The man who could make us laugh at one moment and bring lump to the throat the next, the man who make us wonder about the need of speech when one could say so much with a lift of an eyebrow or a shrug of the shoulder is none other than the worldwide icon Charles Spencer Chaplin who amazed us in a one – reel film ‘Making a Living’ by Mack Sennett under the Keystone Film Company in 1914. Since then, he starred in over 80 films. Here is a list of 30 extraordinary must watch movies of Charlie Chaplin which are available online for free.
Films released in the year 1914 under The Keystone Film Company
Making a Living: Director Henry Lehrman’s Film “Making a Living” is considered the first film of Charlie Chaplin: Chaplin plays Edgar English who is initially shown flirting with a woman, and later gets into conflict with the Keystone Kops. The character was somewhat similar “The Little Tramp” persona was yet to be born. Click here to watch This Movie.
Kid Auto Races at Venice: “Kid Auto Races at Venice“, is previously named as “The Pest” was the first film of Chaplin in which the ‘Little Tramp’ character of him was established to the viewers and the second screen appearance of the maestro. In this early film Chaplin played a spectator at a “baby-cart race” in Venice, who was continuously sneaking into the shots and getting in the way of the camera thus frustrating the public and participants. This film was shot in a real location during the Junior Vanderbilt Cup in front of the real-life spectators. Kid Auto Races at Venice is Directed by Henry Lehrman and it is considered as one of the first films to show a film camera with camera operator behind it breaking the fourth wall. Click Here To Watch This film
Mabel’s Strange Predicament: Mabel’s Strange Predicament is a 17 minute film directed by Mabel Normand starring Chaplin. This is Chaplin’s 3rd film to release, second to be shot and the first film to introduce his ‘Tramp’ persona. Chaplin plays the role of a drunken person who was struggling to locate his room in a hotel. This is when he meets Mabel in the hallway, which was also locked out of her room. They finally ends up in the room of an elderly couple, where Mabel hides under the bed soon to be discovered by the wife who attacks Mabel, her husband, Mabel’s lover and definitely the drunken Tramp. Click here To watch This Movie
His Favourite Pastime: This is Chaplin’s 7th film and The movie Plotted in this way:- Charlie gets drunk in a bar, and finds a beautiful woman outside, he tries to flirt with her until her father returns. Returning to the bar he consumes more liquor and behaves rascally to others and finally leaves the bar to follow the woman to her home. After causing all sorts of nuisance there he is kicked out of the house…….Watch Here
A Busy Day: A Busy Day is the 14th film starring Chaplin where he plays an unfaithful husband who is seen to flirt a woman in middle of a parade. Click Here To watch the movie Online
Between Showers: Between Showers is Directed by Henry Lehrman and produced by Mack Sennett, this is a 15 minute short film where Chaplin and co-star Ford Sterling played as two young men who were seen fighting over the chance to help a young woman (Emma Bell Clifton) to cross a muddy street. Click Here To watch the movie Online
A Fair Exchange: 34th Chaplin film released as Getting Acquainted, where Chaplin plays Mr. Sniffen Role and his wife played as Phyllis Allen, once they meet Ambrose and his wife. Both of them got attracted to their counterparts and start chasing them around the park. The surveillant policeman got involved and a humorous drama followed. Click Here To watch the movie Online
A Film Johnnie: …is Directed by George Nichols. The Theme is “while watching a movie Charlie falls in love with an on screen girl. In his venture to find out that particular actress in the Keystone Studio he interrupts a film shoot and fire breaks up. He was blamed for all the mishaps and got wet by a fire hose and shoved by that female star”. Click Here To watch the movie Online
Cruel Cruel Love: Chaplin plays a silly, rich upper class gentleman, quite different from the ‘Tramp’, who is caught by his fiancée while being embraced by a maid. He attempts suicide but is saved from death and reunited with his girlfriend played by Minta Durfee, who was the wife of his fellow Keystone actor, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. This is a co-directorial venture of George Nichols and Mack Sennett. Click Here To watch the movie Online
Face on a Barroom Floor: In this one-reel 14 minute short film, Chaplin parodies the ballad form poem “The Face Upon the Floor” by Hugo Antoine d’Arcy. Chaplin plays a heartbroken artist who has lost his beloved woman to another wealthy man and ends up drawing an amateurish bad line drawn face of her with a piece of a chalk on a bar room floor until he collapses. The films flashback story telling technique is uncommon for Chaplin’s films and is seen only in a couple of other films in Charlie’s career. Click Here To watch the movie Online
Gentlemen of Nerve: Charlie Chaplin’s 30th film released as Charlott Et Mabel Aux Courses later renamed as Gentlemen of Nerve. In this film Chaplin and his friend take an attempt to enter an auto race through a hole, where Mabel went with her lover. In the course, his friend gets stuck in the hole and policeman turns up and ultimately overcoming all hurdles in the way Charlie manages Mabel to abandon her beau for him. Click Here To watch the movie Online
His Musical Career: His Musical Career also known as the Musical Tramp is Chaplin’s 31st film where Charlie portrays a character who works in a piano store. His manager orders him and his friend Mike to deliver a piano to Mr. Rich in at 666 Prospect Street and take back the other from Mr. Poor at 999 Prospect Street but they end up doing just the opposite by mixing up the addresses of their customers. Click Here To watch the movie Online
His Trysting Place:A 20 minute film starring Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain and Phyllis Allen which deals with the complications that follows when Chaplin and his friend Ambrose mistakenly exchange their coats in a restaurant. Charlie was going to pick up a baby bottle and Ambrose was going to mail a love letter that was in his coat pocket so, both of their wives suspect them of secret relationships and controversy follows. Click Here To watch the movie Online.
His Prehistoric Past: Two-reel short silent comedy is directed by Chaplin itself, set in a stone-age kingdom where King Low-Brow is the ruler. Chaplin arrives in this prehistoric land and finds out that every man there has 1000 wives. He falls in love with the king’s favorite wife. Assuming the king to be dead Charlie announces himself as the king. While romancing with the wives, the king returns and bashes him with a stone. At the end it was revealed that it was only a dream and Charlie was sleeping in a park. This was the last of the Chaplin’s films under the Keystone company. Click Here To watch the movie Online.
Films released in the year 1915 under The Essany studios
His New Job: Appropriately titled as this was Chaplin’s first Essanay film and the only at the companies Chicago studio. It deals with Chaplin’s chance to act in a movie. When one of the actor did not show up he (Charlie) gets an opportunity to face the camera in place of him but he ends up spoiling his scene , destroying the set and tearing the skirt of the movie star. The film is also notable for it’s several tracking shots which was not that common in those days. Click Here To watch the movie Online.
All Night Out: A 33 minute Chaplin film where he first acted with Edna Purviance who continued as his leading lady for the next 8 years. This was also his first film in the Niles, California studio of Essanay Film Company. Chaplin here teams up with Ben Turpin, both of them are drunk and ends up in a risqué hotel room mix-up with a pretty girl. The next morning Chaplin discovers him on bed with the wife of a butler. Click Here To watch the movie Online
A Woman: The 9th film under Essanay Films at the Majestic Studio, Los Angeles.A 20 minute short silent comedy where Chaplin first impresses Edna where she was playing hide and seek with her father. Leading her father into a lake Charlie manages a dinner invitation from his daughter. When the father returns home with his friend, Charlie quickly changes his attire to dress up as a woman and both men fall for him. Click Here To watch the movie Online
A Night in the Show: Chaplin’s 12th film under Essanay shot at the Majestic studio, Los Angeles, in which Chaplin played dual roles, one as Mr. Pest and the other as Mr. Rowdy. The plot was adapted from Chaplin’s stage work-Mumming Birds. It shows that Mr. Pest tries several seats in a theatre and eventually ends up in a fighting with the conductor and then with the entire cast of the theatre. This 30 min original film was re-released in 1919. Click Here To watch the movie Online
A Burlesque On Carmen: Chaplin’s13 th film for Essanay Studios released as ‘Carmen’ which was a parody of Cecil B. DeMille Carmen of 1915 was itself adapted from the popular novel Carmen by Prosper Mérimée. Though the original version was a 31 minute two-reeler later two extended four-reel versions were released in 1916 and 1928 after Chaplin moved to Mutual Film Corporation. Click Here To watch the movie Online
1916 films under Essanay studio and The Mutual Film Corporation-
Police: Chaplin’s 14th film from Essanay shot at the Majestic Studio in Los Angeles. Here Charlie plays an ex-convict who finds life outside prison not easy and plans to burglarize a house with his fellow ex-convict. Edna Purviance plays the role of a girl staying in that house who takes initiative to change Charlie’s character. Click Here To watch the movie Online
The Floorwalker: This is Chaplin’s 1st Mutual Film Company made film, where he played a customer in a departmental store who finds out that the store manager- Eric Campbell, and the store’s floorwalker, played by Lloyd Bacon to steal money from the store. The film is known for it’s mirror sequence where Chaplin and the store’s floorwalker mirror each others movement to evolve comic effect. It is also noted for the use of first ‘running staircase’ in films. Click Here To watch the movie Online
The Fireman: This is the Charlie Chaplin’s second film that released under banner Mutual Films where Chaplin plays the role of a fireman. Edna Purviance plays a young girl whose father along with the local fire chief arranges to burn down their house in order to get the insurance money. But in course of all incidents the father realizes his own daughter to be stuck in his burning building and eventually the heroic fireman- Chaplin saves her. The film is noted for the portrayal of early morning street scenes in the surrounding Los Angeles area. Click Here To watch the movie Online
The Pawnshop: The 6th of Charlie Chaplin’s films released under Mutual Film Corporation. Chaplin plays an assistant to the pawnshop owner Bergman. He competes with his fellow shop assistant, flirts with the pawnbroker’s daughter and destroys a client’s clock but eventually captures a burglar. Rich in comic transposition, the film is one of the best of Chaplin’s works. Click Here To watch the movie Online
One A.M.: Chaplin’s 54th film, released under Mutual Films where he plays a wealthy person who after drinking a lot returns home, while his only aim is to go to bed everything in the world seems to prevent him from reaching there. He is the only character in the film except a brief role played by Albert Austin as the cab driver. It is a two-reel film directed by Chaplin himself and Edward Brewer (technical director). Click Here To watch the movie Online
Behind the Screen: Behind the Screen is 57th film that was produced under the banner mutual film corporation and it written and directed by Chaplin and lead roles were handled by Eric Campbell and Edna Purviance. The film set in a film studio shows Chaplin man handing large props and strike held by stagehands. Purviance plays an aspiring actress who unable to get a chance, dress up like a man becoming a stagehand. The film is well known for the first Hollywood gay jokes in it. After Charlie confirms that Edna is a woman, he kisses her while other stagehand reacts to the issue until Chaplin kicks him out. Click Here To watch the movie Online
Films of Charlie Chaplin released in the year 1918
Triple Trouble : A 23 minute two-reel silent comedy starring Charlie Chaplin along with Edna Purviance and Leo White. This is 50th Chaplin film released, and it was released by the Essanay Studio putting together the unfinished Chaplin films along with the newly shot footages under the direction of Leo White, two years after he had left the company. It was made up from left over scenes from Police and from the incomplete Chaplin film called Life which shows that Colonel Nutt is experimenting with explosives, a foreign agent arrives to get the formula of the experiment, being thrown out of the house by the Colonel he appoints a thug to get the formula and a complicated altercation follows when police enters the house for investigation. Click Here To watch the movie Online
Shoulder Arms: Chaplin’s 2nd film for First National Pictures set in France during World War I. Spanning for 46 minutes it is the smallest feature film starring Chaplin. Here Charlie is in a boot camp in the ‘awkward squad’ who goes on a daring mission behind enemy lines where he moves through the German lines disguised as a tree trunk. With the help of a French girl he captures the Kaiser and the Crown Prince until his fellow soldiers wake him up from his dreams. Click Here To watch the movie Online
The Bond: A 10 minute short comedy, promotional film created by Chaplin for U.S. Liberty Loan bond campaign during World War I, which was shot in a few days in between the shoot of ‘Shoulder Arms’. Starring Edna Purviance, Albert Austin and Sydney Chaplin, the film has a distinct expressionist style which expresses various bonds between people like bond of friendship represented by Charlie and Albert Austin, bond of love between Charlie and Edna, stuck by Cupid’s arrow which soon changes to bond of matrimony. Lastly and most importantly it shows the bond of Liberty for the war. It was distributed by First National Pictures. Click Here To watch the movie Online
Films of Charlie Chaplin released in the year 1919
Sunnyside: Chaplin’s 3rd film for First National Pictures starring Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Tom Wilson in lead characters. Charlie plays a handyman in a hotel who works frm 4a.m till late night. Edna Purviance plays a village girl who he loves, but is disliked by her father. In course of time a young man from city arrives who also seems to have an eye for Edna, when Charlie tries to win her back, he is rejected on attempting to imitate the city fellow. The final scene is quite ambiguous- either real or a dream sequence. Click Here To watch the movie Online
A Day’s Pleasure: Chaplin’s 4th film for the First National Pictures. This is a 18 minute two-reeler film created at the Chaplin studio, which deals with a day’s outing of Chaplin with his wife played by Edna Purviance and his kids, which don’t go smoothly. It was made during the shoot of his first feature ‘The Kid’. Click Here To watch the movie Online
This is just a bit of Chaplin’s professional life at a glance stretching over sixty years, spanning from music hall to theatre, from theatre to screen and from silent to sound films. Appropriately said by the film critic Andrew Sarris, Chaplin is surely the “single most important artist produced by the cinema, certainly its most extraordinary performer and probably still its most universal icon”.
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