Thursday, May 24, 2012

Charlie Chaplin: The Rink (1916)

Charlie Chaplin stars in The Rink, a 21-minute silent short in which he also directed, one of the dozen films that he made for Mutual Studios.

It's a comedy set in a hectic restaurant and then a roller rink. In this 1916 silent work, Chaplin shows not only his able skills at roller skating, but also, of greater importance, his ability to make us laugh aloud. As one film site says:
Charlie Chaplin's 2-reel laugh parade The Rink was based on "Skating," a sketch Chaplin had previously performed while a member of the Fred Karno stage troupe. Chaplin plays a waiter who determines what his customers have had for dinner by checking the food spots on their clothes. After quitting time, Chaplin repairs to the ice skating rink, where his skill and grace catches the eye of pretty socialite Edna Purviance. She invites him to a soiree, where he runs afoul of massive Eric Campbell for the third time that day. A melee results, whereupon Chaplin hooks a passing auto with his cane and makes his escape. The Rink was the eighth of Chaplin's "golden dozen" short subjects filmed during his stay at Mutual Studios.  —Hal Erickson, Rovi