Charlie Chaplin in “The Cure”

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Today is the anniversary of the release date of the  Charlie Chaplin short The Cure (1917). The Cure is one of the perfect comedies the comedian made for the Mutual Film Corporation, a period during which it can be said he finally perfected his craft.

The film contains one of his greatest drunk turns, giving him all sorts of great toys to play with at a health spa: a revolving door, a water well, a staircase, plus a crack ensemble: a cranky man in a wheelchair (Eric Campbell)…

a violent masseur (Henry Bergman)…

beleaguered staff (Albert Austin and James T. Kelley)…

and of course a fetching female (Edna Purviance)…

Chaplin’s stock company at Mutual is easily the best ensemble he ever had supporting him, and The Cure is one of his funniest comedies….a not stop machine of visual comedy.

Fortunately for comedy fans, an extensive record of Chaplin’s trial and error working method for the film’s creation were preserved, and you can see many of the out-takes in Kevin Brownlow and David Gill’s 1983 Unknown Chaplin doc, among the most rewarding movie extras you’ll ever see.

For more on silent and slapstick comedy please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc. To find out about  the history of vaudevilleconsult 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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