13 user 7 critic

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?


After Charles Chaplin left Essanay, the studio reedited this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally filmed as a 3-reel comedy, Essanay cut out a full reel for its original release in 1916. The edited out footage was later used in the compilation release Triple Trouble (1918). In the 1990s, all surviving footage from Police was restored and the complete version of Police was unveiled as part of the documentary Chaplin Puzzle, The (1992) (TV). See more »


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

User Reviews

probably one of the best on the Essanay volume 3 DVD
17 May 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is one of the shorts on the three DVD set of Essanay films by Charlie Chaplin. While the quality of the films on this volume (3) lags significantly behind volumes 1 and 2, this particular short is pretty good. It and A NIGHT IN THE SHOW are my two favorites on the DVD. The original POLICE was apparently chopped to pieces by Essanay Studios and this version is reportedly the most complete to the original in existence.

In this film, the Little Tramp is released from jail at the beginning. While still in the mood to commit a little larceny, Chaplin's character is fundamentally decent as evidenced by the latter part of the film. A rogue that Charlie knew in prison gets together with him to do a burglary, but when the rogue gets violent and threatens the inhabitants, gallant Charlie comes to the rescue.

The movie has a few laughs, but really excels because of its use of plot and an actual story to provide a deeper movie watching experience.

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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
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