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Cast overview:
Billy West ...
Joe Bordeaux
(as Ethyl Burton)
The Father (as Budd Ross)
Slim Cole
Don Likes ...
A Customer


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Comedy | Short





Release Date:

15 January 1918 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Barber  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The events of this film are supposed to take place during the course of one day. However, during the barber shop sequence, a wall calendar switches from the 13th to the 12th, then back to the 13th. This suggests that the sequence took two days to shoot, and someone on the set mistakenly tore off a page. See more »


Edited into The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

An outright theft--but a high quality one
21 December 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It is very possible that a person might see this film and not even realize that it is not a Charlie Chaplin film. That's because Billy West was THAT good at copying the comic--and unscrupulous film distributors often pretended this WAS a Chaplin film. This is because at the time Chaplin was the most popular film comedian in the world and lots of wannabees wanted to cash in on his success. Some of the fakes just copied his style but not the look (such as Harold Lloyd and his 'Lonesome Luke' character) but others went so far as to copy the outfit, hair and even mustache in a sleazy attempt to steal audiences. Of all these crooks, West was probably the best and his films are almost indistinguishable from Chaplin's--and sometimes are better (especially if you compare it to Chaplin's earliest films from 1914-1915). The only obvious ways the two are different are the supporting casts. Chaplin tended to use familiar friends such as Mack Swain but here the villain is Oliver Hardy--a man who never worked with Chaplin.

The beginning of the film is very Chaplin-like. You see Charlie, I mean Billy, in the park trying to steal a girl from another man (Oliver Hardy in thick mustache). After playing the masher for a while, the film switches gears and the setting is now a barber shop--where Billy agrees to watch it and cut hair while the owner is out--even though he knows nothing about the business. This latter portion of the film is definitely better than the park sequence--with quite a few laughs. It all culminates at a barber's dance as Billy finally gets the upper hand on his rival. As for the film, it's very good and perhaps my 6 is too low a score. It probably SHOULD get a 7 or 8 for entertainment value, but I am loathe to reward a plagiarized film with such high marks.

By the way, historically speaking, it's interesting that one of the characters in the barber shop sequence is very obviously a homosexual. Poking fun of gay characters might seem very offensive now, but in the Pre-Code days (pre-1934), such laughs were relatively common and acceptable.

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