The Property Man

The Property Man is a short 1914 American comedy silent film made by Keystone Studios starring Charlie Chaplin.

The Property Man
The Property Man (poster).jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byCharlie Chaplin
Produced byMack Sennett
StarringCharles Chaplin
Phyllis Allen
Alice Davenport
Charles Bennett
Mack Sennett
Norma Nichols
Joe Bordeaux
Harry McCoy
Lee Morris
CinematographyFrank D. Williams
Production
company
Distributed byMutual Film
Release date
  • August 1, 1914 (1914-08-01)
Running time
31 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguagesSilent film
English (Original titles)
Video of The Property Man

PlotEdit

Chaplin is in charge of stage "props" and has trouble with the strongman's heavy trunk and gets involved in conflicts over who gets the star's dressing room. His old colleague prefers to help the dancing girls.

Small caricatures on the wall indicate both the stars and the head of what is most likely Charlie Chaplin with the word "PROPS" below.

Once the dressing-room issue is resolved the next issue is getting everyone on stage with the correct backdrop.

The order of performance is:

  • The "Goo-Goo Sisters", billed as comediennes; two young girls dancing
  • "Garlico" and his Feets of Strength (sic); a strong-man aided by his beautiful assistant who gets knocked out just before she goes on stage, allowing Charlie to step in.
  • "Sorrow" a drama performed by a man and woman (listed as the Geo. Ham Lena Fat Co. in the poster outside).

During the performances we see the audience reaction throughout, ranging from delight to booing.

Backstage Charlie and an old man fight, often disrupting the on-stage performances. The audience also breaks into a fight, and a hose brought out behind the scenes ends up squirting over them.

ReviewsEdit

A reviewer from Bioscope wrote, "There are so many uproariously absurd situations in this Chaplin comic, all consequent upon the ardent desire of our friend 'Props' to run the whole of the affairs 'behind' that the vaudeville entertainment becomes one long chapter of unrehearsed happenings, much to the delight of an audience of which comical Mack Sennett forms a distinguished member."[citation needed]

A negative review of The Property Man came from Moving Picture World regarding some of the slapstick action in the two reels. The reviewer opined, "There are very few people who don't like these Keystones. They are thoroughly vulgar and touch the homely strings of our own vulgarity. They are not the best pictures for parlor entertainment, that is true. There is some brutality in this picture and we can't help feeling that this is reprehensible. What human being can see an old man kicked in the face and count it fun?"[1]

CastEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cresswell, Tim (2004). The Tramp in America. Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1-86189-568-4.

External linksEdit