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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

Referenced in Unknown Chaplin (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent short comedy in which Charlie Chaplin satirizes his own craft.
25 July 2001 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Chaplin plays the part of David, the lowly assistant to the oafish stage hand Goliath, and as is to be expected, everything goes wrong in the most hilarious ways. Being an early short Chaplin comedy, a good portion of the comedy is slapstick, with such elaborately acted scenes as the one with the stage pillar prop that just would not seem to stand up.

Poor David works like a slave for the lazy Goliath, but at first, he just keeps messing things up - he just can't seem to do anything right. But later, when he starts working really hard and doing things right, his boss always walks in just as he sits down to rest, and he gets into trouble for loafing on the job, and Goliath, who spends most of his time sleeping, gets all of the credit for David's work.

Not only does this film satirize the falsity of film and stage, but it also goes into actual filming, in the surprisingly effective pie throwing scene. Eventually, all of the workers go on strike, leaving only David and Goliath on stage and, as is common in Chaplin's films, he ends up the victor as a result of some inadvertent events concerning a trap door and a lot of guys fighting. The ending of this film is unusually violent for a generally light Chaplin comedy, but the comedic value is never diminished.


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