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A Film Johnnie

Big film johnnie
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The Tramp visits a nickelodeon and falls in love with the pretty 'Keystone Girl' (Virginia Kirtley) he sees on the screen. Physically ejected from the nickelodeon for his unruly behavior, he makes his way to the Keystone studios and causes chaos among the many productions. A local fire causes the Keystone crew to take their cameras on location to film the dramatic event. The Tramp follows along and manages to spoil that film as well. The Tramp’s burning desire to be among the movie crowd is finally extinguished at the film’s conclusion when he is doused with water from the fire brigade’s hose. Chaplin did not believe the film’s director, George 'Pop' Nichols, an improvement over Henry Lehrman. Chaplin remembered Nichols in his autobiography as having 'but one gag, which was to take the comedian by the neck and bounce him from one scene to another. I tried to suggest subtler business, but he too would not listen. ‘We have no time, no time!’ he would cry. All he wanted was an imitation of Ford Sterling.' Nevertheless, among the film’s precious moments are Chaplin’s improvisations with a revolver. The Tramp’s use of the gun as a toothpick as well as lighting a cigarette from a pistol shot are the beginnings of his use of comic transposition. The title of the film is a variation of the term 'a stage-door Johnny' (a young man who frequents stage doors seeking the company of actresses or chorus girls). The film shares similarities to The Masquerader, His New Job (1915), and Behind the Screen (1916) in the fascinating glimpses they provide of the atmosphere of early Hollywood film studios. Several Keystone personnel (including Henry Lehrman, Roscoe Arbuckle, and Ford Sterling) appear in A Film Johnnie as themselves. Finished and shipped: February 11, 1914 Released: March 2, 1914 Scenario: Craig Hutchinson Producer: Mack Sennett Director: George Nichols Length: One reel
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