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Live Wires and Love Sparks (1916)

Bill, a worker for the telephone company, is eating with his family when the woman across the hall comes to ask whether she can use Bill's phone. When she then asks Bill to come and fix her... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Billie Ritchie ...
Bill (Billie) Steel
Eva Nelson ...
Mrs. Bill Steel
Peggy Pearce ...
The Neighbor
Gene Rogers ...
The Collector
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Storyline

Bill, a worker for the telephone company, is eating with his family when the woman across the hall comes to ask whether she can use Bill's phone. When she then asks Bill to come and fix her own telephone, Bill takes advantage of the chance to flirt with her, only to be discovered by her angry husband. And Bill's worries don't end there - his rent collector is looking for him, and there is also an unknown man pursuing him, with the intention of forcing Bill to accept an official-looking envelope. Written by Snow Leopard

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Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

19 March 1916 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Featured in Chaplin's Goliath (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
almost like watching an EARLY Chaplin short
21 May 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Billy Ritchie was known for dressing as "the Little Tramp" at about the same time Chaplin began doing this in 1914. Both argued that they invented the character. Chaplin did do it first on film, but Ritchie proclaimed that he had done it first on stage--before the popularity of silent comedy shorts. Whoever was the actual originator, both played essentially the same character on film and look very similar. In fact, this short looks almost exactly like the average Chaplin short of the 1914-1915 era. This is before Chaplin really fully developed the character--before he injected him with more likability and charm. Instead, the Little Tramp was more a goofy guy who did occasionally nasty things to others. And, as a result of the unlikability, few people today would be terribly impressed with either comedian! My advice is don't watch the Ritchie incarnation or the Chaplin ones made really early in his career. The 1916-1920 period of time showed vast improvements in the characterization and helped to give Chaplin more lasting appeal.


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