Tuesday, August 23, 2011

His Favorite Pastime (1914)

Though Chaplin’s character is pretty unlikable here, he does get some good comic by-play with the patrons of a bar toward the beginning of the film, including Fatty Arbuckle as a fellow drunk desperate for a drink. Arbuckle turns up in smaller parts in a couple of these early Chaplin-Keystone comedies, and it’s always a shame that he isn’t given more screen time to interact with Chaplin, as their scenes together hint at the skillful comic interplay that would become apparent when they were finally co-starred together in The Rounders.

The scene where the inebriated Chaplin lets himself in to the woman’s home looks forward to the solo drunk act of One A.M. two years later, with his cane getting hooked on the furniture and trying to make his way up the staircase serving as a kind of warm-up for ideas he would explore and expand on later.

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