Charlie Chaplin Hard at “Work”


The Charlie Chaplin comedy Work was released on June 21, 2015. 

Work is an interesting example of Charlie the low comedian: in his early years there were many times when his comedy was not terribly different from the sort of thing we associate with The Three Stooges, or for that matter, the Mack Sennett crowd from which he’d just emerged. Indeed the special effects gag early in Work, where Charlie totes his boss (Charles Inslee) in a cart, rickshaw-like, up a steep incline (really just a tilted camera) is much more the Sennett style than Chaplin’s. They arrive at a mansion, and proceed to enact a mess of pretty standard “job” gags involving wallpaper hanging, paintbrushes, ladders, scaffolds, bricks and the like. Messes are made, fights ensue. Along the way he falls in love with the housemaid (Edna Purviance). It all ends with great violence. The boss appears to drown in a bathtub. And then the house collapses in a gas explosion!

For more on silent and slapstick comedy, including Charlie Chaplin’s Work, don’t my book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from etc etc etc


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.