MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 42,321 this week

The Property Man (1914)

 -  Comedy | Short  -  1 August 1914 (USA)
5.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.8/10 from 310 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

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 »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 612 titles
created 10 Sep 2011
 
a list of 1219 titles
created 10 Mar 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 06 Jun 2012
 
a list of 82 titles
created 20 Aug 2013
 
a list of 72 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Property Man (1914)

The Property Man (1914) on IMDb 5.8/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Property Man.

Videos

1 video »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

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: Henry Lehrman
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Emma Bell Clifton, Chester Conklin
Shanghaied I (1915)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A shipowner intends to scuttle his ship on its last voyage to get the insurance money. Charlie, a tramp in love with the owner's daughter, is grabbed by the captain and promises to help him... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Billy Armstrong, Lawrence A. Bowes
The Bank (1915)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Charlie does everything but an efficient job as janitor. Edna buys her fiance, the cashier, a birthday present. Charlie thinks "To Charles with Love" is for him. He presents her a rose ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Billy Armstrong
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 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
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
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Charlie and another waiter must become bakers when the regular bakers go out on strike. The strikers put dynamite in a piece of bread which is delivered to the cake counter. It winds up in the oven and explodes.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Fritz Schade
The Fireman (1916)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Charlie is a fireman who always does everything wrong. A man talks the Fire Chief into ignoring his burning home (he wants the insurance money) unaware that his daughter (the love of the ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 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
Stars: Charles Chaplin, John T. Dillon, Al St. John
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Charlie and his partner are to deliver a piano to 666 Prospect St. and repossess one from 999 Prospect St. They confuse the addresses. The difficulties of delivering the piano by mule cart,... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Fritz Schade
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 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 5.7/10 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
Edit

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
Edit

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

Taglines:

SYNCHRONIZED WITH SOUND EFFECTS and MUSIC

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie on the Boards  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Zodiac (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
In which a fledgling comic genius learned what not to do
5 August 2002 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

There's only one genuine point of interest posed by the Keystone comedy The Property Man, written and directed by Charlie Chaplin: What would this great filmmaker's output have looked like if he'd never outgrown the crude Mack Sennett-style approach to comedy? For those interested in this troubling question, the answer can be found here.

This film, which is set backstage in a vaudeville theater, is infamous for its harsh slapstick violence, and it's easy to see why. Most Keystone comedies feature lots of comic mayhem, and Chaplin's are no exception, but in the midst of it all Charlie himself is usually at least a moderately sympathetic figure. Not in this movie! We watch The Property Man a little stunned as Charlie does everything possible to turn audience sympathy against himself. Most notoriously, Charlie bullies his elderly assistant, smacking and kicking him repeatedly, even when the old man is pinned under a fallen trunk. For me this is far from funny, and when the old man finally fights back it's exhilarating, and we root for him to settle the score with his tormentor. It's like visiting some nightmarish alternate universe where we root for Elmer Fudd to nail Bugs Bunny. Actually, watching this movie is similar to seeing the earliest appearances of favorite cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse or Daffy Duck, when the characters themselves still looked like rough sketches, and their behavior was crude and aggressive. Charlie is certainly aggressive in The Property Man: while flirting with the strong man's comely female assistant he gets so carried away he knocks her to the ground.

Viewers expecting a plot of some sort won't find one here. Events in this film follow a loose framework. Performers arrive at the theater for the show, quarrels erupt over dressing rooms, and then one act after another appears on stage. There are several shots of the audience, who look like rubes. I tend to enjoy movies set at theaters, and admittedly this film does provide a taste of what vaudeville was like in its heyday, allowing for Keystone-style exaggeration. Still, our enjoyment is undercut by the film's nasty tone. Even when Charlie isn't assaulting people his comic business is decidedly on the rough side. At one point, while he's flirting with a pair of dancing girls, beer (or punch, or something) gets spilled down his pants, creating a highly unappealing impression. Later, when Garlico the strong man is on stage and bends to lift a bar-bell, Charlie deliberately tears a piece of fabric so that Garlico will think he's ripped his tights. This is one of the film's rare comic moments, perhaps because the strong man is the only character in the movie more obnoxious than Charlie.

Get the idea? This movie isn't merely tiresome, it's a blot on Chaplin's reputation as a comedian, but fortunately he outgrew stuff like this pretty quickly, even before he left Keystone. And then within a couple of years he would make Behind the Screen, set at a movie studio, in which huge Eric Campbell would play Goliath the bullying prop man, and Charlie-- the Charlie we recognize --would play his assistant, the hapless and put-upon David. And, much to our relief, the proper pecking order would be established in Chaplin's universe.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Property Man (1914) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?