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 »
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 <email@example.com>
Worth Watching, Of Course, Though the Actual Comedy is Nothing Special
This is well worth watching, of course, just to see Charlie Chaplin's first screen appearance. In itself, the comedy is not that bad for its time, but it's fairly standard slapstick, without anything particularly imaginative.
It looks very much as if the film has deteriorated quite a bit physically, which makes it somewhat difficult to tell how good it may have been originally. Not that it would have been anything exceptional anyway, but some of the frantic action would probably be easier to follow if the print were in better shape, without anything missing.
Here, Charlie plays a character who is continually looking for ways to outwit a rival as he tries to make good. He gives the role plenty of energy, as you would expect, and he does as much as anyone could have within the limitations of the story line. In itself, it's nothing special, but to anyone who enjoys silent films, it's well worth watching just to see what the start of Chaplin's career was like.
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