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 »
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 out of it by a policeman, and later throws his girl's friend into the lake. Frightened, the girls go off to a movie. Charlie shows up there and flirts with them. Later both rivals substitute themselves for the girls and attack the unwitting Charlie. In an audience-wide fight, Charlie is tossed through the screen. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
In The Rival Mashers, Chaplin is in full Tramp form and with plenty of kicking and punching and yanking people around with his cane, although I have to say that there are at least a few things that make this film stand out among the huge number that he was churning out for Keystone in 1914. First of all, it contains what has to be Charlie's most stylish cigarette lighting ever, it's classic. He oozes hilarious confidence, he's almost like a mobster. Also, it is one of the few films where a woman passes by him and stops to check him out, rather than the other way around.
I also found it interesting that Chester Conklin seems to be trying to copy Charlie's outfit. He appears in pants which are wildly too big for him and hang limply off his hips, an outrageously tiny shirt and tie and an ill-fitting jacket, a little too similar to Chaplin's classic outfit not to notice. It should be noted, however, that Conklin ultimately performed in nearly 300 films, almost four times as many as Chaplin, but there is clearly no question about who was the more talented filmmaker and/or actor.
At any rate, The Rival Mashers, also known as Those Love Pangs (this was still back when all of Chaplin's films had a whole list of different names, mostly due to callous re-editing and re-releasing), is one of his lesser man-woman-cop-in-the-park comedies, as very little happens other than a few mildly amusing gags and a few appearances of what would become Chaplin's unmistakable style. Expectations were much lower back then for these films (as they should remain today when watching them), but Chaplin had done much better before.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?