Charlie and his boss have difficulties just getting to the house they are going to wallpaper. The householder is angry because he can't get breakfast and his wife is screaming at the maid ... See full summary »
This is a padded-out, four-reel version of the two-reel short of the same title released in 1915, a spoof of the opera and film versions of Bizet's Carmen. Darn Hosiery, a Spanish officer, is led astray by the gypsy girl Carmen.
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 »
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 »
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.
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle,
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 »
Charlie and another man compete in trying to help a young lady cross a muddy street. The rival finds a wooden plank which Charlie takes from him. They fight over an umbrella belonging to ... See full summary »
Charlie and his wife are walking in the park when they encounter Ambrose and his wife. The partners become fond of their counterparts and begin chasing each other around. A policeman ... See full summary »
Charlie and his boss have difficulties just getting to the house they are going to wallpaper. The householder is angry because he can't get breakfast and his wife is screaming at the maid as they arrive. The kitchen gas stove explodes, and Charlie offers to fix it. The wife's secret lover arrives and is passed off as the workers' supervisor, but the husband doesn't buy this and fires shots. The stove explodes violently, destroying the house. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was one of several Chaplin comedies scheduled to be shown at the New-York Historical Society in September of 2001. In the wake of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, however, this film and one other, Dough and Dynamite, were pulled from the program, because each one ends with Charlie emerging from the rubble of a destroyed building. See more »
By this point in his career, Chaplin had almost fully developed the character of the little tramp, although he had not come close to perfecting the performances or truly refining his personality. But the character that the world soon came to know and love is clearly there by this point. This is one of the more complex stories for Chaplin's earliest work, with several story lines taking place simultaneously and coming together at the end.
The thing about slapstick is that so often it's only funny once, and sometimes even only mildly amusing that one time. The problem is that when you know what's going to happen, you can see the actor setting up for whatever sight gag is coming, even if it's only a slight indication of movement or preparation, but Chaplin was so good at it that in a film like this there are numerous sight gags and stunts that you can rewind and watch two or three times and they're still good. Chaplin had a natural style about him that looks like what we're watching isn't even a performance.
This film, simply titled Work, has plenty of amusing and memorable gags, particularly the wallpapering and the exploding stove. The end of the film is very high energy and even action packed, but it still strikes me as a bit of a descent into chaos. It's the kind of punching and kicking and throwing and falling and swinging and breaking stuff that we see a lot of in the Keystone films but that I feel tend to get boring after a while.
Then again, it's not until about 22 minutes into this 24 minute film that Chaplin first kicks a man over backwards by shoving his foot into the man's chest, so clearly other elements of storytelling are becoming more important to him....
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?