Mabel's Married Life
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Mabel's Married Life (1914) is an American comedy silent film made by Keystone Studios starring and co-written by Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand, and directed by Chaplin. As was so often the case during his first year in film, Chaplin's character is soon staggering drunk.
|Mabel's Married Life|
Normand, Chaplin, and Mack Swain
|Directed by||Charles Chaplin|
|Produced by||Mack Sennett|
|Written by||Charles Chaplin|
|Cinematography||Frank D. Williams|
|Distributed by||Mutual Film|
English (Original titles)
The film was followed in 1915 by Mabel and Fatty's Married Life as a follow-up (but not quite a "sequel".
A large man with a tennis racquet talks with his wife in a park. He leaves her and wanders off.
Chaplin, in top hat and tails (but baggy pants), sits on a park bench with his wife, Mabel. While he has gone to a bar, conning his way out of paying for his drinks, the large man sits with Charlie's wife and starts flirting. Chaplin returns to find them laughing together. But despite kicking him and hitting him with his cane the man is undeterred in his wooing of his wife.
Meanwhile, Charlie is met by the man's wife and they return together, where the large man's wife first confronts him but then ends up confronting Mabel. She starts to throttle her then goes to strike her, but hits Charlie instead. The couple then leave. Charlie orders Mabel to go home while he returns to the bar where a man at the bar mocks him.
Mabel stops at a sporting goods store where she orders a man-shaped punch-bag. She wants to learn how to fight. It is delivered while she is still in her pyjamas. She wraps herself in a leopard-skin rug to answer the door. She starts practising boxing moves on the dummy/punchbag. It is weighted so it swings back and knocks her over.
Meanwhile, in the bar the large man reappears and is clearly a friend of the mocker and he further ridicules Charlie (who is by now drunk). When the man tousles Charlie's hair a fight starts. Charlie then returns home, holding a bunch of fresh onions, as though they were flowers, and trying to work out what the smell is. He throws them away. They fly through an open door and onto Mabel who is in bed.
Charlie in his drunken state sees the dummy as the rival and prepares to fight. Mabel watches from the bedroom, amused by his actions. Charlie demands the dummy leaves. He pushes it. It swings back then rolls forward again striking Charlie. Charlie tries to placate it but ends up striking it again. Each time he hits it, it hits him back harder. Mabel joins in the fight then reveals to Charlie that it is just a dummy. Meanwhile, neighbours get concerned at the noise and stand outside his apartment door.
The Moving Picture World also gave the film a positive review, writing that "Charles Chapman [sic] and Mabel Normand are at their best, and everyone knows what that means; better than most feature offerings from an exhibition viewpoint".
A reviewer from Bioscope wrote, "The mix-up between Mabel, Charles and the dummy is extremely funny, and in the restaurant Mr. Chaplin gives a very excellent study in inebriation. This is certainly one of the best of the Keystone comedies."
- Charles Chaplin – Mabel's Husband
- Mabel Normand – Mabel
- Mack Swain – Wellington
- Eva Nelson – Wellington's wife
- Hank Mann – Tough in bar
- Charles Murray – Man in bar
- Harry McCoy – Man in bar
- Wallace MacDonald – Delivery boy
- Al St. John – Delivery boy
- Grover Ligon - as the bartender
- Alice Davenport as a concerned neighbour
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