IMDb > Pay Day (1922/I)

Pay Day (1922/I) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
2 April 1922 (USA) See more »
Charlie is an expert bricklayer. He has lots of fun and work and enjoys himself greatly while at the saloon... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Gloaming Shades See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Chaplin ... Laborer (as Charlie Chaplin)
Phyllis Allen ... His Wife
Mack Swain ... Foreman

Edna Purviance ... Foreman's Daughter

Syd Chaplin ... Charlie's Friend and Lunch Cart Owner
Albert Austin ... Workman
John Rand ... Workman
Loyal Underwood ... Workman
Henry Bergman ... Drinking Companion
Al Ernest Garcia ... Drinking Companion and Policeman

Directed by
Charles Chaplin  (as Charlie Chaplin)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Charles Chaplin  (as Charlie Chaplin)

Produced by
Charles Chaplin .... producer (as Charlie Chaplin)
Original Music by
Charles Chaplin (1971) (as Charlie Chaplin)
Cinematography by
Roland Totheroh (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Charles D. Hall (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Reisner .... assistant director (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Wilson .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mother Vinot .... seamstress (uncredited)
Music Department
Eric James .... music associate (1971)
Eric Rogers .... conductor (1971)
Eric Rogers .... orchestrator (1971)
Transportation Department
Toraichi Kono .... driver: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
Other crew
Nellie Bly Baker .... secretary: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
Elsie Codd .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Tom Harrington .... assistant: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:21 min (TCM print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System) (re-issue) | Silent
Argentina:Atp | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

This is Charles Chaplin's final short film.See more »
Foreman:[the Laborer's digging up tiny bunches of dirt] You're working by the hour, not the ounce!See more »
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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Gloaming Shades, 29 August 2005
Author: Cineanalyst

"Pay Day" was Charlie Chaplin's last short film, and I think it's one of his best--not especially for the gags or scenario, but mostly because of its technical superiority in film-making. I consider the scenario substandard; I prefer Charlie as a real tramp, not a man of domesticity in the tramp outfit, but that's just my preference. Doubtless, "Pay Day" is better constructed than "A Day's Pleasure", another First National short where Chaplin plays a married everyman. And, there are some very funny scenes in "Pay Day". The bricklaying at his construction job is a highlight--a carefully choreographed gag projected in reverse motion. Additionally, Chaplin is hilarious when playing a drunk.

The night scenes when the tramp becomes inebriated and his subsequent follies at his apartment are better photographed than any scenes in a Chaplin film before. Chaplin is well known to be a rather minimalist, even unimaginative, filmmaker when it came to the more technical aspects of the art, such as cinematography, but he and cinematographer Roland Totheroh tried something different here with the lighting. Their films usually feature very flat lighting, but here they employed backlighting, adding another dimension to the film's images. When Chaplin tiptoes towards the camera oblivious of his wife standing behind him in their apartment, he seems ready to fall off the screen.

The night scenes are particularly striking; the backlighting more fully exposes shadows and the shades of gray, highlighting the textures of the sets and streets. The scene where the tramp attempts to get a ride on the trolleys was broken into location shots for the trolleys and studio shooting for when Chaplin is in front of the walled background. Chaplin was by then organizing his films for more efficient production, and the result is this great-looking short.

Art director Charles D. Hall, who would have a prestigious career designing sets for various horror flicks, helped greatly to expand Chaplin's films spatially at First National, which included simply featuring more sets and covering a greater area. Of course, the difference between the First National films and his ones before has as much to do with having his own studio, but Hall's contribution shouldn't be ignored. Even though the sets are still stagy (the missing wall confounded by a lack of changing camera placements), the backlighting highlights their texture and dimensions. "Pay Day" is Chaplin's most tactile short. The Mutual films were a period of refining Chaplin's tramp persona, as were some of the First National pictures, but these First National films were also a period of experimenting with his film-making--in ways as simple as the number of reels to the technical experiments such as in "Pay Day".

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