Charlie is trying to get a job in a movie. After causing difficulty on the set he is told to help the carpenter. When one of the actors doesn't show, Charlie is given a chance to act but ... See full summary »

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Storyline

Charlie is trying to get a job in a movie. After causing difficulty on the set he is told to help the carpenter. When one of the actors doesn't show, Charlie is given a chance to act but instead enters a dice game. When he does finally act he ruins the scene, wrecks the set and tears the skirt from the star. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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hollywood | See All (1) »

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ARE YOU THERE CHARLIE? See more »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

1 February 1915 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie's New Job  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first of fourteen Essanay Films that Chaplin made after leaving Keystone when Mack Sennett would not meet the comedian's $1000 a week demands. Essanay gave him $1250. The first film, "His New Job," is the only Chaplin film made on location in Chicago. See more »

Goofs

A taped "X" on Ben Turpin's neck, used by Charlie to strike a match against, disappears when the gag is over. See more »

Connections

Edited into Mixed Up (1915) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charlie struggling to get a job in the movies…
21 April 2008 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

There is something uniquely charming about the short comedies that Chaplin made that poke fun at his art form or that show us a little bit of the mechanics of how these movies are made. The most notable example other than His New Job is the charming and fun Behind the Screen, although this film is a lot of fun, too.

It starts out in the waiting room, apparently for the opportunity to interview for a job as a film extra. He immediately begins flirting with a woman in the room, and soon does the old hat gag where someone demands that he take it off but he keeps putting it back on, finally doing that cute trick where he flips it up in the air. I feel like I've seen him do that in at least four or five films, although I have to say that he does it best in The Immigrant.

It seems that the characterization is getting pretty developed by this point, and that the little tramp has earned a good following of fans who want to see him in each new Chaplin film. There is less and less effort put into giving him a role in each film, he generally just comes out and plays himself.

There are lots of traditional Chaplin antics in the waiting room as he competes for the film extra position, although when he finally gets into the interview room and blows into that earpiece, it might be the first time I've literally laughed out loud at one of these short comedies in quite a while.

Charlie is dressed as a soldier for his part in the film within the film, although as is to be expected, things soon go wrong and his lack of acting talent becomes abundantly clear. I always find it a little amusing when actors play roles in which, at some point, they lament the fact that they have no acting talent.

But my favorite part of the film is that it shows us behind the scenes, what some of the film sets looked like back in 1915. I always find it fascinating when I catch a glimpse of something real in these old movies, even if it's something tiny, like wafting smoke or the unintentional movement of curtains or a throw rug. It is endlessly fascinating to me to imagine what it was like to really be there, what the set looked like to the naked eye, in real life and in color.

Here, we are treated to some shots of the inside of the soundstage, which I guess is the next best thing. Generally, the movie is clever and fun, but other than some interesting behind the scenes shots there's really nothing new here. The ending is even a little violent, but this is still one of the more fun of Chaplin's earliest work.


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