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One A.M. (1916)

A drunken homeowner has a difficult time getting about in his home after arriving home late at night.




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Complete credited cast:
Albert Austin ...
Taxi Driver


After a night on the town, Charlie comes home to the house where he is staying, drunk and unable to find his key. For the next twenty minutes he staggers into, out of, and through the house in an inebriated confrontation with the house itself. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family | Short


TV-G | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

7 August 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Solo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(TCM print) | (restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the first film that Charles Chaplin starred in alone, except for a brief scene of Albert Austin playing a cab driver. See more »


The door to the drunk's bedroom is directly above the front door. As a result there is no ground floor below the bedroom and bathroom. See more »


[first lines]
Drunk: [title card] They should build these handles nearer the door.
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Featured in The Fall (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Early Chaplin: Drunken Solo
9 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

At Mutual, Chaplin had more freedom, and the result was the funniest and most entertaining short films he ever made. 'One A.M.' is one of his most experimental Mutual shorts: how many laughs can he get from a 20-some-minutes drunken solo, where, for the most part, he only interacts with inanimate objects (although the Murphy bed seems very alive). He got many from me.

Chaplin did a hilarious drunk act--that's evident in many of his other films, as well: 'The Rounders' (1914), a Keystone short costarring an equally funny 'Fatty' Arbuckle, comes to mind, as does another of his Mutual shorts, 'The Cure' (1917). Moreover, Chaplin's tendency to portray a dandy as a drunk, rather than a tramp, which could cause the humour to lose out to melancholic social commentary, was prudent. Making fun of the tacky and ridiculous possessions of an overly dressed bachelor is more of sure thing. Chaplin's dandy--even his tramp personae--owes plenty to Max Linder, too, as Chaplin himself often cited.

Another influence worth mentioning here is his background in Fred Karno's Fun Factory troupe. The only filmmakers other than Chaplin who are provided with much to do in 'One A.M.' it seems are those in care of the props and setting. 'One A.M.' could have as easily have been a music hall act as a short film. Nevertheless, all of this does make for a unique film in Chaplin's canon. By now, it's clear that Chaplin had matured from the rapid-paced, knockabout style of Keystone for a more graceful pantomime. That's not to say there aren't pratfalls and other tried-and-true gags here, but the temperament is radically different.

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