Mabel Normand & Charlie Chaplin in “Mabel’s Married Life”

MML 2

Today is the anniversary of the release date of Mabel’s Married Life (1914), directed by Mack Sennett and starring Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand. 

In this film Charlie plays a character somewhat unlike his more recognized Little Fellow. Here he is a middle class husband in a top hat. And Normand, not Chaplin, is still the above-the-title star at this early stage.

There are several ironclad laws in the Keystone universe. One of them is, if you are in the park with your wife NEVER LEAVE HER ALONE ON A PARK BENCH. Mabel plays Charlie’s wife in this one, and the instant he steps away, masher Mack Swain shows up to harass her. When he gets back, Charlie doesn’t do much to punish the man. Later, Mabel brings home a dressmaker’s dummy for Charlie to practice punching on. That night, he comes home three sheets to the wind, mistakes the dummy for a prowler, and has a hilarious fight with it.

Check it out on youtube! I used to have it here embedded but some mental defective or warped busybody felt the need to remove it.

For more on silent and slapstick comedy, including minor Keystone classics like “Mabel’s Married Life” don’t miss my 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

 

 

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