The Fatal Mallet (1914)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 18 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Phil Posner

Charlie Chaplin's 15th comedy for Keystone is another violent park farce. It is the only teaming of this quartet of Keystone stars. Chaplin, Mack Sennett and Mack Swain are all suitors for the attentions of Mabel Normand. Charlie comes upon Sennett (playing his "dumb rube" character) and Normand flirting by a tree. Charlie attempts to dispatch Sennett with a thrown brick but grazes Mabel, incurring her wrath. Swain, the rival who seems to have Mabel's favor, shows up and takes Mabel off. Charlie and Sennett sneak up on Swain, who is seated on a swing with Mabel, and knock him out with more bricks. A series of confrontations between the three suitors ensue and are won mainly by Chaplin. He ends up temporarily imprisoning his rivals in a nearby shed through his deft use of a large mallet (although not fatal) which he wields with customary grace. Due to his bullying of a young boy whom he discovers sitting with Mabel, Charlie doesn't win her favor. When the recovered Swain confronts him, Swain winds up in the lake. Sennett, watching from nearby, returns and similarly dispatches Charlie and then strolls away with Mabel on his arm.



love-quadrangle, park