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A Day's Pleasure (1919)

A father takes his family for an outing, which turns out to be a ridiculous trial.

Director:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Father (as Charlie Chaplin)
Edna Purviance ... Mother
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Storyline

Father takes his family for a drive in their falling-apart Model T Ford, gets in trouble in traffic, and spends the day on an excursion boat. As the boat is about to leave Charlie rushes ashore for cigarettes. As he returns the boat is leaving, but a fat lady has fallen forward with feet on the dock and hands on the deck so Charlie is able rush aboard across her back. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His Own fourth Million Dollar Comedy See more »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1919 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Ford Story See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System) (re-issue)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house the family appears from is in reality Charles Chaplin's office. See more »

Goofs

At one point while Charlie Chaplin is stuck in the tar, he has lost his hat. He's still without a hat when the second policeman gets stuck in the tar, but after Chaplin steps out of his shoe and climbs over the two policemen, his hat has returned to the top of his head. See more »

Connections

Featured in Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Three minds with but a single thought"
28 July 2010 | by Steffi_PSee all my reviews

Charlie Chaplin's pictures at First National studios vary immensely in quality. He was at the peak of his comic professionalism, and by and large his output at the time reflects that. And yet, he was also making preparations for his debut full-length feature, and as a result a handful of his shorts appear to be simple potboilers, rough compilations of whatever material he had left over.

A Day's Pleasure is a case in point. The story could not be really described as a plot, more a mere sequence of events. While the various little episodes all relate to a day trip of Charlie and his family, they could really be cut-offs from a longer picture. And while Chaplin is inventive and distinctive as always, this lack of focus means the gags never really get to build to anything or have the of kind of wider relation to story and character that would make them screamingly funny. For some reason, perhaps in compensation, there are far too many "witty" title cards – verbal humour always having been Chaplin's Achilles Heel.

Neither does A Day's Pleasure make the most of Chaplin's regular crew of supporting players. Edna Purviance is introduced as Charlie's wife, not a love interest to be won over, and as such she becomes little more than a human prop, never centre stage for a second. There is no main antagonist for Charlie to play off, and so the gags of him winding up some pompous adversary are a bit thin on the ground.

And yet, A Day's Pleasure is still an example of Chaplin's care and craftsmanship in constructing a comedy picture. During the hold up at the crossroads, easily the funniest segment, there's a great use of space. We have the traffic cop in the foreground, while all the business with Charlie's car is going on in a far corner. So why not the other way round? Because it is important we keep our eye on the cop as well as the car. Chaplin is effectively balancing out our levels of interest. If the traffic cop was in the background we would ignore him, whereas Chaplin knows he can safely put himself in the background as we will focus on him wherever he is on screen. This is intelligent comedy direction.

And so to the all-important statistic – Number of kicks up the arse: 8 (8 for – pity poor Tom Wilson)


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