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By the Sea (1915)

TV-G  |   |  Short, Comedy  |  29 April 1915 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 988 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

It is windy at a bathing resort. After fighting with one of the two husbands, Charlie approaches Edna while the two husbands themselves fight over ice cream. Driven away by her husband, Charlie turns to the other's wife.

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(uncredited)
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Storyline

It is windy at a bathing resort. After fighting with one of the two husbands, Charlie approaches Edna while the two husbands themselves fight over ice cream. Driven away by her husband, Charlie turns to the other's wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

29 April 1915 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie by the Sea  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Featured in Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very simple, obviously, but definitely one of Chaplin's more endearing short comedies.
25 July 2001 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

By The Sea is one of Charlie Chaplin's very early short comedy skits, and while the plot is necessarily simple, the comedy is effective and the message is clear and fairly heartwarming.

The film concerns some guy on the beach who gets into a hilarious scuffle with another guy on the beach (Chaplin), because they both drop their hats (which, for some reason, are tied to themselves with pieces of string) and subsequently become entangled with one another as they try to get their hats back. Needless to say, they very soon start fighting, in the traditionally comical brawls that are commonplace in nearly all of Chaplin's films.

The plot actually thickens when a woman walks by and Charlie tries to act like he hasn't been fighting, holding his unconscious adversary up while he amusingly tips his hat (like no one else can) by pressing it against the pole that he is leaning on. This type of childishly charming acting is what Chaplin is most famous for and what he is best at, and it works very well here, too. Chaplin has come to be known for his presentations of different class levels in his films, but in By The Sea, one of the themes that is more prevalent is his dislike of authority figures (a standpoint that is shared by Alfred Hitchcock, who had a deathly fear of police officers). When he is fighting with the man on the beach, an officer comes up to break up the fight, accidentally gets knocked unconscious, and Charlie steps on him as he and the other man walk away, soon to agree to a truce.

Eventually, Charlie and the other guy become friends with each other, going out for ice cream. But it seems all the while that they are on the verge of breaking out into another fight – it is clear that they don't trust each other. Even while they are eating their ice cream (which, it turns out, neither is able to pay for), they are knocking each other down and exchanging blows.

Throughout the film, there is a subplot involving Charlie's amorous advances toward two different girls. One is involved with a huge brute of a man that we see in a quick shot early in the film, and one is involved with the man with whom Charlie spends the majority of the film fighting with. The film ends with all five of them sitting on a bench on the beach as Charlie woos one of them after another, not knowing that the two men are right beside him, and they all begin to fight, causing all of them to fall over backward on the bench. While it's true that Charlie encountered numerous hardships during this film, and that the ending wasn't necessarily happy for him, it is still an amusing comedy that serves the purpose that it was meant to serve. Films that are barely nine minutes long can only do so much, and By The Sea really accomplishes a lot.


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