6.6/10
1,944
15 user 8 critic

The Fireman (1916)

TV-G | | Short, Comedy | 12 June 1916 (USA)
Charlie is a fireman who always does everything wrong. A man talks the Fire Chief into ignoring his burning home (he wants the insurance money) unaware that his daughter (the love of the ... See full summary »

Director:

Charles Chaplin
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Vagabond (1916)
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After passing the hat and taking the donations intended for German street musicians Charlie heads for the country. Here he finds and rescues a girl from a band of gypsies. The girl falls in... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Tramp is tricked into impersonating an embezzling floorwalker in a department store.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Eric Campbell, Edna Purviance
The Count (1916)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
The Pawnshop (1916)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charlie competes with his fellow shop assistant. He is fired by the pawnbroker and rehired. He nearly destroys everything in the shop and and himself. He helps capture a burglar. He destroys a client's clock while examining it in detail.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Henry Bergman, Edna Purviance
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
The Adventurer I (1917)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Little Tramp escapes from prison; saves a girl and her mother from drowning; and creates havoc at a swank party.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
The Rink (1916)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After causing restaurant chaos at work, a bumbling waiter tears up the local roller rink with his skating.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, James T. Kelley
The Cure (1917)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An alcoholic checks into a health spa and his antics promptly throw the establishment into chaos.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
Easy Street (1917)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A reformed tramp becomes a police constable who must fight a huge thug who dominates an inner city street.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
Police (1916)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Charles Chaplin, a convict, is given $5.00 and released from prison after having served his term. He meets a man of the church who makes him weep for his sins and while he is weeping takes ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Wesley Ruggles
The Champion (1915)
Short | Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Walking along with his bulldog, Charlie finds a "good luck" horseshoe just as he passes a training camp advertising for a boxing partner "who can take a beating." After watching others lose... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Bud Jamison, Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson
The Bank (1915)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Charlie does everything but an efficient job as janitor. Edna buys her fiance, the cashier, a birthday present. Charlie thinks "To Charles with Love" is for him. He presents her a rose ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Billy Armstrong
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Fireman
Edna Purviance ... Girl
Lloyd Bacon ... Her Father
Eric Campbell Eric Campbell ... Fire Chief
Leo White ... Owner of the Burning House
Albert Austin Albert Austin ... Fireman
John Rand John Rand ... Fireman
James T. Kelley ... Fireman
Frank J. Coleman Frank J. Coleman ... Fireman
Edit

Storyline

Charlie is a fireman who always does everything wrong. A man talks the Fire Chief into ignoring his burning home (he wants the insurance money) unaware that his daughter (the love of the Chief) is upstairs in the house. When the house next door catches fire its owner rouses Charlie who rouses the force. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Gallant Fireman See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lone Star Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film shows some early day street scenes in the surrounding Los Angeles area. See more »

Connections

Featured in Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Charlie's Rise to Flame
30 August 2015 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

THE FIREMAN (Mutual, 1916), Written and Directed by Charlie Chaplin, stars Chaplin himself in his second Mutual/Lone Star Production, following his previous Mutual effort as THE FLOORWALKER (1916). Now having his Mutual productions of twenty-minute comedy shorts merely as follow-ups rather than a continuing series playing the same basic character from one venture to another, Chaplin once again plays a nameless individual in a new profession supported by the same co-stars from his Mutual stock company, namely Eric Campbell and Edna Purviance as an added presence, along with Albert Austin and Frank J. Coleman among others playing firemen in the best Keystone Kops tradition.

The story, set in a single day, finds its initial ten minutes showing routine procedures of firemen of Firehouse 23 (interesting it wasn't Firehouse 13 for added bad luck effect). The fire chief (Eric Campbell) blows his whistle awakening the firemen on the second floor coming down the fire pole for roll call, all but one, Charlie (Charlie Chaplin), as he sleeps through the sound of both whistle and fire bell. The course of the morning finds Charlie from one mishap after another while serving breakfast to the staff and later playing checkers with a fellow fireman (Albert Austin) while ignoring the telephone as it constantly rings off the hook. The subplot involves a father (Lloyd Bacon) plotting to burn his own home to collect insurance, and promising his daughter's (Edna Purviance) hand in marriage to the fire chief to not reveal his sinister plot. As the father proceeds with his scheme, another house catches fire, with Edna trapped inside one of them.

THE FIREMAN is vintage slapstick in the best silent film tradition of comedy producer Mack Sennett, now under supervision of comedy producer/ star Charlie Chaplin in control. Aside from numerous kicks in the seat between Eric and Charlie, along with scenes capturing a race down the rural areas of possibly Los Angeles back in the day of dirt roads, telephone poles and the wide open spaces between residential homes that are no doubt currently sited with six-lane highways, apartment complexes and/ or crowded shopping malls. THE FIREMAN is a historic look back into 1916 where fire trucks with sirens were not the case here but firemen and equipment on a wagon pulled by horses like a chariot. There's also believable use of trick photography by 1916 standards of horse pulling fire wagon returning to the firehouse backwards.

When presented on television dating back to the 1960s or earlier on either a commercial or public television, prints shown were those from 1930s reissue with ragtime style scoring, sound effects of bird chirping, bell ringing and a voice-over from character actor Leo White yelling "Help! Fire" multiple times. The latter would be of great interest for 1916 movie goers to hear had sound been of the essence at that time. In all actuality, these effects and the heard distress calls of "Fire" make this silent comedy all the better for comedic purposes. This is the print commonly found on home video in the 1980s and 90s through Blackhawk or Republic Home Video. Aside from that, there's also prints with piano scoring as well. In recent years with film restoration of clearer visuals, new orchestral scoring has been placed with correct silent speed on DVD (from Kino Home Video) extending THE FIREMAN from its traditional 20 to 31 minutes.

No doubt, THE FIREMAN ranks one of Chaplin's funnier outings having him trade his traditional derby, cane and tramp costume for fireman's clothes. Edna Purviance, in checkered dress, resumes her pretty heroine role while Eric Campbell, in sideburns and walrus mustache this time around, add to some great scenes as needed. One of the favorites of Chaplin/Mutual comedies that can be found once in a while on cable television, notably Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: December 6, 1999). Next in the Mutual series, something completely different yet the beginning of the new Chaplin tradition, comedy and pathos from THE VAGABOND (1916). (***)


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed