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The Star Boarder (1914)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Short | 4 April 1914 (USA)
A brat's magic lantern show exposes an indiscreet moment between a landlady and her star boarder.

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Cast

Cast overview:
... The Star Boarder
Minta Durfee ... Landlady
... Landlady's Husband
... The Son
Alice Davenport ... Landlady's Friend
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Storyline

Charlie stays at a boarding-house, where he is the landlady's favorite. Her husband grows jealous when observing this. Their little son has a camera. He happens to take some photos of his mother and Charlie in situations which are innocent but look indecent. He also takes a photo of his father and a female boarding-guest in a similar situation. In the evening the boy arranges a slide show in the boarding-house. Suddenly also the equivocal photos of his parents appear on the screen. His jealous father gets furious and starts chasing Charlie. Soon all the boarding-guests are involved in the fight. Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

4 April 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Fatal Lantern  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Good, Realistic Situation Comedy
18 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

This is Chaplin's 10th film and the fourth and last one that George Nichols directed. Only Mack Sennett directed Chaplin in more movies.

This is also the fourth film where he appears drunk ("Mable's Strange Predicament," "Tango, Tangled," and "His Favorite Pasttime" are the other three). It is the third film that he has Minta Durfee as a love interest ("Making a Living," and Cruel, Cruel Love) and the third film he fights with an enraged Edgar Kennedy ("A Film Johnie" and "Cruel, Cruel Love"). Both Durfee and Kennedy are excellent in their roles.

This is the first film in which Chaplin holds a pie. What is interesting is that nobody gets hit by the pie. Instead Chaplin just sits on it. This indicates that pie throwing in March of 1914 had not yet become a standard device in silent film comedies.

The film does not go for big laughs, but it does have a steady stream of small ones. Especially good is Gordon Griffith as a boy with a big, hysterical laugh who snaps naughty pictures of Durfee and Kennedy with different partners.

The film sets up some nice characters in a rooming house, but it does not go any where. It it is pleasantly more restrained and gentler than most Keystone Films. There is, however, the obligatory raucous ending.

Chaplin had done ten films in about ten weeks at Keystone at this point in time. He would take a small break and the following month come back with the two-reeler "Mable At The Wheel."


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