Chaplin's Mutual Comedies (1916-1917)

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In the movies he made for the Mutual Film Corporation, Charles Chaplin perfected what would become the trademark themes and techniques of his career while simultaneously creating the short films that many critics and enthusiasts now regard as his best work.

Flicker Alley and The Blackhawk Films® Collection are proud to commemorate The Little Tramp with CHAPLIN'S MUTUAL COMEDIES, a collection featuring 12 newly restored films (THE FLOORWALKER, THE FIREMAN, THE VAGABOND, ONE A.M., THE COUNT, THE PAWNSHOP, BEHIND THE SCREEN, THE RINK, EASY STREET, THE CURE, THE IMMIGRANT, and THE ADVENTURER), all scanned under the aegis of Association Chaplin at a resolution of 2,000 lines from original 35mm prints gathered from archives all over the world, then digitally assembled and restored, a collaborative effort of Lobster Films in Paris and L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy. Among the many well-known composers and musicians accompanying these films are Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Timothy Brock, Antonio Coppola, Carl Davis, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Maud Nelissen, Donald Sosin, and Gabriel Thibaudeau.

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Chaplin's Mutual Comedies (1916-1917)

In the movies he made for the Mutual Film Corporation, Charles Chaplin perfected what would become the trademark themes and techniques of his career while simultaneously creating the short films that many critics and enthusiasts now regard as his best work.

Flicker Alley and The Blackhawk Films® Collection are proud to commemorate The Little Tramp with CHAPLIN'S MUTUAL COMEDIES, a collection featuring 12 newly restored films (THE FLOORWALKER, THE FIREMAN, THE VAGABOND, ONE A.M., THE COUNT, THE PAWNSHOP, BEHIND THE SCREEN, THE RINK, EASY STREET, THE CURE, THE IMMIGRANT, and THE ADVENTURER), all scanned under the aegis of Association Chaplin at a resolution of 2,000 lines from original 35mm prints gathered from archives all over the world, then digitally assembled and restored, a collaborative effort of Lobster Films in Paris and L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy. Among the many well-known composers and musicians accompanying these films are Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Timothy Brock, Antonio Coppola, Carl Davis, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Maud Nelissen, Donald Sosin, and Gabriel Thibaudeau.

12 Videos

  • The Floorwalker (1916)

    29m · Streamable only

  • The Fireman (1916)

    26m · Streamable only

  • The Vagabond (1916)

    26m · Streamable only

  • One A.M. (1916)

    27m · Streamable only

  • The Count (1916)

    25m · Streamable only

  • The Pawnshop (1916)

    26m · Streamable only

  • Behind the Screen (1916)

    25m · Streamable only

  • The Rink (1916)

    25m · Streamable only

  • Easy Street (1917)

    26m · Streamable only

  • The Cure (1917)

    26m · Streamable only

  • The Immigrant (1917)

    24m · Streamable only

  • The Adventurer (1917)

    26m · Streamable only

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You'll receive the following videos

  1. The Floorwalker (1916)

    29m · Streamable only

    Embezzlement is the subject of THE FLOORWALKER, Chaplin's first film under his landmark contract with Lone Star-Mutual.

    Though it lacks the pathos of many future Mutual comedies, THE FLOORWALKER contains a stronger plot than most of Chaplin's previous films, with the moving-staircase chase being quite novel for 1916. A glimpse of Chaplin's evolution to a more graceful type of screen comedy is evident in Charlie's dance when he discovers the val...

  2. The Fireman (1916)

    26m · Streamable only

    In Chaplin's second effort for Mutual, THE FIREMAN, he portrays an inept firefighter at Fire Station 23, surrounded by a plot filled with arson and insurance fraud. Filmed partly at an actual fire station (Fire Station 29, located at 158 South Western Avenue in Los Angeles), two condemned houses were burned to provide authenticity and higher production value.

    In one memorable scene, Charlie, still asleep, mistakes a drill bell for a fire alarm a...

  3. The Vagabond (1916)

    26m · Streamable only

    THE VAGABOND, Chaplin's third Mutual film, was an important step in Chaplin's career in which he interweaves pathos as an integral part of the comedy. In this way, THE VAGABOND is the prototype of The Kid (1921) and The Circus (1928). Chaplin employs the same romantic triangle seen in The Tramp (1915) that he would revisit again in Sunnyside (1919) as well as The Circus.

    THE VAGABOND relies less on outright comedy than Chaplin's earlier work. H...

  4. One A.M. (1916)

    27m · Streamable only

    ONE A.M, Chaplin's fourth Mutual, is an impressive piece of virtuosity, a solo performance except for a brief appearance by Albert Austin as a taxi driver. The film is a tour de force of Chaplin's superb pantomime and comic creativity performed in a restricted space, a brilliant experiment that he never repeated. The film's simple situation revolves around a drunken gentleman as he arrives home early one morning and tries to get upstairs into bed.
    ...

  5. The Count (1916)

    25m · Streamable only

    The fifth film in the Mutual series, THE COUNT, further develops the situations of Caught in a Cabaret (1914) and A Jitney Elopement (1915) and anticipates the future Chaplin films The Rink (1916), The Idle Class (1921), and City Lights (1931), films in which Charlie impersonates a man of means in order to underscore the contrast between rich and poor—one of his favorite themes.

    The film was Chaplin’s largest production up to that time, with th...

  6. The Pawnshop (1916)

    26m · Streamable only

    In the sixth Mutual film, Charlie is a pawnbroker's assistant in a pawnshop that evokes the London of Chaplin's childhood. The film is rich in comic transposition, a key element to Chaplin's genius. The apex of such work in the Mutuals is the celebrated scene in THE PAWNSHOP in which Charlie examines an alarm clock brought in by a customer (Albert Austin).

    In his first film for Chaplin, Henry Bergman played the pawnbroker. Berman became an indis...

  7. Behind the Screen (1916)

    25m · Streamable only

    A refinement of his earlier comedies set in a film studio, BEHIND THE SCREEN, Chaplin's seventh film for Mutual, lampoons the unmotivated slapstick of the kind Chaplin disliked when he worked for Mack Sennett. Chaplin made the film as a sort of parody of the knockabout, pie-throwing comedy of the Keystone films.

    An aspireing actress (Edna Purviance), desperate for work, disguises herself as a boy and is hired at the studio as a stagehand when t...

  8. The Rink (1916)

    25m · Streamable only

    Chaplin's eighth film for Mutual, THE RINK, is one of Chaplin's most popular comedies. Charlie is an inept waiter who prepares the bill of Mr. Stout by examining the soup, spaghetti, melon stains, and other remnants on the sloppy eater's shirt front, tie, and ear. Charlie employs an unorthodox approach to his work. He shakes an unusual cocktail; his whole body does a shimmy while the cocktail shaker remains immobile in his hands. He carelessly plac...

  9. Easy Street (1917)

    26m · Streamable only

    For EASY STREET, his ninth film for Mutual and the most famous of the twelve, Chaplin ordered the first of the T-shaped street sets to be built that he would consistently utilize to provide a perfect backdrop to his comedy. The look and feel of Easy Street evoke the South London of his childhood (the name “Easy Street” suggests “East Street,” the street of Chaplin’s birthplace). Poverty, starvation, drug addiction, and urban violence—subjects that ...

  10. The Cure (1917)

    26m · Streamable only

    THE CURE, the tenth film in the series, is perhaps the funniest of the Mutuals. Inspiration for the film was drawn from the Los Angeles Athletic Club, where Chaplin was living at the time and where the idea of a health spa first occurred to him. The wrestling bouts in the gymnasium of the Athletic Club caught his imagination and inspired the scene in the film in which Charlie wrestles the masseur.

    Completion of the film was again delayed because...

  11. The Immigrant (1917)

    24m · Streamable only

    THE IMMIGRANT, which contains elements of satire, irony, and romance as well as cinematic poetry, endures into the twenty-first century as a comic masterpiece. The film, Chaplin's eleventh in the Mutual series, is the best-constructed of his two-reelers and was Chaplin's favorite among all his two-reel comedies.

    The original idea for the film was a variation of Trilby set in the Latin Quarter of Paris, which evolved into a comedy about two immi...

  12. The Adventurer (1917)

    26m · Streamable only

    The most popular of the Mutuals, THE ADVENTURER begins and ends with a chase. It is the fastest-paced film of the series, and although it has more slapstick than Easy Street (1917) and The Immigrant (1917), it is redeemed by its construction, characterization, and Chaplin's balletic grace.

    Highlights from the film include Charlie donning a lampshade and freezing in position as the guards run past him and a chase in which he dodges a prison guar...