Charles Spencer Chaplin.
Born: 16 April 1889.
Died: 25 December 1977.
Buried: Vaud, Switzerland
Chaplin’s Work at Different Studios.
Chaplin’s career began on the English stage. Mack Sennett saw Chaplin perform when the latter toured the United States as part of a vaudeville-style troupe in 1913, and Sennett signed Chaplin on to join his comedy-producing Keystone movie studio.
At Keystone, Chaplin learned the craft of making movies while working a grueling schedule, churning out a new short film every week or so. Chaplin’s Keystone films tend to be repetitive and not particularly imaginative. They are fast-paced and saturated with violence. Having characters throw bricks at each other was a popular theme.
Chaplin moved to Essanay studio for 1915, and the films Chaplin made here begin to show some of the early signs of genius which would come to full fruition when he switched studios once again at the end of the year.
The dozen films Chaplin made at Mutual Studios in 1916 represent the most brilliant comedic short subjects of the silent era, rivalled only by those made by Buster Keaton upon the latter’s separation from Fatty Arbuckle. Chaplin’s creativity is fully on display in these stunning little films, full of endlessly inventive gags and perfect pacing. The Mutual films certainly benefited from the presence of the enormous Eric Campbell, who was perfectly suited to play Charlie’s ever-enraged and violent foil, which he did in 11 of the 12 films made at Mutual.
Sadly, Campbell died in a car accident at the end of 1916. Chaplin’s subsequent short films never achieved the level of genius shown in the Mutuals, even though they were quite popular. But anyone watching all the films one after the other will notice a diminishing of the intensity and care in the later subjects, in comparison to the Mutuals.
But Chaplin’s interests had shifted to the making of feature films, to the advantage of the movie-watching public, for Charlie’s best silent feature films – The Gold Rush and City Lights especially – are considered amongst the greatest movies of all time.
If you watch multiple Chaplin films made at a given studio, you may find it great fun to identify the various actors and actresses who appear repeatedly in these films as part of Chaplin’s stock team. In fact, many times his co-stars will appear in two, and occasionally even three roles in the same film!
|Title||Date Released (USA)|
|Making a Living||1914/02/02||Keystone||S||Link||Minta Durfee's first appearance in a Chaplin film.|
|Kid Auto Races at Venice||1914/02/07||Keystone||S||Link|
|Mabel's Strange Predicament||1914/02/09||Keystone||S||Link||Mabel Normand's and Al St. John's first appearances in a Chaplin film.|
|A Thief Catcher||1914/02/19||Keystone||S||Link||Film discovered in 2010; Chaplin plays a minor role, a Keystone Cop.
Phyllis Allen's first appearance in a Chaplin film.
|A Film Johnnie||1914/03/02||Keystone||S||Link|
|Tango Tangles||1914/03/09||Keystone||S||Link||Fatty Arbuckle's first appearance in a Chaplin film.|
|His Favorite Pastime||1914/03/16||Keystone||S||Link||Jess Dandy's first film appearance.|
|Cruel, Cruel Love||1914/03/26||Keystone||S||Link|
|The Star Boarder||1914/04/04||Keystone||S||Link|
|Mabel at the Wheel||1914/04/18||Keystone||S||Link|
|Twenty Minutes of Love||1914/04/20||Keystone||S||Link|
|Caught in a Cabaret||1914/04/27||Keystone||S||Link|
|A Busy Day||1914/05/04||Keystone||S||Link|
|Caught in the Rain||1914/05/07||Keystone||S||Link|
|The Fatal Mallet||1914/06/01||Keystone||S||Link|
|Her Friend the Bandit||1914/06/04||Keystone||S||n/a||A lost film.|
|Mabel's Busy Day||1914/06/13||Keystone||S||Link|
|Mabel's Married Life||1914/06/20||Keystone||S||Link|
|The Property Man||1914/08/01||Keystone||S||Link|
|The Face on the Barroom Floor||1914/08/10||Keystone||S||Link|
|The Masquerader||1914/08/27||Keystone||S||Link||No music.|
|His New Profession||1914/08/31||Keystone||S||Link|
|The New Janitor||1914/09/24||Keystone||S||Link|
|Those Love Pangs||1914/10/10||Keystone||S||Link|
|Dough and Dynamite||1914/10/26||Keystone||S||Link|
|Gentlemen of Nerve||1914/10/29||Keystone||S||Link|
|His Musical Career||1914/11/07||Keystone||S||Link|
|His Trysting Place||1914/11/09||Keystone||S||Link|
|A Fair Exchange,|
aka Getting Acquainted
|His Prehistoric Past||1914/12/07||Keystone||S||Link|
|Tillie's Punctured Romance||1914/12/21||Keystone||F||Link|
|His New Job||1915/02/01||Essanay||S||Link||First appearance in a Chaplin film of Ben Turpin and Leo White.|
|A Night Out||1915/02/15||Essanay||S||Link||First appearance ever in a film for Edna Purviance and Bud Jamison.|
|The Champion||1915/03/11||Essanay||S||Link||Paddy Maguire's first appearance in a Chaplin film.|
|In the Park||1915/03/18||Essanay||S||Link|
|A Jitney Elopement||1915/04/01||Essanay||S||Link|
|By the Sea||1915/04/29||Essanay||S||Link|
|His Regeneration||1915/05/07||Essanay||S||Link||Chaplin has a brief comic cameo in this Bronco Billy Anderson drama.|
|A Night in the Show||1915/11/20||Essanay||S||Link|
|A Burlesque on Carmen||1916/04/22||Essanay||F||Link I|
|Link I: Chaplin's original version at two reels;
Link II: Essanay later added extra footage to create a "padded", feature-length version.
Recommended to watch original feature film Carmen first to get all the jokes in the parody.
|The Floorwalker||1916/05/15||Mutual||S||Link||First film appearance ever of Albert Austin, Eric Campbell.
Henry Bergman's first appearance in a Chaplin film.
|Behind the Screen||1916/11/13||Mutual||S||Link|
|The Adventurer||1917/10/22||Mutual||S||Link||Eric Campbell's last appearance in a Chaplin film.|
|Charlie Chaplin Meets Harry Lauder||1918||S||Link|
|A Dog's Life||1918/04/09||First National||S||Link|
|Triple Trouble||1918/08/11||Essanay||S||Link||Unauthorized film comprised of scenes from Work, Police and other films, and new material added by Leo White.|
|Shoulder Arms||1918/10/20||First National||S||n/a|
|The Bond||1918/12/16||First National||S||Link|
|A Day's Pleasure||1919/12/15||First National||S||Link||Jackie Coogan's first appearance in a Chaplin film.|
|Charlie Butts In||1920/01/01||S||Link|
|The Kid||1921/02/06||First National||S||Link|
|The Idle Class||1921/09/25||First National||S||Link||No music. With ads.|
|Nice and Friendly||1922||S||Link|
|Pay Day||1922/04/02||First National||S||Link|
|Souls for Sale||1923||S||Link||Cameo appearance only.|
|The Pilgrim||1923/02/26||First National||F||Link|
|A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate||1923/10/01||United Artist||F||Link|
|The Gold Rush||1925/04/26||United Artist||F||Link|
|Camille||1926||S||Link||No sound. Weird experimental film, Chaplin made only a cameo appearance.|
|The Professor||1919||S||Link||Uncompleted and unreleased film.|
|The Circus||1928/01/06||United Artist||F||Link|
|Show People||1928/10/28||F||n/a||Chaplin makes only a cameo appearance.|
|City Lights||1931/01/30||United Artist||F||Link|
|Modern Times||1936/02/05||United Artist||F||Link|
|The Great Dictator||1940/10/15||United Artist||F||Link||This movie is not a true silent, of course, but does include enough pantomime, so that we will be excused for including it in our list!
This version is subtitled in Czech.