Charlie Chaplin, Vol. 3 [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Chapter selections
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

Triple Trouble
Triple Trouble, although commonly acknowledged in Chaplin filmographies, was not really a Charlie Chaplin film in that it was released without his permission, and much to his annoyance by Essanay three years after he left them. Its jumbled story is cobbled together out of pieces of Police, Work and the unfinished feature, Life, which Essanay insisted Chaplin abandon in favor of making more quickly produced two-reelers. It also contains new footage shot in 1918 by Leo White in order to provide the weak plot on which to hang the Chaplin footage. Chaplin is a janitor in the home of Colonel Nutt, the inventor of a new secret weapon, the wireless bomb. Edna Purviance is the cleaning woman in the same household and Charlie incurs her anger by spilling garbage on her clean floor and getting her into trouble with their boss, the cook Billy Armstrong. A group of foreign diplomats led by White plan to get the formula from the Professor by either bribe or theft. When he is ejected from the house by the butler at the Colonel's request, Leo hires a thief to do the dirty work, but is overheard by a cop. Meanwhile, in a scene excised from Life and Police, Charlie goes to a flop house for the night where he encounters some rather odd characters, including a drunk who won't stop singing until Charlie smashes him with a bottle, but not before preparing his bed and pillow and tucking him in afterward. A riot starts at the flophouse when Charlie robs a pickpocket who has been robbing the sleepers. Chaplin uses a gag he was to repeat in The Gold Rush, that of laying covered in bed, wrong way round, with hands in shoes. The thief, having co-opted Charlie, arrives at the Nutt house and tries to steal the formula, but the cops are there and a melee ensues in which the thief fires his gun into the Colonel's invention and the house, the diplomats and everyone else explodes. Charlie is seen emerging from the oven door -- just as he had at the end of Work. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

Those Love Pangs
Charlie Chaplin's 28th Keystone comedy pits him against Chester Conklin as rival for the attentions of their landlady Gene Marsh and for Chester's girlfriend Cecile Arnold. After the midday meal, each of the rivals tries to chat up the landlady, only to be prevented by the other. They decide to go out together to prevent a fight but split up as Charlie stops in front of a bar while Chester proceeds to a park. Charlie is distracted, however, by a passing beauty who gives him the eye. He follows her a bit but is put off by the lady's large boyfriend. Going on to the park, Charlie has a confrontation with the large boyfriend and observes Chester's meeting with his girlfriend, who is incredibly solicitous. She begs for affection and even gives Chester money, much to Charlie's amazement and envy. Charlie eventually dispatches both boyfriends and follows the girls to a movie theatre where, sitting between them, he charms the pair of beauties, making some rather amusing gestures with his feet. The boyfriends show up and replace the girls in their seats while Charlie dozes. A fight ensues in which Charlie is thrown through the movie screen. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

The Face on the Bar Room Floor
The Face on the Bar-Room Floor, Charlie Chaplin's 22nd Keystone comedy, was based on a well-known poem by Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, "The Face Upon the Floor." The film begins in a saloon where Charlie, a destitute Tramp, is bumming drinks. He offers to tell the story of his downfall to the other patrons, and the story goes into a long flashback sequence. The Tramp was once a successful artist. The audience sees him dressed in a tuxedo, at work in his studio, painting a portrait of his wife (Cecile Arnold). His next client is a portly man who is obviously well to do. When the wife comes into the studio, she and the client fall instantly in love. Later they run off together, leaving a note pinned to the nose of the portrait. Charlie returns to the studio and upon finding the note, flies into a rage, destroying the portrait. Time passes. Charlie is now a Tramp in a park. His former wife and her lover come into view with four children in tow and another in a baby carriage. She is berating her new man and doesn't notice Charlie, but her husband looks at him enviously. Charlie wipes his brow, looking relieved and strolls off. Back in the bar room, the flashback finished, Charlie is handed a piece of chalk. Now quite drunk, he attempts to draw his ex-wife's picture on the floor. He is ordered out of the bar by the other patrons, and a fight breaks out, ending with Charlie collapsing, unconscious on the face upon the floor. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

Shoulder Arms
In the Park
Charlie Chaplin's fourth release for Essanay is very similar to his Keystone Twenty Minutes of Love. He had taken longer than planned to complete his previous film, The Champion, and he felt obliged to give Essanay a new film quickly, so he shot and edited this park farce in the course of a week. It opens with Leo White in his French Count costume and Margie Reiger spooning on a park bench, observed by an amused Edna Purviance seated on a nearby bench, wearing a nursemaid's outfit and minding a baby carriage. Chaplin, strolling through the park, encounters an inept pickpocket, from whose pocket Chaplin picks a cigarette and a match. Chaplin comes upon the couple, and mocking their emotions, he gets chased away. Purviance is joined by her boyfriend Bud Jamison who goes off to buy a hot dog from a vendor. Finding Purviance alone, Chaplin makes eyes at her and gets a few smiles in return, but when he tries to mash her she spurns him. Meanwhile the pickpocket steals Reiger's purse while the couple are necking. Returning to Purviance, Jamison chases Chaplin away. Chaplin encounters the same hot dog vendor and steals a string of hot dogs which he hangs from his breast pocket and eats by swinging them up to his mouth. The pickpocket steals Chaplin's hot dogs, but Chaplin steals the purse from his pocket. While Chaplin sells the purse to Jamison for $2, the pickpocket starts a brick fight during which everyone except Chaplin is knocked out. Chaplin gives the purse to Purviance, who rewards him with a hug, but Jamison awakens and returns to claim the purse and Purviance. By this time Reiger has discovered her purse is gone and sends White over to Jamison to retrieve it. He is beaten back by Jamison and when Reiger spurns him for his ineptitude he contemplates suicide. Chaplin comes along and obliges him by booting him into the lake. Meanwhile Reiger has summoned a cop who gets the purse back from Jamison and confronts Chaplin, but ends up in the lake along with Jamison, as Chaplin strolls away. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

Laughing Gas
Charlie Chaplin's 20th film for Keystone marks a turning point in his career. From this point on, with one exception, he was to write and direct all his future films. In Laughing Gas Chaplin plays a dentist's assistant who is first seen entering the office officiously. The patients are fooled into thinking he is the dentist himself, until he picks up the spittoons and exits to a back room. He confronts a midget-size co-worker there. The Dentist finally arrives and the first patient is admitted. Laughing gas is administered, and the extraction performed, but the dentist is not able to awaken the patient. He sends Chaplin out to the pharmacy for an antidote. Chaplin encounters Mack Swain who is standing in front of the pharmacy, blocking the entrance. Chaplin gains entrance by performing some of his famous hat tricks, which non plus Swain. Exiting the pharmacy Chaplin gets into a fight with Swain which evolves into brick throwing, during which Swain and an innocent bystander, Slim Summerville, are both hit in the face, turning them both into dental patients. On his way back to the office, Chaplin encounters and flirts with the dentist's wife and accidentally tears off her skirt. When Chaplin arrives with the medicine, the patient has left, and the dentist has been called away to attend his distraught wife. Chaplin admits a beautiful female patient who he pretends to examine but with whom he flirts by grasping her nose with a pair of pliers and kissing her, to her apparent amusement. Summerville and Swain then arrive at the office and Swain catches sight of Chaplin in the back room. The dentist and his wife arrive and a melee ensues in which everyone is literally kicked out onto the pavement, except Chaplin and the wife who collapse in the waiting room. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

Mabel's Married Life
In his 19th film for Keystone, Charlie Chaplin plays a somewhat more sympathetic role as the husband of comedienne Mabel Normand. As so many of his Keystone comedies do, it begins in a park where Mack Swain, dressed in a sporty outfit and carrying a tennis racquet, leaves his wife seated on a bench and goes off to a neighboring saloon. Charlie and Mabel are seated on a nearby bench arguing about the state of Charlie's worn out shoes. Charlie goes off for a drink in the saloon, passing Mack on the way in, who returns to the park and begins to flirt with Mabel. She is first bemused by his attentions but then is outraged when Charlie returns and is unable to rescue her. In fact he isn't even able to get Mack's attention despite increasingly hard kicks to Mack's posterior, anticipating Charlie's confrontation with the bully in Easy Street. Mack eventually flings Charlie's top hat off in the direction of the bench where Mack's wife is seated. While Charlie retrieves the hat, Mack takes Mabel over to the lake shore where, despite her protestations and calls for Charlie to help her, he persists in mashing her. Mack's wife hears the commotion and, with Charlie, she confronts Mack and Mabel, accusing Mabel of flirting with Mack. Charlie, angry with Mabel, sends her home. Mabel, angry with Charlie for his weakness in not defending her, buys a prizefighter's dummy, which is dressed just like Mack, from a sporting goods store. Meanwhile, Charlie has returned to the saloon where he is harassed by the other patrons including Mack. Finally, Charlie is drunk enough to defend himself which he does by felling all four patrons with one well-placed kick. The dummy is delivered to Charlie and Mabel's apartment, and when Charlie comes home, he drunkenly believes the dummy to be Mack. He is intimidated by the dummy and tries to pacify it, offering it a drink. Whenever he pushes it, it rebounds and knocks him to the floor. Finally, Mabel enters from the bedroom and shows her soused husband that he's been afraid of a dummy. ~ Phil Posner, Rovi

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