31 user 19 critic

Easy Street (1917)

Unrated | | Short, Comedy | 3 February 1917 (USA)
A reformed tramp becomes a police constable who must fight a huge thug who dominates an inner city street.


Charles Chaplin (uncredited)




Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... The Derelict (as Charlie Chaplin)
Edna Purviance ... The Mission Worker
Eric Campbell ... The Bully


When Charlie the Tramp wanders into a mission he is smitten by Edna and puts back the collection box which he has taken. Reformed, he becomes a policeman and is assigned to rough-and-tumble Easy Street. Unable to trick or beat Eric the Tough, he puts Eric's head in a gas pipe and anesthetizes him. A hero, he now helps many poor people living on Easy Street. Eric escapes jail, Edna is kidnapped, but Charlie (recharged after sitting on a doper's needle) conquers all. Easy Street is transformed as is Eric. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The lamppost used in the famous scene between Charles Chaplin and Eric Campbell fell on Chaplin during filming, requiring his hospitalization. See more »


When the Bully is knocked out by the gas, his feet are towards the camera. In the next scene his head is towards the camera. See more »


[first lines]
Chief of Police: [title card] Your beat is Easy Street.
See more »

Alternate Versions

State censors at the time removed the scene with the man injecting himself with cocaine. In addition, The Derelict's energetic, drug-induced, beating of all the thugs was shortened. See more »


Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Funny Men: Part 1 (1963) See more »

User Reviews

A solid Chaplin short
4 August 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When a tramp decides to go straight, he returns the money he has just stolen from a mission and commits to putting back into his community by joining the police force. Unfortunately for him his assigned patrol is Easy Street – a virtual no-go area controlled by a violent and intimidating bully. Unaware of this the young tramp heads onto the beat.

Very highly rated on this site, this short film is a typical Chaplin film as it mixes comedy with an social heart. In this regard I must admit that I found it amusing (but not hilarious) and engaging (but hardly cutting in its insight). What I supposed is most telling is that the film isn't dated and boring, it still seems fresh and lively even though technology has moved so far ahead of the period; that doesn't mean it is brilliant but it must stand for something I guess. The scenes are well laid out and tickled me but personally I much prefer the shorts of Laurel & Hardy for their sheer comedy value.

Chaplin is his usual reliable self and does his tramp personae well. He is given sturdy support specifically from Campbell as the E Street bully but also from others who react to Chaplin rather than doing something themselves. Overall then an amusing little short that will please Chaplin fans. Not one of his best but certainly worth a look for those with more than a passing interest in the man.

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Official Sites:





None | English

Release Date:

3 February 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Easy Street See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lone Star Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (restored) | (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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