Charlie and another waiter must become bakers when the regular bakers go out on strike. The strikers put dynamite in a piece of bread which is delivered to the cake counter. It winds up in the oven and explodes.
The bakers in the employ of Monsieur La Vie go on strike. In the emergency Pierre and Jacques, the waiters, take possession of the kitchen, and as there is quite a bit of jealousy between them, on account of the female waitresses who smile impartially on both. It is not long before the dough is flying. Meanwhile, the strikers have conspired. They drill a hole in a loaf of bread and insert therein a stick of dynamite, cleverly replacing the piece of crust on the end of the loaf. Then they give it to a little girl, instructing her to carry it to the bakery and explaining that because the bread is too heavy her mother has sent it back. The wife of Monsieur La Vie returns the child's money and orders are given to the bakers to put the loaf back in the oven and bake it some more. They comply. The whole establishment is in a demoralized state. Customers in the café cannot get waited upon. The cook is in a towering temper. Pierre is clubbed on the head by the strikers, and goes about in a ...Written by
Moving Picture World synopsis
Dough and Dynamite was one of Chaplin's longest films at the time it was made, and also featured an unusually complex plot. Granted, "complex plot" meant something very different in 1914 than it means in 2008, but this was certainly a step up from his previous films, many of which were little more than exaggerated fist-fights. There is even some dramatic tension in this one!
The story involves some bakers going on strike demanding more money and less work, and so Charlie and one other man, played by Chester Conklin,have to take over for them. Neither of them is in anyway qualified to be baking bread.
There are some memorable moments, such as Charlie getting revenge against his co-worker for hitting him over the head (not knowing that his co-worker had been hit over the head himself), the floury dough-fights, and Charlie making dinner rolls by wrapping the dough around his arm.
The film seems to build up its story and have some semblance of a genuinely developed plot but ultimately ends like so many of these other early short films, with a fight and a seemingly meaningless ending. Still, it's clear that Chaplin was beginning to make genuine advances in his film techniques.
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