Today is the anniversary of the release date of the Charlie Chaplin comedy Recreation (1914).
Though amusing in spots, it’s one of Chaplin’s less distinctive efforts, being one of several in which he and his cast improvise a comedy in the park. And this is sort of third string cast, containing none of the other well known Keystone stars we usually delight to see interact with Chaplin: instead of Arbuckle, Normand, Sterling, Kennedy, Conklin, Swain and company….we get Charles Bennett, Edwin Frazee, Edward Nolan and Helen Carruthers. The plot: a tramp, a girl, a sailor, some cops, some fisticuffs — and then everyone falls in the pond.
For more on slapstick and silent comedy film history, including Charlie Chaplin comedies like “Recreation”, don’t miss my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube