The Star Boarder (1914)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 16 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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In Charlie Chaplin's ninth Keystone comedy, Charlie is the star boarder in Minta Durfee's rooming house. We first see his Tramp's shoes as he lies in bed, a shot probably inserted to draw applause, a sign that the character was gaining popularity. He gets preferential treatment at the dinner table, much to the chagrin of the landlady's husband. After lunch Minta and Charlie go out to play tennis. Charlie, taking a left-handed baseball swing, sends the ball into the bushes. They go together to look for the ball and begin to flirt. Minta's son mischievously takes their picture with a box camera as Minta straightens Charlie's tie. Edgar has followed them and found the ball. His arrival breaks up the flirtation in a flurry of ball-searching. Edgar then goes off and encounters one of the female boarders (Alice Davenport), who accidentally hits her head and collapses into Edgar's arms. This too is photographed by the boy. Later the boy sets up his slide projector and gets a boarder to hang a sheet for a screen. With everyone in attendance the slide show proceeds until the photo of Alice and Edgar brings scowls from Minta and laughter from Charlie. However the next slides of Charlie and Minta infuriate Edgar who attacks Charlie, and a general melee ensues during which the boy gets a spanking from his mother while Charlie finally bests Edgar.

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Keywords

bum, escapades, jealousy, misunderstanding, photography, troublemaker