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Behind the Screen (1916)

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Reviews: 16 user | 7 critic

Charlie is an overworked labourer at a film studio who helps a young woman find work even while his coworkers strike against his tyrannical boss.

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Title: Behind the Screen (1916)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Eric Campbell ...
Goliath - a Stagehand
...
David - His Assistant
...
The Girl
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Storyline

Three movies are being shot simultaneously and Charlie is an overworked scene shifter. The foreman is waited on hand and foot until all the shifters but Charlie go on strike. A girl looking for work pretends to be a man and helps Charlie. Charlie discovers her gender and falls in love with her. The foreman thinks they are homosexual and in the ensuing fight they become involved in a long pie throwing scene from one of the movies in production. The frustrated workers dynamite the studio. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

strike | love | pie | dynamite | film studio | See more »

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pride of Hollywood  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was restored in 2013 through the Chaplin Mutual Project thanks to the financial support of French director Michel Hazanavicius. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
pretty good Chaplin effort
6 July 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In 1914 and early 1915, Chaplin did his first comedy shorts. In general, they were pretty awful--with almost no plot and consisting of him mugging it up on camera and hitting people. However, in 1915 he left Keystone Studio and began making better films with Essenay (though there are some exceptions) and finally, in 1916, to Mutual where he made his best comedy shorts. These newer films had more plot and laughs and usually didn't relay on punching or kicking when they ran out of story ideas.

This film is one of these later Mutual Films and has a pretty decent amount of plot. Charlie is a carpenter's assistant on a movie set and his boss mostly sits around doing nothing--making Charlie do all the work. Later, the crew goes on strike and Charlie gets to act (although in real life, Chaplin's sympathies would have definitely been with the workers). In addition, a lady sneaks onto the set and disguises herself as a male laborer. Charlie realizes this and falls for her, though everyone else thinks she's a guy. I particularly liked the scene where Charlie is making out with the lady and really smooching it up good--and his boss looks on with horror! Overall, this is a pretty typical Mutual film--neither better or worse than the average one and worth a look if you get the opportunity.

An interesting scene was the one where Charlie picks up the MANY chairs and then the prop piano. This exact same scene was replicated by Syd Chaplin (Charlie's half-brother) years later in THE BETTER 'OLE.


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