Billy is mistaken for a dangerous Bolshevik, and thrown into jail.

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(as Charles Parrott)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Billy West ...
The Rolling Stone
Stanton Heck ...
The Warden
Ethelyn Gibson ...
The Warden's Daughter
...
A Bolsheviki Leader
Steve Murphy ...
Convict
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Storyline

Billy is mistaken for a dangerous Bolshevik, and thrown into jail.

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Release Date:

20 January 1919 (USA)  »

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Trivia

This long-forgotten short comedy is included on Disc 4 of the 2009 DVD box set "Becoming Charley Chase." Chase both directed the film and appears in a brief cameo role, heavily disguised as a bearded anarchist. See more »

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Becoming Charley Chase
19 March 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Rolling Stone (1919)

* (out of 4)

Billy West is either loved or hated depending on how you feel about impersonators. West became very famous and perhaps very rich because of his impersonation of Chaplin's Tramp character and that's the character being played in this short. Here his Tramp gets thrown into prison after he's mistaken for a crazy bomber. That's pretty much all we have here in a story written by West and one I'd question if he actually wrote at all or if he just stood around and filmed a variety of scenes. I had seen bits and pieces of West and his Chaplin act but this was my first time viewing an entire short and I must admit that it was rather painful getting through this two-reeler. I'm not going to say West was a horrible actor since I haven't seen enough but this film here is at least on a very bad level. I might not have minded this short too much had it ran 9-minutes but stretched out to over twenty is a big problem as I started looking at the clock on my DVD player minutes into the film. I guess the impersonations are pretty spot on but to me that really doesn't matter for a couple reasons. For starters, nothing we see here is funny. We are given a certain brand of humor that is identifiable with Chaplin yet it's never funny here. The second problem is why would one want to watch an impersonator when the majority of Chaplin's films are out there in countless forms to view? This entire movie just struck me as being really, really bad and that includes the direction by Charley Chase (who also has a cameo). Chase was capable of being a good director and this short has none of his touches so I'm curious to know if West wasn't calling the shots here as well.


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