5.0/10
811
9 user 5 critic

A Busy Day (1914)

Not Rated | | Short, Comedy | 7 May 1914 (USA)
A jealous wife is chasing her unfaithful husband during a parade, after he starts to flirt with a pretty woman.

Director:

Reviews

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Charlie is hanging around in the park, finding problems with a jealous suitor, a man who thinks that Charlie has robbed him a watch, a policeman and even a little boy, all because our friend can't stop snooping.

Directors: Joseph Maddern, Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

When a married couple become separated in the park, Charlie takes up with the lady and is beat up when her husband rejoins her. He takes a room in their hotel, and she sleepwalks into his ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Alice Davenport
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Three man will fight for the love of a charming girl. Charlie will play dirty, throwing bricks to his contender, and using a huge hammer to hurt one of them. But a precocious kid will be the fourth suitor in discord.

Director: Mack Sennett
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Charlie and another man compete in trying to help a young lady cross a muddy street. The rival finds a wooden plank which Charlie takes from him. They fight over an umbrella belonging to ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Lehrman
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Charlie attempts to meet his favorite movie actress at the Keystone Studio, but does not win friends there.

Director: George Nichols
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Peggy Pearce
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Charlie is a clumsy waiter in a cheap cabaret and must endure the strict orders from his boss. He meets a pretty girl in the park and pretends to be a fancy ambassador but must contend with the jealousy of her fiancé.

Director: Mabel Normand
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Dan Albert
The Knockout (1914)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

To show his girl how brave he is Fatty challenges the champion to a fight. Charlie referees, trying to avoid contact with the two monsters.

Director: Mack Sennett
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Edgar Kennedy, Charles Chaplin
Laughing Gas (1914)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Charlie pretends to be a dentist though he is only his assistant. When a patient can't stop laughing from the anesthesia Charlie knocks him out with a club. He is sent to the drug store, ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Fritz Schade, Alice Howell
Tango Tangle (1914)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Out of costume, Charlie is a clean-shaven dandy who, somewhat drunk, visits a dance hall. There the wardrobe girl has three rival admirers: the band leader, one of the musicians, and now Charlie.

Director: Mack Sennett
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Tramp wanders into and disrupts the filming of a go-kart race.

Director: Henry Lehrman
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Henry Lehrman, Gordon Griffith
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Charlie meets a couple and agrees to care for the man's crippled uncle. After the couple breaks up the man's new girl drops some eggs which Charlie slips on while trying to control the ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Charley Chase, Peggy Page
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Charlie, competing with his rival's race car, offers Mabel a ride on his motorcycle but drops her in a puddle. He next joins some dubious characters in abduction of his rival just before ... See full summary »

Directors: Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... The Wife
... The Husband
Edit

Storyline

Charlie plays a woman, jealous over her husband's interest in another woman. She gets in the way of a cameraman, knocks over a director and a policeman, and gets thrown into a crowd of spectators at a military parade. She attacks her husband and his new flame. The husband throws her off the pier into the harbor. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 May 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Busy as Can Be  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Released as a split reel along with the comedy The Morning Papers (1914). See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Who was that lady?
24 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

'A Busy Day' is proof of something I've often maintained: namely, that no so-called 'lost' film should ever be considered truly lost unless it was deliberately destroyed. 'A Busy Day' was unavailable for many decades, and was generally assumed to be lost ... until an acetate-stock dupe print (intended for home-movie exhibition) was discovered in 1970; the movie is now widely available on video.

'A Busy Day' was made by Mack Sennett's Keystone studio, and even by that studio's slapdash methods this was a cursory effort. It ran only about 5 minutes. Cinema projectionists' reels run about 10 minutes; to make up the difference, Sennett purchased an educational film from an outside source ... releasing the two unrelated subjects as a single 'split-reel'.

'A Busy Day' is also a good example of Keystone's guerrilla filmmaking techniques. Sennett and his crews would often take advantage of some local event, placing their actors (in costume) in front of this so as to co-opt the event as background for the actors' slapstick antics. When a military band performed its manoeuvres near Venice, California, the Keystone gang ad-libbed this movie at the edge of the parade grounds ... using the musicians as a backdrop.

This movie features Keystone's mushroom-faced comedian Mack Swain ... but without the bushy moustache he usually wore in his 'Ambrose' characterisation. Swain is teamed here with Charlie Chaplin, in the role of (wait for it) Swain's wife!

Cross-gender casting was fairly common in silent films ... usually employed when a female character had to endure some rough stuff, so a male 'actress' was cast. In two other films ('The Masquerader' and 'A Woman'), Chaplin - a small, graceful actor with delicate features - played a man who dons female disguise: in both cases, he looked quite passable as a *beautiful* woman. (On at least one occasion offscreen, Chaplin wore female disguise in public, without being detected, so as to escape from some overly zealous fans.) In 'A Busy Day', for the only time in his screen career, Chaplin played a biological woman ... so, it's intriguing that 'she' has no sex appeal at all. This woman is a pantomime dame, like Widow Twanky or Monty Python's pepperpot women. She shrieks, she leaps into the air, she blows her nose on her long skirt and beats her husband with an umbrella.

Because Chaplin stars in 'A Busy Day', it is often assumed that he also directed this film. That is almost certainly incorrect. Chaplin's personal archives in Vevey did not include a print of this film, indicating that he did not care to own a copy ... and that he had probably participated in 'A Busy Day' only as an actor for hire, rather than as scenarist or director. Surviving records from Sennett's studio indicate that this film was probably directed by George Nichols, a general factotum at Keystone whose best talents were managerial.

There is some clever editing work in this movie, of a type that I call 'modular' filmmaking. Two different camera set-ups are used for a sequence in which Chaplin's female character is tossed back and forth by two men. The two set-ups function as two separate modules, or even two separate movies running simultaneously, with Chaplin tossed back and forth between them. The effect is amusing, but I suspect that it was born of necessity ... to make two separate locations look as if they were geographically adjacent.

I'll rate 'A Busy Day' 4 points out of 10. It's not especially funny, but it has some historical value as an early example of on-the-fly filmmaking.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial