5.8/10
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8 user 6 critic

Mabel's Married Life (1914)

Not Rated | | Short, Comedy | 20 June 1914 (USA)
Accosted by a masher in the park and unable to motivate husband Charlie into taking action, Mabel gets him a boxing mannequin to sharpen his fighting skills.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Mabel's Husband
... Mabel
... Wellington, a Ladykiller
Eva Nelson ... Wellington's Wife
... Tough in Bar
... Man in Bar
... Man in Bar
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Storyline

Mabel goes home after being humiliated by a masher whom her wimpy husband won't fight. The husband goes off to a bar and gets drunk. She buys a boxing dummy hoping it will inspire her husband, but when he returns he gets in a fight with it, taking it to be the ladykiller. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

20 June 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Squarehead  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mabel's Husband: That's my wife!
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Connections

Featured in Silent Clowns: Charlie Chaplin (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fighting marriage
27 May 2018 | by See all my reviews

Am a big fan of Charlie Chaplin, have been for over a decade now. Many films and shorts of his are very good to masterpiece, and like many others consider him a comedy genius and one of film's most important and influential directors.

He did do better than 'Mabel's Married Life', still made very early on in his career where he was still finding his feet and not fully formed what he became famous for. Can understand why the Keystone period suffered from not being as best remembered or highly remembered than his later efforts, but they are mainly decent and important in their own right. 'Mabel's Married Life' is a long way from a career high, but has a lot of nice things about it and is to me one of the better efforts in the 1914 Keystone batch and one of Chaplin and Mabel Normand's collaborations.

'Mabel's Married Life' is not as hilarious, charming or touching as his later work and some other shorts in the same period. The story is flimsy and the production values not as audacious. Occasionally, things feel a little scrappy and confused.

For someone who was still relatively new to the film industry and had literally just moved on from their stage background, 'Mabel's Married Life' is not bad at all.

While not audacious, the film hardly looks ugly, is more than competently directed and is appealingly played. Chaplin looks comfortable for so early on and shows his stage expertise while opening it up that it doesn't become stagy or repetitive shtick. Mabel Normand is charming and has good comic timing, working well with Chaplin.

Although the humour, charm and emotion was done even better and became more refined later, 'Mabel's Married Life' is humorous, sweet and easy to like, though the emotion is not quite there. It moves quickly and doesn't feel too long or short.

Overall, far from one of Chaplin's best but pretty good and perhaps one of his better efforts from the early Keystone period. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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