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Police (1916)

Charles Chaplin, a convict, is given $5.00 and released from prison after having served his term. He meets a man of the church who makes him weep for his sins and while he is weeping takes ... See full summary »

Director:

Charles Chaplin (uncredited)

Writer:

Charles Chaplin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Convict 999 Alias Charlie
Edna Purviance ... The Girl
Wesley Ruggles ... The Crook
John Rand John Rand ... The Cop
Billy Armstrong ... The Miser
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Storyline

Charles Chaplin, a convict, is given $5.00 and released from prison after having served his term. He meets a man of the church who makes him weep for his sins and while he is weeping takes the $5.00 away from him. Chaplin goes to a fruit stand and samples the fruit. When he goes to pay for it he finds his $5.00 is missing. This results in a battle with the fruit dealer, but Chaplin finally escapes. He is held up by a footpad and finds it is his former cellmate. He is inveigled into joining him in robbing a house. They put a police officer out of commission with a mallet and stack up the silverware. They then start upstairs to search the upper rooms, but are met by a young woman who implores them to leave because her mother is ill and fears the shock will kill her. Chaplin's heart is touched but the footpad insists on ransacking the house. This results in a battle between the footpad and Chaplin. While they are fighting, a squad of police arrives. The footpad makes his escape, but the ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie the Burglar See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (Ontario) | (1952 dubbed)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Charles Chaplin left Essanay, the studio reedited this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally filmed as a 3-reel comedy, Essanay cut out a full reel for its original release in 1916. The edited out footage was later used in the compilation release Triple Trouble (1918). In the 1990s, all surviving footage from Police was restored and the complete version of Police was unveiled as part of the documentary Chaplin Puzzle, The (1992) (TV). See more »

Connections

Version of The Chaplin Puzzle (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charlie the convict
10 June 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Am a big fan of Charlie Chaplin, have been for over a decade now. Many films and shorts of his are very good to masterpiece, and like many others consider him a comedy genius and one of film's most important and influential directors.

From his Essanay period after leaving Keystone, 'Police' is not one of his very best but is one of his best early efforts and among the better short films of his. It shows a noticeable step up in quality though from his Keystone period, where he was still evolving and in the infancy of his long career, from 1914, The Essanay period is something of Chaplin's adolescence period where his style had been found and starting to settle. Something that can be seen in the more than worthwhile 'Police'.

The story is more discernible than usual and is never dull, but is sometimes a bit too busy.

On the other hand, 'Police' looks pretty good, not incredible but it was obvious that Chaplin was taking more time with his work and not churning out countless shorts in the same year of very variable success like he did with Keystone. Appreciate the importance of his Keystone period and there is some good stuff he did there, but the more mature and careful quality seen here and later on is obvious.

While not one of his most hilarious or touching, 'Police' is still very funny with some clever, entertaining and well-timed slapstick and has substance and pathos that generally were not there with Keystone. It moves quickly and there is no dullness in sight. The ending is great fun.

Chaplin directs more than competently, if not quite cinematic genius standard yet. He also, as usual, gives an amusing and expressive performance and at clear ease with the physicality and substance of the role. The supporting cast acquit themselves well, particularly a charming Edna Purviance.

In summary, very good and one of the best from Chaplin's Essanay period. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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