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The Rink (1916)

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


Charles Chaplin (uncredited)




Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... A Waiter - Posing as Sir Cecil Seltzer
Edna Purviance ... The Girl
James T. Kelley James T. Kelley ... Her Father
Eric Campbell ... Mr. Stout
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... Mrs. Stout
Albert Austin ... Cook
Leota Bryan Leota Bryan ... Edna's Friend


After amusements working in a restaurant, Charlie uses his lunch break to go roller skating. Mr. Stout makes advances toward the unwilling Edna (whose father and Mrs. Stout had earlier carried on in the restaurant). After a roller skate ballet, Charlie (now as Sir Cecil Seltzer) is invited to a party at Edna's. All the "couples", including a new partner for Mr. Stout. show up. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


TV-G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Restoration work was carried out at Lobster Films in 2014.

The Rink (1916) has been restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films, from a di-acetate fine grain preserved at the Library of Congress, a safety dupe positive preserved at the British Film Institute and a nitrate print preserved at the Archives françaises du film (CNC).

Some fragments were added from a nitrate print preserved at the British Film Institute.

Intertitles have been reconstructed according to the original Mutual Film intertitles from the same age, and documents of the Library of Congress.

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 »


When Charlie goes to lunch, he changes out of his waiter's coat and tie into his "Little Tramp" coat and vest. When he buttons his vest, the buttons and button holes are out of alignment. But when he walks through the restaurant and onto the sidewalk, the buttons and button holes are properly aligned. 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 H. Shepard, who copyrighted the versions in 1984, and has 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 »

User Reviews

"The amorous waiter of the rink…"
26 April 2008 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

The Rink, one of Chaplin's most charming early short comedies, starts out with the little tramp working as a waiter, and there is a hilarious short scene where a customer calls him over for his check, and Charlie comes over and writes up the bill based on the food that the guy has spilled all over himself. It seems to me that this was the film that inspired parts of Modern Times, especially the skating and the kitchen scenes. There are some wonderful uses of the IN and OUT doors leading to the kitchen, which do not seem repetitive even after I've seen Modern Times five or six times.

One of the most charming scenes in the whole movie is a short piece where Charlie goes behind the bar to mix someone a drink (shaken, not stirred…). It's one of the famous scenes from Chaplin's early career. When Charlie gets off work, he changes back into his famous outfit and heads out to the bus stop. While he is sitting on the bench next to a woman, he pulls off some truly vintage Chaplin behavior that is so spontaneous and so well acted that it makes me think of Chaplin just goofing off in real life. This is what I imagine he was really like a lot of the time.

With The Rink, it is easy to see that longer, and more genuine stories are slowly evolving in his early films. It is not a deep story by a long shot, and there is still plenty of high-action physical slapstick comedy, but there is much more here than at most of his previous films.

But most of all, the feature skit of the film is the skating scenes in the second half, which are outstanding. It's amazing to me how good Chaplin was on skates, and some of the skits he pulls off here (such as the bouncing up and down on the fat woman) are truly brilliant pieces of slapstick. I have to say that I wish I knew where exactly the film's closing shot was filmed, since it's an outdoor shot and I am always curious to know what parts of Los Angeles are being shown. Excellent show!

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None | English

Release Date:

4 December 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rolling Around 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
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