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Police (1916)

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 »


Charles Chaplin (uncredited)


Charles Chaplin




Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Convict 999 Alias Charlie
Edna Purviance ... The Girl
Wesley Ruggles ... The Crook
John Rand ... The Cop
Billy Armstrong ... The Miser


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 the $5.00 away from him. Chaplin goes to a fruit stand and samples the fruit. When he goes to pay for it he finds his $5.00 is missing. This results in a battle with the fruit dealer, but Chaplin finally escapes. He is held up by a footpad and finds it is his former cellmate. He is inveigled into joining him in robbing a house. They put a police officer out of commission with a mallet and stack up the silverware. They then start upstairs to search the upper rooms, but are met by a young woman who implores them to leave because her mother is ill and fears the shock will kill her. Chaplin's heart is touched but the footpad insists on ransacking the house. This results in a battle between the footpad and Chaplin. While they are fighting, a squad of police arrives. The footpad makes his escape, but the ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Comedy | Short


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Did You Know?


Restoration work was carried out at Lobster Films laboratory in 2014. Scanned at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.

Police (1916) has been restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films in collaboration with Film Preservation Associates, from a nitrate fine grain preserved at The Museum of Modern Art and a nitrate print preserved at the Archives françaises du film (CNC).

Some fragments were added from a tri-acetate fine grain in the Samuel M. Sherman collection.

Intertitles have been reconstructed according to the original titling. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1952 in Spain was released a dubbed version cut to 17 minutes. See more »


Edited into Chaplin's Art of Comedy (1968) See more »

User Reviews

More than decent Chaplin short
21 June 2004 | by TheOtherFoolSee all my reviews

The Tramp never had much going on with authority and the police in the first place, but we never saw (well, at least I didn't) Chaplin quite as criminal as in 'The Police'.

In the first scene he's released from prison and a minister of some sort wants to guide him on the right path, but Charlie finds himself robbed by this imposter. So out of money and out of hope he runs into his old cell-mate, and the two of them decide to rob a big mansion.

When they finally get inside (after an encounter with a police-officer), the young woman living there (a part by Edna Purviance) is being alarmed by some noise, and she calls the police. They don't seem too interested though, as they finish their drinks before checking out the scene.

Meanwhile, Edna confronts the burglars and lets them take away some things, as long as they don't go up, as that would scare her mother. Charlie agrees but his mate doesn't, and they get into a fight just as the police finally arrives as well.

In the end, Edna feels sorry for Charlie and claims that he's her husband so he won't be arrested, and Charlie finally sees that robbing people isn't the right way to live.

Great ending there, with Charlie in love and standing in the sun, of a pretty good Chaplin short about forgiving and living well. 7/10.

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Official Sites:





None | English

Release Date:

27 May 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie in the Police See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| | (Ontario) | (1952 dubbed)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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