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A Burlesque on Carmen (1915)

A gypsy seductress is sent to sway a goofy officer to allow a smuggling run.

Directors:

Charles Chaplin (uncredited), Leo White (uncredited)

Writer:

Prosper Mérimée (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Officer Darn Hosiery (as Charlie Chaplin)
Edna Purviance ... Carmen - the Gypsy
Ben Turpin ... Remendados - The Smuggler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Sellers ... Narrator 1951 UK Sound Version
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Storyline

This is a parody of two "Carmen"s, Bizet's opera and a movie (1915) starring Geraldine Farrar. Smugglers come ashore. Their leader sends the gypsy Carmen to lure Don Jose (called Darn Hosiery) away so they can get the contraband to town. There are grand swordfights, deaths, returns to life. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOU'LL SHAKE! SHIVER! SHOUT WITH LAUGHTER!

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1915 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(re-release) | (original) | (2014 restoration)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Most circulating prints of this four-reel edition now stem from a 1928 reissue by a company called Quality Amusement Corp. See more »

Goofs

After Hosiery plucks the banknotes from Pastia, the latter is seen walking away with at least one note left behind his sash, but when he returns to his group it is gone. See more »

Alternate Versions

Two versions of this short film exist:
  • The 2 reels version (The Chaplin version) - It runs 31 minutes, released in December 1915.
  • The 4 reels version (The Essanay version) - It runs 44 minutes, released on April 1916. New scenes were added with in a supporting role.
See more »

Connections

Version of Carmen (1914) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"This Darn Hosiery cannot be bought"
4 December 2009 | by Steffi_PSee all my reviews

If you look at the whole career of that madcap genius Cecil B. DeMille, his style and preoccupations changed considerably over time, but one thing was evident from day one – his unshakeable pomposity and over-confidence. That is why he was always a ripe target for satire. Getting an early shot in on the heels one of DeMille's earliest successes was Charlie Chaplin, with his farcical yet precisely aimed Burlesque on Carmen.

These were the days when people would go to see a popular picture many times over. Chaplin too has clearly studied the original, and played upon the familiarity it would have had with audiences of the time. He has mimicked the sets, set-ups and even copied many of the titles verbatim. He even bases gags around very minor aspects of the DeMille film such as the soldiers and smugglers pushing at the door. All this provides a rich environment for Chaplin to tweak into hilariously disrespectful mayhem.

This doesn't appear to be an especially popular or well-known short, perhaps because without the genuine little tramp and modern setting it is not considered kosher Charlie. Personally I feel it is one his best Essanay pictures, for a number of reasons. Virtually the whole of Chaplin's act was satirical on some level, whether he was lampooning the upper class, social norms or modern fads, and generally the bigger the target the bigger the laughs. And simply because of its period trappings it allows him to do funny business with props and situations he would never normally get hold of, such as the numerous gags involving his sword. With his semi-faithful recreation of a contemporary drama, you get to see the considerable straight acting talents of Chaplin and his leading lady Edna Purviance, in a role unlike any other she played, but one she is very suited to. You also have John Rand being very funny in his own right, and Leo White getting the lengthiest and most creative pummelling he ever received from Charlie. Burlesque on Carmen is a unique standout in Chaplin's career, but also great fun to watch.

All of which brings us to the all-important statistic –

Number of kicks up the arse: 0 (although it does contain practically everything else)


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