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Pay Day (1922)

TV-G | | Comedy, Short | 2 April 1922 (USA)
After a difficult day at work, a bricklayer tries to enjoy his pay day without his wife knowing.


Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)


Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)




Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Laborer (as Charlie Chaplin)
Phyllis Allen Phyllis Allen ... His Wife
Mack Swain ... Foreman
Edna Purviance ... Foreman's Daughter
Syd Chaplin ... Charlie's Friend and Lunch Cart Owner
Albert Austin ... Workman
John Rand ... Workman
Loyal Underwood ... Workman
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... Drinking Companion
Al Ernest Garcia ... Drinking Companion and Policeman


Charlie is an expert bricklayer. He has lots of fun and work and enjoys himself greatly while at the saloon. As he leaves work his wife takes the pay he has hidden in his hat. But he steals her purse so he can go out for the evening. He has a terrible time getting home on a very rainy night. When he does so he finds his wife waiting for him with a rolling pin. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See Charlie juggle bricks and dodge the foreman---and hide his pay check from his wife. (Print Ad-Lake Benton News, ((Lake Benton, Minn.)) 2 May 1924)


Comedy | Short


TV-G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Reportedly Charles Chaplin's favorite among his own short films. See more »


Charlie's first "shovelful" of dirt disappears in a subsequent shot. See more »


Foreman: [the Laborer's digging up tiny bunches of dirt] You're working by the hour, not the ounce!
See more »


Follows The Ouija Board (1920) See more »

User Reviews

Nothing more than a succession of gags, but they are fairly amusing and well put together.
3 September 2009 | by TOMNELSee all my reviews

Charlie Chaplin's short film "Pay Day" is obviously a silent film, so it has to rely completely on slapstick for it's comedy. There are a few written words, but those aren't overly amusing. The sight gags are simple, but amusing and well executed, and despite a lack of plot after the beginning, this is still a decent and amusing way to spend 30 minutes.

A worker (Charlie Chaplin) is excited for his pay day. But first he has to go through one more day of work, with the angry foreman. And as angry as the foreman is, he's no where near as angry as the worker's wife. She takes all of the her husband's money from work, and he has to sneak some to go out for the night. So the worker goes out on the town for a night and goes through several gags that end with his wife figuring out he took some of his money back.

Charlie plays a goofy character here. He's amusing, and over the top and silly. All this short is, is Charlie going through several different scenes and making mistakes. It's hard to review this, as it really didn't have much content, but it was thoroughly amusing. One thing that was strange about it was how mean this guy's wife is. She's obviously the antagonist and the set-up for the entire second half of the film, but geez, she takes all of her husbands money each week, and she doesn't let him keep anything to eat with. He really should've divorced that woman.

Some scenes that are particularly well done are a trolley scene, and the bricklaying scene. The bricklaying scene at the beginning is a very well directed cause and effect scene where the work elevator goes up and down, causing people's food to be eaten on a different floor, and lots of mischief. The trolley scene features Charlie trying to get a ride, but the overcrowded car is hard to get in to. It's a very well done scene and it's a really great scene for slapstick comedy, and seems to be inspiration for future film scenes.

This Chaplin short didn't set the world on fire. It's an amusing little short with a lot of gags. It's a fun watch, but that's about it.

My rating: *** out of ****. 30 mins.

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Official Sites:

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None | English

Release Date:

2 April 1922 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Дан исплате See more »


Box Office

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Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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