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In the Park (1915)

Not Rated | | Short, Comedy | 18 March 1915 (USA)
A tramp steals a girl's handbag, but when he tries to pick Charlie's pocket loses his cigarettes and matches. He rescues a hot dog man from a thug, but takes a few with his walking stick. ... See full summary »

Director:

Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Charlie
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Storyline

A tramp steals a girl's handbag, but when he tries to pick Charlie's pocket loses his cigarettes and matches. He rescues a hot dog man from a thug, but takes a few with his walking stick. When the thief tries to take some of Charlie's sausages, Charlie gets the handbag. The handbag makes its way from person to person to its owner, who is angry with her boyfriend who didn't protect her in the first place. The boyfriend goes to throw himself in the lake in despair. Charlies helps him. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 1915 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie in the Park See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1999 TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Connections

Referenced in A Walk in the Park (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

Chaplin Could Do Much Better Than This
10 February 2017 | by JamesHitchcockSee all my reviews

During my childhood in the sixties and seventies, I was surprisingly familiar with the silent comedies made by the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Ben Turpin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and the Keystone Kops, as these films were still regularly shown on television at this period. Although I and some of my friends used to enjoy them, I don't think that they were mainly aimed at children. The target audience were probably older people of my grandparents' generation who would have had nostalgic memories of such films from their own youth in the 1910s and 1920s, and it is probably the passing of that generation which has been responsible for their virtual disappearance from terrestrial television. Even on specialist movie channels they only turn up rarely, although the internet now offers new possibilities for watching them.

"In the Park" is an early Chaplin short from 1915, which not only stars the great man but was also written and directed by him. I don't think that Charlie is supposed to be a tramp in this film but he wears the costume- bowler hat, walking stick, baggy trousers and toothbrush moustache- which were associated with his "Little Tramp" character. As the title suggests, the action all takes place in a park. There isn't really a good deal of plot, just a series of visual gags revolving around Charlie, a remarkably incompetent pickpocket, a hot dog vendor, a policeman, a courting couple and a nursemaid (played by Edna Purviance, one of the silver screen's first sex symbols).

I call them "gags", although actually there is nothing particularly funny about any of them. Indeed, what struck me most forcibly about the film is just how unfunny and mean-spirited the attempts at humour are. Chaplin obviously assumed that the best way to get laughs was to kick someone, throw a brick at them or to push them into a pond. When he isn't committing criminal assault on his victims he is trying to steal their property. Why my grandparents' generation found this sort of thing funny is a mystery; I can only assume that in 1915 the cinema was such a novelty that people would flock to whatever was on offer, regardless of quality. Chaplin could do much better than this.


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