After amusements working in a restaurant, Charlie uses his lunch break to go roller skating. Mr. Stout makes advances toward the unwilling Edna (whose father and Mrs. Stout had earlier carried on in the restaurant). After a roller skate ballet, Charlie (now as Sir Cecil Seltzer) is invited to a party at Edna's. All the "couples", including a new partner for Mr. Stout. show up. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Charlie goes to lunch, he changes out of his waiter's coat and tie into his "Little Tramp" coat and vest. When he buttons his vest, the buttons and button holes are out of alignment. But when he walks through the restaurant and onto the sidewalk, the buttons and button holes are properly aligned. See more »
The Rink, one of Chaplin's most charming early short comedies, starts out with the little tramp working as a waiter, and there is a hilarious short scene where a customer calls him over for his check, and Charlie comes over and writes up the bill based on the food that the guy has spilled all over himself. It seems to me that this was the film that inspired parts of Modern Times, especially the skating and the kitchen scenes. There are some wonderful uses of the IN and OUT doors leading to the kitchen, which do not seem repetitive even after I've seen Modern Times five or six times.
One of the most charming scenes in the whole movie is a short piece where Charlie goes behind the bar to mix someone a drink (shaken, not stirred ). It's one of the famous scenes from Chaplin's early career. When Charlie gets off work, he changes back into his famous outfit and heads out to the bus stop. While he is sitting on the bench next to a woman, he pulls off some truly vintage Chaplin behavior that is so spontaneous and so well acted that it makes me think of Chaplin just goofing off in real life. This is what I imagine he was really like a lot of the time.
With The Rink, it is easy to see that longer, and more genuine stories are slowly evolving in his early films. It is not a deep story by a long shot, and there is still plenty of high-action physical slapstick comedy, but there is much more here than at most of his previous films.
But most of all, the feature skit of the film is the skating scenes in the second half, which are outstanding. It's amazing to me how good Chaplin was on skates, and some of the skits he pulls off here (such as the bouncing up and down on the fat woman) are truly brilliant pieces of slapstick. I have to say that I wish I knew where exactly the film's closing shot was filmed, since it's an outdoor shot and I am always curious to know what parts of Los Angeles are being shown. Excellent show!
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