Recreation (1914)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 7 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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For this half-reel quickie, Charlie Chaplin's 23rd Keystone comedy, Chaplin took cast and crew back to Westlake Park, scene of so many of the Keystones, and shot it in a day. While a sleeping sailor and his bored girlfriend occupy a park bench, the little Tramp is contemplating suicide on a nearby bridge. Leaving her boring beau, the girl passes Charlie and inspires in him a new will to live. He follows her to another bench and, shyly at first, begins a flirtation. The sailor wakes and, finding them together, chases Charlie away with a hard slap. Charlie, from behind a tree begins a brick-throwing match in which inevitably, two Kops become involved. One comes up behind Charlie as he's about to throw another brick and Charlie (in a bit of business which anticipates a bit he gave to Jackie Coogan in his 1921 classic, The Kid) dusts off the brick, tosses it idly, and throws it over his shoulder. Eventually the Kops catch up with the sailor and he successfully fights them off, getting them embroiled with each other. Meanwhile the Girl has escaped to the lake side and is joined by Charlie. When the sailor and Kops arrive, all five end up treading water in Echo Lake.

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Keywords

boredom, flirtation, girlfriend, sailor, suicide, suicide-attempt