Charlie Chaplin in “A Jitney Elopement”


Today is the anniversary of the release date of the Charlie Chaplin Esssanay Comedy A Jitney Elopement (1915).

This is one of Chaplin’s first movies with a reasonable plot; it almost feel like a D.W. Griffith scenario.

Edna Purviance plays a girl whose father (Ernest Van Pelt) wants to marry her off to a count. She throws a note out the window to a random passer by (Chaplin) begging for help. Chaplin comes to the house, pretending to be the Count. The father wines and dines him, that is, until the real count (Leo White) shows up. Charlie is removed from the presence. Later father, daughter and Count go for a ride in the park, where Charlie just happens to be. A contretemps ensues, culminating in Charlie and Edna fleeing in the Count’s car, police in pursuit and a most spectacular finish.

For more on comedy film history see my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from etc etc etc


For more on show biz historyconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


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