Charlie burns a count's trousers while ironing them and is fired. The tailor finds an invitation to dinner at Miss Moneybags and goes in place of the count. Charlie goes to the kitchen of the same house; he is attracted to the cook, and so are the butler and a policeman. Once discovered by the tailor-count, Charlie must pretend to be the count's secretary. The real count shows up.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Restoration work was carried out at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in 2013.
The Count (1916) has been restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films, from a nitrate print in the Lobster Films Collection.
Some fragments were added from a nitrate dupe negative preserved at Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, a safety fine grain preserved at Cinémathèque française 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 reconstructed by Film Preservation Associates and based on 1920s reissue prints.
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 »
Kino International distributes a set of videos containing all the 12 Mutual short films made by Chaplin in 1916 - 1917. They are presented by David H. Shepard, who copyrighted the versions in 1984, and have a music soundtrack composed and performed by Michael D. Mortilla, who copyrighted his score in 1989. The running time of this film is 24 minutes. See more »
THE COUNT (Mutual Studios, 1916), Written, Directed and starring Charlie Chaplin, has the legendary comedian at it again in his fifth of twelve comedy shorts for Mutual. Not exactly doing a spoof on Count Dracula nor The Count of Monte Cristo, The Count in this comedy happens to be a man Charlie impersonates only by accident.
Charlie is introduced as an assistant tailor whose method of measuring one of the female customers and burning a handful of clothes with an iron gets him fired by his stern employer (Eric Campbell). While getting fired seems to take part of his every day existence, rather than looking for another job, Charlie comes to an estate to pay a visit to his lady friend (Eva Thatcher) who not only works there as a cook, but entertains other gentlemen callers as well. In the meantime, the head tailor discovers a note in the suit belonging to one of his customers, Count Broko, addressed to Mrs. Moneybags explaining he cannot attend a function where he's to be introduced to her wealthy daughter. Seeing this the opportunity for richness, the tailor takes it upon himself by dressing up to impersonate the honored guest and come to the society party himself. As fate would have it, the Moneybags estate happens to be where Charlie is visiting. An accidental meeting has Charlie passing himself off as Count Broko with his ex-boss being his personal secretary rather than the other way around as originally intended. As the function gets underway, the two rivals begin to vie for the affection of Miss Moneybags (Edna Purviance), but things don't go on as initially planned.
For a Charlie Chaplin comedy, Charlie Chaplin naturally is the whole show. His show is commonly shared by an assortment of Chaplin stock players of featured support consisting of familiar faces of Albert Austin (The Guest); Frank J. Coleman (The Policeman); Leo White (Count Broko); Charlotte Mineau (Mrs. Moneybags); James T. Kelly (The Butler). Chaplin antics consist attempting to eat Limburger cheese; eating at a society function and his method of eating watermelon; his style of dancing with Miss Moneybags; and situations leading to a latter-day Three Stooges-type of finish. While some clever sounding names as Moneybags were used for the society family, it's interesting that Chaplin didn't come up with names of Taylor the Tailor for either himself or Eric Campbell.
As usual, Chaplin and Campbell, rivaling each other for the affections of a society girl, are highlights of the evening. No doubt their physical union were the inspiration of the much latter cartoon escapes of sailors, the short Popeye and the tall, rugged and bearded Bluto. While Popeye ate spinach as his method of strength and fight, Chaplin uses clever ideas and swift kicks when necessary for his.
Many years after its release, THE COUNT had been broadcast on television in various formats: prints from 1930s reissue with orchestration and sound effects commonly found on public television in the sixties and seventies, and later on home video through Blackhawk or Republic Home Video in the 1980s and 90s; different orchestration for the syndication and later PBS television program of "Charlie Chaplin Comedy Theater" (1960s); and restored visual copies from KINO Video with new orchestration used for both VHS or DVD formats with corrected silent speed extending the standard 21 minute short to 24, among others. The KINO format is the one often used on Turner Classic Movies cable channel (TCM premiere: December 6, 1999).
A society comedy which Chaplin would attempt again, THE COUNT, though average, does have some moments of fun and amusements. With perfectionist Chaplin improving himself from one film after another, better comedies lay ahead. Next Chaplin Mutual comedy: THE PAWN SHOP (1916). (***)
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