5.8/10
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Laughing Gas (1914)

Not Rated | | Short, Comedy | 9 July 1914 (USA)
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 (uncredited)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Dentist's Assistant
Fritz Schade Fritz Schade ... Dr. Pain, the Dentist
Alice Howell ... Mrs. Pain - the Dentist's Wife
Slim Summerville ... Pedestrian / Patient
Josef Swickard ... Patient
Mack Swain ... Patient
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Storyline

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, gets in a fight with a man who (after a brick in the face) becomes another patient, and pulls the skirt off the dentist's wife (who is out walking). At one point Charlie pulls a tooth (the wrong one) using enormous pliers. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dentist | pain | laughing gas | See All (3) »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 July 1914 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Busy Little Dentist See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Keystone Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited into Comedy Cocktail (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A cross section of Chaplin's first year in film-making.
10 May 2007 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

It is no secret that Charlie Chaplin spent most of his first year in film-making churning out simple short comedies for Keystone Studios, in which he spent most of his time either kicking, punching, and throwing bricks at people or planting kisses on uncomfortable women. Laffing Gas is kind of a cross section of Chaplin's first year in film because it has all of those elements, as well as about the same ending as most of the other Keystone films, but it also shows a lot of Chaplin's most brilliant talents, the tricks that he does with his body and his cane and his hat.

Also, I am not sure if it was just the copy that I watched, but part of the film plays in regular motion, rather than the slightly fast motion of most of the other short films, so you can see pretty clearly what it actually looked like when they were filming the fight scenes. Early in the film, Charlie walks into the dentist's office where he works and immediately has a fistfight with another guy, the receptionist, I guess, in the office. And this guy is tiny, by the way .Chaplin was a little guy himself, but this other guy makes Chaplin look like a giant. Anyway, they have a fight scene that is in normal speed, so it almost looks like slow-motion.

The film is also one of the more violent of the Keystone films; at one point a guy gets hit in the face with a brick and then seems to spit out some teeth, soon landing himself in the dentist's office and being worked on by Charlie, who threw the brick in the first place, with a pair of what looks like bolt-cutters. There is a brief use of laughing gas in the film, but most of it is another ten minute slapstick fight scene interspersed with some genuinely brilliant moments.

Also note that one scene in the film is filmed on the sidewalk in front of a place called the Sunset Pharmacy, which I imagine was a real place somewhere on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. If anyone knows anything about that, please let me know!


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