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

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Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   2,495 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:
(4 articles)
Ten silent super-stars facing the advent of 'talkies'
 (From Shadowlocked. 7 March 2012, 7:02 AM, PST)

Clip joint: manhole covers
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 24 February 2011, 7:51 AM, PST)

Chaplin—First, Last, And Always
 (From Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy. 12 December 2010, 9:30 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Excellent short comedy by Charlie Chaplin. Definitely one of the very best. See more (21 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)
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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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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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 »

FAQ

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Excellent short comedy by Charlie Chaplin. Definitely one of the very best., 18 May 2001
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China

Easy Street is one of the first films that really solidified Chaplin's intentions to continue to represent the poorer people of society. In this film, Chaplin's common rich vs. poor theme is especially prevalent in the way that the predicament of the poor is presented, and especially given the fact that, at this point in his career, Chaplin was earning roughly $10,000 a week.

Although this is one of Chaplin's best short films, it is strange that in the church near the beginning of the film, he turns the hymn book upside down as though he can't read, but then he is soon able to read the help wanted sign at the police station. At any rate, after he leaves the church, having found Jesus, he finds the streets seething with comical violence. He sees that the police are looking to hire, and his hesitant entrance into the police station is one of the funniest parts of the entire film.

Clearly, it's amusing enough to see the tramp in a policeman's uniform, but the way that he and the bully that seems to have claimed ownership of Easy Street interact is also some classic comedy. The irony in this film is that Charlie is trying to get this huge guy under control so that he will stop terrorizing the people, but then when he does, in fact, defeat him, the people are afraid of HIM. As is almost always the case when Charlie performs some heroism in his films (usually inadvertently), he acts like it was no big deal when people arrive (see the scene in The Gold Rush when Jack gets knocked out by a falling clock, and Charlie thought that he had done it).

The part that most clearly represents Charlie's sympathy for the poor in this film is the scene when he catches the woman stealing from the sleeping street vendor. At first, it seems that he is going to turn her in, but he is so heartbroken that he runs to the street vendor (who is still asleep), and steals more food for the woman, and then encourages her to hurry off before the vendor wakes up and realizes what has happened.

This rich vs. poor theme is one of the many that traverses a good majority of Chaplin's career, but there are many other things that can be seen in his later films, like the love interest element of The Bank that can be seen in a very similar form later in City Lights. In this film, there is a short sequence where Charlie sits on a hypodermic needle that had been used by a man to shoot up with (something like that wouldn't be quite as funny if it was done today), and his reaction to the small dose of the drug is almost exactly the same as that in Modern Times, when he pours cocaine onto his food, thinking it's salt.

Easy Street is an entertaining and heartwarming story in many ways, and the ending leaves the feeling that something has really been accomplished in the film. As Charlie calmly walks the sidewalks in his policeman's uniform, everyone on the street is orderly and well dressed, and even the bully tips his hat to Charlie as he walks by. Unfortunately, very few people watch Chaplin's films anymore, but even if only a few are watched, this should definitely be one of them.

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