They try to sleep in a restaurant using tables as beds and are thrown ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Phyllis Allen
A Dog's Life (1918)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Little Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Dave Anderson
The Cure (1917)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An alcoholic checks into a health spa and his antics promptly throw the establishment into chaos.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
The Vagabond (1916)
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After passing the hat and taking the donations intended for German street musicians Charlie heads for the country. Here he finds and rescues a girl from a band of gypsies. The girl falls in... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
The Pawnshop (1916)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Charlie competes with his fellow shop assistant. He is fired by the pawnbroker and rehired. He nearly destroys everything in the shop and and himself. He helps capture a burglar. He destroys a client's clock while examining it in detail.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Henry Bergman, Edna Purviance
His New Job (1915)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Charlie is trying to get a job in a movie. After causing difficulty on the set he is told to help the carpenter. When one of the actors doesn't show, Charlie is given a chance to act but ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Billy Armstrong, Agnes Ayres
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Tramp wanders into and disrupts the filming of a go-kart race.

Director: Henry Lehrman
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Henry Lehrman
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 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
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Accosted by a masher in the park and unable to motivate husband Charlie into taking action, Mabel gets him a boxing mannequin to sharpen his fighting skills.

Director: Mack Sennett
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain
A Busy Day (1914)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

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

Director: Mack Sennett
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Phyllis Allen
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Edit

Storyline

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. His rival is delayed when he gets caught in a woman's bedroom by her jealous husband. The swindler follows the distribution of the paper containing his 'scoop' around town where he is once again chased by the rival reporter. Both end up on the cow-catcher of a streetcar. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

reporter | keystone kops | See All (2) »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 February 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Take My Picture  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First film appearance of Charles Chaplin, and one of the few in those early years in which he does not play the Tramp. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Birth of the Tramp (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This middling Keystone comedy marks an auspicious debut
23 July 2002 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

Silent comedy buffs seek out Making a Living for one reason only: to witness the film debut of 24 year-old Charlie Chaplin, fresh from stage success in England and America with the Karno comedy troupe. Neither Chaplin nor producer Mack Sennett recalled this first attempt with any fondness in later years, but it seems neither much worse nor much better than the average Keystone one-reeler of the period. We watch with heightened interest, but Making a Living remains difficult to assess objectively. We're so conscious of it as a special milestone, as Chaplin's First Movie, that it isn't easy to sit back and enjoy the show on its own, admittedly modest merits.

The first thing we notice is that the familiar costume hasn't been developed yet. In the very first shot, when Chaplin approaches his co-star (and director) Henry Lehrman to ask for a hand-out, it takes us a moment to adjust to his exotic appearance: he wears a top hat, tan frock coat, and droopy mustache. He looks a bit seedy but he's not exactly a tramp, more like an eccentric gent who is down on his luck. It's interesting to observe Chaplin in this extended opening sequence as he puts the touch on a man who is, apparently, a total stranger. He engages Lehrman in light conversation, examines the man's ring, briefly pretends to steal it, chuckles winningly, and then gets down to the business of genteel pan-handling. At first Lehrman refuses him a loan, but when he relents and offers cash Chaplin suddenly turns him down -- and then, as the offer is withdrawn, quickly grabs it. It's a nice little scene, more relaxed and nuanced than what we might expect.

All that follows is more conventional, as it details the escalating (and increasingly violent) rivalry between Chaplin and Lehrman, first over the same girl and then over the same job, at a newspaper office. Along the way we recognize some Chaplin expressions and mannerisms familiar from later performances, but we also note that Charlie's character is decidedly unsympathetic: he's a con man who repeatedly double-crosses his reluctant benefactor, Lehrman. At one point during a battle Chaplin holds Lehrman at bay with his walking stick, as he later would with Eric Campbell in The Rink (1916), but The Little Tramp seems worlds away. Eventually, when Lehrman manages to take some photos at the scene of a car accident, Charlie steals his camera and attempts to pass off the photos as his own. What a scoundrel!

For a newcomer to movie-making Chaplin appears perfectly relaxed before the camera. Despite all the scuffling and running around that takes place here, both Chaplin and Lehrman (who doesn't display much screen presence) give performances that are noticeably more restrained than the Keystone norm of the time. Towards the end, when Chester Conklin appears as a cop, his grotesque makeup and out-sized reactions look quite exaggerated in contrast to the two leads. It's also interesting to observe that Chaplin and Lehrman, who quickly developed an intense mutual antipathy off-camera, spend most of their on-screen time together as adversaries, both in this film and in Kids' Auto Race, made soon afterward. It seems that Chaplin was signaling, from the very outset, that he would not passively submit to direction from others -- or at least not from Henry Lehrman. And it wouldn't be long after this, just a few months, before Chaplin would be directing his own work, and his brilliant career would be launched in earnest.


19 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Making a Living (1914) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page