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The Masquerader (I) (1914)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  27 August 1914 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 626 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

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.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Film Actor / Beautiful Stranger
...
Film Actor
Chester Conklin ...
Film Actor
Charles Murray ...
Film Director
Jess Dandy ...
Actor / Villain
Minta Durfee ...
Leading Lady
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

actor | costume | beer | See All (3) »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Female Impersonator  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Above-average 1914 effort with reflexive film-gags and cross-dressing
16 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Watched from an old VHS tape of 5 1914 shorts, the quality on this as with the others is rather poor and there are dropouts -- not from the tape, but from the film elements -- sometimes enough so that the action is hard to follow though less so in this case than most of the others. Not that it matters a whole lot, as this is for the most part like the other shorts very simple films with lots of knockabout action, broad humor, and very little else.

"The Masquerader" might be the best of the five, with the action taking place in a film studio and Charlie as an incompetent actor -- so an early example of the self-reflexive nature of film at work here -- only to return after being canned as a beautiful, dolled up actress. Chaplin's mimicry and makeup is really quite amazing here -- he had me fooled, anyway. The film also features Fatty Arbuckle as a rival actor who at one point gives Charlie gasoline to drink! His scene with Charlie, on opposite sides of a dressing-mirror in a dressing-room, is a classic of timing and facial expressions and has the feel of improvisation.


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