Charlie works on a farm from 4am to late at night. He gets his food on the run (milking a cow into his coffee, holding an chicken over the frying pan to get fried eggs). He loves the ... See full summary »
Olive Ann Alcorn
After passing the hat and taking the donations intended for German street musicians Charlie heads for the country. Here he finds and rescues a girl from a band of gypsies. The girl falls in... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
While Charles Chaplin is having trouble with the automobile at the beginning, a man across the street in the background walks by and stops, then walks back. This man was most probably a studio employee. See more »
As Charlie struggles with the cantankerous car, a pedestrian walks into view on a sidewalk in the background. Either realizing a film is being shot or waved off by the crew, he hastily turns around and walks away. See more »
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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