Musical Tramps (1914)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 16 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Charlie Chaplin's musical career is as a piano mover for a music store in this, his 31st comedy for Keystone. The film was a direct inspiration for Laurel and Hardy's 1932 short, The Music Box. His Little Fellow is not a tramp but a hard-working laborer. Charlie is first seen applying for his job, being examined, muscles and even teeth, by Mack Swain. In the showroom, we see Mr. Rich (Fritz Schade) deciding to buy a piano from salesman Charley Chase, and a few moments later, Mr. Poor being threatened that his piano will be repossessed if he can't make his payments. Mack and Charlie are sent to deliver the one piano and pick up the other, for which, of course, they will mix up the addresses. As they take the piano outside, Mack pulls Charlie along the showroom floor, as Charlie smiles to the camera, expressing his delight in a free ride. They load the piano onto the horse-drawn wagon. At one point the slope is so severe that when Mack leans to the back of the wagon, the donkey is lifted right off the ground. Arriving at Mr. Poor's house the residents are delighted that they seem to be receiving a free piano, as Charlie carries the piano on his back and must be straightened out by boss Mack. Next, the movers proceed to Mr. Rich's house and proceed to take his piano, over the objections of Mrs. Rich Cecile Arnold. Mr. Rich arrives as Charlie and Mack get the piano out to the sidewalk. A kick to Mack's backside sends Charlie, Mack, and the piano skidding down a steep hill, and to Mr. Rich's horror, into Echo Lake in Westlake Park where Charlie plays some last notes before they begin to sink.



laborer, piano, piano-mover