7.7/10
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27 user 16 critic

Easy Street (1917)

Unrated | | Short, Comedy | 22 January 1917 (USA)
A reformed tramp becomes a police constable who must fight a huge thug who dominates an inner city street.

Director:

(uncredited)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
The Derelict (as Charlie Chaplin)
...
The Mission Worker
Eric Campbell ...
The Bully
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Storyline

When Charlie the Tramp wanders into a mission he is smitten by Edna and puts back the collection box which he has taken. Reformed, he becomes a policeman and is assigned to rough-and-tumble Easy Street. Unable to trick or beat Eric the Tough, he puts Eric's head in a gas pipe and anesthetizes him. A hero, he now helps many poor people living on Easy Street. Eric escapes jail, Edna is kidnapped, but Charlie (recharged after sitting on a doper's needle) conquers all. Easy Street is transformed as is Eric. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 January 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Calle Easy  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored) | (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lamppost used in the famous scene between Charles Chaplin and Eric Campbell fell on Chaplin during filming, requiring his hospitalization. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chief of Police: [title card] Your beat is Easy Street.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Birth of the Tramp (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing but showing future promise
30 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Comedy wise this is probably the most disappointing of Chaplin's Mutual films that I've seen so far. In the entire film I only laughed out loud once and generally there were very few funny moments anywhere. What the film does contain though is another tender story about overcoming the odds, hard work, temperance and love which is something that Chaplin was becoming the master of at this stage of his career.

Easy Street itself looks to be modelled on the sort of South London streets that Chaplin would have grown up on himself. They don't look very American to me and it's only when a late chase takes us outside of the confines of Easy Street that it becomes obvious that we are in America. Like much of Chaplin's work, Easy Street is routed in a Dickensian world that predates film altogether. The crime and violence on Easy Street may well have been a satirical response to pre Prohibition America where if history is to be believed the masses drank until they passed out or were knocked out. The saving grace of the Policeman and the Christian Mission is very appropriate to the era.

What is nice about Easy Street is that Chaplin's character is without selfishness. In many of his early films he was the reluctant hero or came to be the hero through mistake or after he had attempted to con or rip people off. Easy Street shows a further departure from this and towards his later incarnation as the victim/underdog of his future films. It's a shame that in Easy Street though Chaplin wasn't able to balance the character, story and comedy and that the latter suffers. The basis of an excellent film is in place but like most people I watch a Charlie Chaplin film to laugh and I didn't do that in this film.

www.attheback.blogspot.com


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