Charlie Chaplin Tribute: 104 Years in Film 1914-2018
Digital restoration with live music
To commemorate the 104th anniversary of the first public release of a Charlie Chaplin film, the State Library of NSW and Australia’s Silent Film Festival are proud to present restored and acclaimed comedy shorts from the Tramp’s time at the Mutual Studio, all with live music: The Floorwalker (1916), The Fireman (1916), and The Vagabond (1916).
Charlie’s genius captivated and enchanted audiences around the world within a very short period of time. Resembling a clown in his baggy pants, ill-fitting coat and huge awkward shoes, Chaplin played the character to the hilt in dozens of comedies, making him the most famous actor in the world by the end of World War I.
The Floorwalker (1916)
In The Floorwalker, Chaplin is offered a job in a large department store by a floor inspector who looks exactly like him. Not knowing that the floor inspector has just robbed the place, he accepts it. Shortly after, the manager begins harassing him. The most entertaining sequences in this early short film feature the great Eric Campbell, who appeared in many of Chaplin's best films.
The Fireman (1916)
The Fireman is a far more original film. A shady businessman and corrupt fire chief (played again by Campbell) who is in love with his daughter come up with a brilliant plan that would make both of them rich. But Chaplin's fireman steps up and seriously complicates things after he saves the life of the businessman's daughter. This film has a fantastic tempo and Chaplin's improvisations are already very good.
The Vagabond (1916)
The Vagabond marks an obvious change of direction in Chaplin's acting style. In it Chaplin plays a poor violinist who decides to help a beautiful gypsy (Edna Purviance) and quickly falls madly in love with her. The film is filled with sadness that exposes an entirely different side of Chaplin's genius.