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Behind the Screen (1916)

Charlie is an overworked labourer at a film studio who helps a young woman find work even while his coworkers strike against his tyrannical boss.


Charles Chaplin (uncredited)




Complete credited cast:
Eric Campbell ... Goliath - a Stagehand
Charles Chaplin ... David - His Assistant
Edna Purviance ... The Girl


Three movies are being shot simultaneously and Charlie is an overworked scene shifter. The foreman is waited on hand and foot until all the shifters but Charlie go on strike. A girl looking for work pretends to be a man and helps Charlie. Charlie discovers her gender and falls in love with her. The foreman thinks they are homosexual and in the ensuing fight they become involved in a long pie throwing scene from one of the movies in production. The frustrated workers dynamite the studio. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Romance


TV-G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Restoration work was carried out at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in 2013.

Behind the Screen (1916) has been restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films, from a nitrate print preserved at the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique.

Some fragments were added from two nitrate prints from Lobster Films and the Tony Saffrey Collection and a nitrate dupe negative from the Blackhawk Film Collection preserved at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Intertitles have been reconstructed according to the original Mutual Film intertitles and documents of the Library of Congress.

The surviving elements come from two different negatives. Negative A was restored whenever possible while negative B was used to reconstruct missing or severely damaged shots. See more »


The Girl: Can I be an actress, please?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Kino International distributes a set of videos containing all the 12 Mutual short films made by Chaplin in 1915 - 1917. They are presented by David Shepard, who copyrighted the versions in 1984, and has a music soundtrack composed and performed by Michael Mortilla who copyrighted his score in 1989. The running time of this film is 23 minutes. See more »

User Reviews

Behind the Screen review
29 June 2020 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

Chaplin once more goes behind the filmmaking scenes to deliver an average comedy in which he plays an assistant to mountainous stage hand Eric Campbell. Edna Purviance is the star-struck young girl keen to make an impression to whom he offers assistance. Some funny moments, but not among Chaplin's best.

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Official Sites:





None | English

Release Date:

13 November 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pride of Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lone Star Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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