The Sunday Intertitle: Mr. Wow-Wow

vlcsnap-2014-06-07-18h40m25s211

Chaplin in troublemaker guise — GENTLEMEN OF NERVE (1914). A hundred years old!

Mabel Normand fulfills one of her regular roles, being fought over by men — in this case Chaplin and co-stars Chester Conklin and Mack Swain. Also a few random interlopers, played by a veritable who-will-be-who-if-you-give-them-a-few -years of screen comedy — Charley Chase, Billy Gilbert, Slim Summerville…

vlcsnap-2014-06-07-18h42m07s201

Nobody really has much chance to make their skills felt, except in terms of acrobatics — Chaplin comes out on top though Conklin has far more screen time, but Chaplin has to keep it quick and nasty in order to register at all, and poor Mabel is nearly trampled in the rush to centre stage.

Fiona actually prefers the early, brutish Chaplin — she’ll admit the film’s aren’t very good compared to later, but here he bites Conklin’s nose with little provocation, and stubs a cigarette in Swain’s face. It’s so gratuitously vicious, it’s sort of funny just by way of shock.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: