24 user 12 critic

The Pawnshop (1916)

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


Charles Chaplin


Charles Chaplin




Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Pawnbroker's Assistant
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... Pawnbroker
Edna Purviance ... Pawnbroker's Daughter
John Rand ... Other Assistant
Albert Austin ... Client with Clock
Eric Campbell ... Crook
James T. Kelley James T. Kelley ... Old Bum (as James T Kelley)
Frank J. Coleman ... Policeman


Charlie, the not-so-punctual and dependable pawnbroker's assistant, starts his day with his usual duties at the pawnshop--a bit of dusting; some polishing up, and above all, a lot of quarrelling with his co-worker. Before long, a customer arrives--what a fabulous opportunity for Charlie to exhibit his subtle technical skills, and to give his critical scientific evaluation with the use of a rusty can-opener. Then, another client comes, eager to see the diamonds; however, could he be a wolf in sheep's clothing? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


TV-G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


During an early scene, attention is drawn to the calendar on the pawnshop wall, which displays a date of Thursday, March 16. March 16 fell on a Thursday in 1916--the year this movie was made--and it is entirely possible that the scene in question was filmed on the actual date. 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 25 minutes. See more »


Featured in Unknown Chaplin: The Happiest Years (1983) See more »

User Reviews

dangerously funny
27 July 2004 | by nelsonjcoleSee all my reviews

I saw this with a friend at a screening with a live ragtime orchestra (Paragon Ragtime Orchestra?). It was excellent. A good print and good music (not always easy to find in silent movie reissues). Both of us probably never laughed harder; I was actually worried at one point that I was going to hurt myself. While dedicated Buster Keaton fans, we were forced to admit that Chaplin was an equal, at least. Try to find a decent print and appropriate scoring. It should look good and play at normal speed, not fast, which only happens during a poor transfer of these public domain films (I think the old silents were made at 18 frames a second, and playing them on today's 24 fps speeds them up). Awesome to think that one of the earliest pioneers in film has not been surpassed--or even equaled.

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Official Sites:





None | English

Release Date:

2 October 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

At the Sign of the Dollar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lone Star Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (restored)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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