Charlie has trouble with actors' luggage and conflicts over who gets the star's dressing room. There are further difficulties with frequent scene changes, wrong entries and a fireman's hose... See full summary »

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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
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Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The plot is a satire derived from Hugh Antoine D'Arcy's poem of the same title. The painter courts Madeleine but loses to the wealthy client who sits for his portrait. The despairing artist... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Cecile Arnold, Jess Dandy
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
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The Rounders (1914)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
Laughing Gas (1914)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 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
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Charlie and a rival vie for the favors of their landlady. In the park they each fall for different girls, though Charlie's has a male friend already. Charlie considers suicide, is talked ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Cecile Arnold
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 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  

Mabel and her beau go to an auto race and are joined by Charlie and his friend. As Charlie's friend is attempting to enter the raceway through a hole, the friend gets stuck and a policeman ... See full summary »

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

Charlie meets a couple and agrees to care for the man's crippled uncle. After the couple breaks up the man's new girl drops some eggs which Charlie slips on while trying to control the ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Charley Chase, Peggy Page
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Charlie's wife sends him to the store for a baby bottle with milk. Elsewhere, Ambrose offers to post a love letter for a woman in his boarding house. The two men meet at a restaurant and ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain
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
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 and must endure the strict orders from his boss. He meets a pretty girl in the park and pretends to be a fancy ambassador but must contend with the jealousy of her fiancé.

Director: Mabel Normand
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Dan Albert
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
The Property Man
Phyllis Allen ...
Lena Fat
Charles Bennett ...
George Ham, Lena's Husband
Jess Dandy ...
Garlico the Strong Man / Man in Audience
Alice Davenport ...
Actress
Vivian Edwards ...
Goo Goo Sister
Cecile Arnold ...
Goo Goo Sister
Norma Nichols ...
Vaudeville Artist
Joe Bordeaux ...
Old Actor
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Storyline

Charlie has trouble with actors' luggage and conflicts over who gets the star's dressing room. There are further difficulties with frequent scene changes, wrong entries and a fireman's hose. At one point he juggles an athlete's supposed weights. The humor is still rough: he kicks an older assistant in the face and allows him to be run over by a truck. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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SYNCHRONIZED WITH SOUND EFFECTS and MUSIC

Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Details

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Release Date:

1 August 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie on the Boards  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Kick 'em, then kick 'em again
16 January 2017 | by See all my reviews

Good old Keystone rough and tumble. Chaplin himself would not have liked this film, as he thought the only thing that justified Keystone's existence was a dark-eyed girl that weaved in and out of their pictures, Mabel Normand. Clearly, Mabel isn't in this one, so it qualifies as rubbish. However, all Keystone films made money, so what WE think today is immaterial. Those that handed over their 7 cents entrance fee undoubtedly thought they'd had their money's worth. That's what matters. The film brings out most of Keystone's ammunition: kicks in the rear, heads stamped on, flashes of petticoat, spraying with a hose and a ballet dancer's legs, what more could be wished for. They must have been rolling in the aisles. I would guess the film is a sort of remake of 'That Ragtime Band', albeit minus the charming Mabel.

The prop man is Charlie Chaplin, and he has a mission – to cause as much disruption in his little theater as possible. Film-goers eyes must have popped out of their heads – the entrance prices are 9c,19c, 29c, 49c with box seats reduced to 98 cents (odd numbers again). Sennett is telling us that this place is so lousy they've had to reduce prices. At the start the deadbeat prop man and an aging janitor with a Zee-Zee Top beard, are drinking beer from a jug. There follows an argument with an act that has not been put on the bill poster. When the lady part of the act goes to the star dressing room she finds it empty and resplendent with graffiti (written by actresses? never!). Things get worse when the lady assistant of Garlico The Strongman enters the dressing room and finds the first lady there. While the ladies get violent, Garlico is bouncing Charlie off the walls. Enter the Goo Goo Sisters (the what!) and Charlie soon spills his beer down his trousers and, seemingly down a sister's dress as well. In an act reminiscent of The Fatima Sisters from Ragtime Band, the Goos indulge in some titillating dancing, giving Charlie an eyeful of petticoats. Garlico performs his strongman act, but his assistant gets knocked out during some ludicrous slapstick – twice. The strongman himself is laid out by little Charlie using a dumbbell as a club. Mack Sennett appears in this film as a member of the audience, but, unsurprisingly, he disappears just before the theater-goers get a hosing down. The majority of the film is composed of endless crazy slapstick, which would have had regular Keystoners in stitches. For present-day fans of slapstick, this film is still a must.

As in 'That Ragtime Band' small-time theaters are not treated kindly by Keystone (they were the competition after all). They tell us the theater is a dirty, disgusting place, staffed by alcoholic hobos, and the acts comprise psychologically unstable miscreants and lewd women. For this you will pay much more than in a cinema. This is no illusion though, for Mary Pickford described the theaters of the day, where the actresses would throw makeup at the walls and smash mirrors if their performance did not go down well (the sign in this film 'If your act is rotten do not take it out on the props' is a genuine one). When Pickford got her first star dressing room she was furious to find it dirty, covered in graffiti and with every convenience trashed. She got so hysterical that her mother had to slap her face to bring her round. Of course the theater staff would never clear up after spoiled, unstable, swelled head actresses – let them wallow in their own filth.

Garlico's assistant was played by Peggy Page, an actress who has been identified with the Helen Carruthers that attempted suicide in 1915. Charlie and Helen appeared together in 17 films for Keystone, and they seem to have been very lovey with each other – so much so that Peggy / Helen might have followed him to Essanay. The actress was never a star, but came close in Chaplin's His Prehistoric Past. It is rather curious that Chas never mentioned her in his autobiography, but then he only ever mentioned 'the greats'. Was Peggy/ Helen of the class of actress that Mabel Normand labeled as only able 'to enter a scene and flirt with the comedian?' The film was criticized in the press for being too brutal. 'Is kicking an old man in the head actually funny?' They asked.


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