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Charlie Chaplin





First National, 1919.  Directed by Charlie Chaplin.  Camera:  R.H. Totheroh.  With Charlie Chaplin, Albert Austin, Henry Bergman, Jackie Coogan, Raymond Lee, Babe London, Edna Purviance, Loyal Underwood, Tom Wilson.

Charlie, his wife, and their two boys set out for a day's pleasure in their Ford car.  Charlie has a bit of a problem during a traffic jam.  Then his car gets stuck in some carelessly spilt hot tar, but Charlie gets it free and heads for the boat on which the family is to go on a pleasure excursion.  But Charlie finds further complications during the boat trip which spoil his pursuit of pleasant relaxation.  First of all, he gets seasick, and then cannot straighten out a deck chair which keeps collapsing every time he attempts to sit on it.  Finally, he gets into a fight with a man who wrongly believes that Charlie has been flirting with his wife.  The trip ends and Charlie is no doubt quite pleased that his "day of fun" is over.

What was said about A Day's Pleasure:

Chicago Herald
I should judge it somewhere between Shoulder Arms and Sunnyside, not so funny as the first (perhaps nothing ever will be) and certainly funnier than the latter.  You will find it containing fewer assaults upon posterior portions than Chaplin's other films and no missiles in it at all.  An excursion I on the water, where seasickness, dancing, and fighting enliven matters, is the first reel's task, and an uproarious mix-up of his Ford, traffic cops, and a spilt batch of hot tar on the street crossing, takes up the major portion of reel two. (The writer has his reels mixed.)  To me the best trick of all was Chaplin's endeavors to set up a collapsible deck chair.  At it he went calmly, resolutely, folding it in and out, until with growing exasperation he gave it up as a bad job and attempted to sit upon it anyway.  His tricks are new tricks and his technique the same old Chaplin technique, which is to be classed in film importance with the work of only one other man, the tragedian Griffith.

The New York Times
Charlie Chaplin is screamingly funny in his latest picture, A Day's Pleasure, at the Strand, when he tries in vain to solve the mysteries of a collapsible deck chair.  He is also funny in many little bits of pantomime and burlesque, in which he is inimitable.  But most of the time he depends for comedy upon seasickness, a Ford car, and biff-bang slapstick, with which he is little, if any, funnier than many other screen comedians.

The Films of Charlie Chaplin,
by Gerald McDonald, Michael
Conway and Mark Ricci
Bonanza Books, New York 1965