In the Park (1915)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 12 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Charlie Chaplin's fourth release for Essanay is very similar to his Keystone Twenty Minutes of Love. He had taken longer than planned to complete his previous film, The Champion, and he felt obliged to give Essanay a new film quickly, so he shot and edited this park farce in the course of a week. It opens with Leo White in his French Count costume and Margie Reiger spooning on a park bench, observed by an amused Edna Purviance seated on a nearby bench, wearing a nursemaid's outfit and minding a baby carriage. Chaplin, strolling through the park, encounters an inept pickpocket, from whose pocket Chaplin picks a cigarette and a match. Chaplin comes upon the couple, and mocking their emotions, he gets chased away. Purviance is joined by her boyfriend Bud Jamison who goes off to buy a hot dog from a vendor. Finding Purviance alone, Chaplin makes eyes at her and gets a few smiles in return, but when he tries to mash her she spurns him. Meanwhile the pickpocket steals Reiger's purse while the couple are necking. Returning to Purviance, Jamison chases Chaplin away. Chaplin encounters the same hot dog vendor and steals a string of hot dogs which he hangs from his breast pocket and eats by swinging them up to his mouth. The pickpocket steals Chaplin's hot dogs, but Chaplin steals the purse from his pocket. While Chaplin sells the purse to Jamison for $2, the pickpocket starts a brick fight during which everyone except Chaplin is knocked out. Chaplin gives the purse to Purviance, who rewards him with a hug, but Jamison awakens and returns to claim the purse and Purviance. By this time Reiger has discovered her purse is gone and sends White over to Jamison to retrieve it. He is beaten back by Jamison and when Reiger spurns him for his ineptitude he contemplates suicide. Chaplin comes along and obliges him by booting him into the lake. Meanwhile Reiger has summoned a cop who gets the purse back from Jamison and confronts Chaplin, but ends up in the lake along with Jamison, as Chaplin strolls away.

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Keywords

park, pickpocket, purse-snatcher, hot-dog-stand