IMDb > Easy Street (1917)
Easy Street
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Easy Street (1917) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.7/10   2,556 votes »
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Release Date:
22 January 1917 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A reformed tramp becomes a police constable who must fight a huge thug who dominates an inner city street. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(5 articles)
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User Reviews:
"Love backed by force" See more (22 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Chaplin ... The Derelict (as Charlie Chaplin)

Edna Purviance ... The Mission Worker
Eric Campbell ... The Bully
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Albert Austin ... Minister / Policeman (uncredited)
Lloyd Bacon ... Drug Addict (uncredited)
Henry Bergman ... Anarchist (uncredited)
Frank J. Coleman ... Policeman (uncredited)
William Gillespie ... Heroin Addict (uncredited)
James T. Kelley ... Mission Visitor / Policeman (uncredited)
Charlotte Mineau ... Big Eric's Wife (uncredited)
John Rand ... Mission Tramp / Policeman (uncredited)
Janet Sully ... Mother in Mission (uncredited)
Loyal Underwood ... Small Father / Policeman (uncredited)
Erich von Stroheim Jr. ... Baby (uncredited)
Leo White ... Policeman (uncredited)
Tom Wood ... Chief of Police (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Vincent Bryan  uncredited
Charles Chaplin  screenplay (uncredited)
Charles Chaplin  story (uncredited)
Charles Chaplin  uncredited
Maverick Terrell  uncredited

Produced by
Henry P. Caulfield .... producer (uncredited)
Charles Chaplin .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
William C. Foster (photography) (uncredited)
Roland Totheroh (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
 
Art Department
George Cleethorpe .... property master (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
George C. 'Duke' Zalibra .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Michael Mortilla .... music copyright (1989) (as Michael D. Mortilla)
Michael Mortilla .... music performer (1984) (as Michael D. Mortilla)
 
Transportation Department
Toraichi Kono .... driver: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
 
Other crew
David Shepard .... presents (1989)
Ed Brewer .... technical director (uncredited)
Tom Harrington .... assistant: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
23 min (20 fps) | Germany:24 min (restored version) | Argentina:24 min (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
"Love backed by force", 3 March 2010
Author: Steffi_P from Ruritania

A title card says "Back on top again". A tramp huddles in a doorway below a sign saying "Hope". Does this look like the opening to a slapstick comedy? In this, the ninth of Charlie Chaplin's pictures at Mutual studios, it is indeed a good few minutes before we even get a joke. But such was the delicacy and professionalism Chaplin put into his craft audiences did not, and still do not mind.

While many of Chaplin's preceding pictures had featured some element of drama or poignancy, you can see in Easy Street that his merging of the two with comedy is now completely seamless. He is continually switching from one to the other, setting up deeper moments then bursting them with a gag. He even uses one to set up the other. An early Chaplin picture might have had us follow Charlie the rookie cop and discover with him how rough his beat is, but what we actually get is several cuts to scenes of fighting on Easy Street, culminating in the mighty Eric Campbell scaring off all comers. Campbell struts around the now empty street for a moment, and then, in the background, Charlie comes plodding round the corner. All those shots of the scuffle go towards building up this iconic and very funny entrance.

Although Chaplin himself is on top form here, a couple of honourable mentions should go out to his supporting cast. This is perhaps the ultimate burly bully role for Eric Campbell. When you see him in that melee, he even looks like a big man among other big men, not just because of his gargantuan size but the way he carries that size. I love that close-up of him swallowing the key. If you're a good lip-reader you can tell he's saying "Ya see this? Ya see it?" which you have to imagine in a thick Scotch brogue (Campbell was from Strathclyde). Then there is a lesser-known Chaplin-regular, Charlotte Mineau, playing Big Eric's wife. Mineau was normally just a type-filler for a slightly older woman, but here she gets to show off her own slapstick skills, doing some very athletic bounce-back manoeuvres when Campbell pushes her over. For some unknown reason this was her last appearance for Chaplin.

Easy Street is not the funniest Chaplin short by a long shot, but it is surely his best merging of dramatic and comedic elements so far. What other comedian of this period was tackling crime in the slums, domestic violence and drug abuse? Come to think of it, what mainstream filmmaker was? And in spite of its weighty subject matter Easy Street provides the laughs and the entertainment. When you look at how nicely done it is on all levels, you can see not only was Chaplin making by far the best comedies of the time, he was making some of the best pictures of any kind.

Here comes the all-important statistic –

Number of kicks up the arse: 1 (1 for)

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