After causing havoc on the sales floor Charlie goes to the office floor. There he runs into the store inspector (who looks exactly like him) who has just robbed the safe and knocked out the... See full summary »
After causing havoc on the sales floor Charlie goes to the office floor. There he runs into the store inspector (who looks exactly like him) who has just robbed the safe and knocked out the manager. Charlie thinks he is in front of a mirror till he notices he holds a stock and his "image" the bag of loot. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A floorwalker, Lloyd Bacon, and manager, Eric Campbell, rob the safe of a department store. Before they can leave with their ill-gotten gains, the floorwalker knocks the manager out and steals his share. To evade detectives, the floorwalker induces a look-alike tramp, Charlie Chaplin, to trade places with him. When the detectives arrest the real floorwalker, Chaplin is left with a suitcase of money and one small problem: Eric wants the money and revenge.
"The Floorwalker" was the first of Chaplin's twelve two-reel films for the Mutual Company. These are perhaps the best series of two-reel silent comedies. Chaplin made great strides as film maker during this period, and laid the groundwork for his feature-length triumphs to come.
The difference between the Mutual films and his Essanay films of the previous year are obvious from the start. The technical quality of the film making in almost all categories increases, and, although there are some notable holdovers from Essanay, especially leading- lady Edna Purviance, the quality of his stock company at Mutual also improves. "The Floorwalker" gives us the debut of Eric Campbell, Chaplin's best heavy, and Albert Austin, another stalwart foil. Most importantly, the level of humor rises from the rough, knockabout slapstick of his earliest films.
"The Floorwalker" is more heavily-plotted than most of his earlier shorts. It uses Chaplin's common plot device of mistaken identity which he frequently employed from 1914's "Caught in a Cabaret" to 1940's "The Great Dictator." This device allowed his tramp "everyman" to get a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and stuffy. This time he doesn't reach as high - merely to the ranks of the employed. The gags are good, in particular Chaplin makes excellent use of an escalator, although the film isn't as funny as many that will soon follow. Still, "The Floorwalker" remains one of my favorite Mutuals, if only for the sentimental reason that it was the first full-length two- reeler I bought in Super 8mm when I was a kid.
Well worth a look, but not the best introduction to Chaplin.
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