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Cruel, Cruel Love

Big vlcsnap 2016 09 30 11h32m15s510
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Chaplin, dressed in a top hat and frock coat (similar to his costume in Making a Living) and sporting a large moustache, plays a gentleman of means in this unusual comedy. The gentleman is a happy and attentive lover until his fiancée (Minta Durfee) ends their engagement after she believes she has caught him in a compromising situation with her maid. A despondent Charlie swallows what he believes to be poison. His butler, however, laughs at his lovelorn employer’s agonies as he knows the glass contains only water. Charlie envisions his future of hell tortured by pitchfork-wielding devils and surrounded by fire. When a letter arrives from his fiancée asking his forgiveness and reconciliation, panic replaces his agony as he calls his physicians to save him. A parody D.W. Griffith race to the rescue follows as the film cuts to the two doctors as well as his fiancée rushing to his aid. When the gentleman discovers he has not ingested poison, chaos ensues as Charlie goes on a violent tirade against his butler and the doctors before the reconciled couple embrace at the film’s conclusion. The sequence in which Chaplin swallows a glass of water believing it is poison and later drinks a glass of milk as an antidote to the poison anticipates a similar sequence in Monsieur Verdoux (1947). Finished and shipped: March 5, 1914 Released: March 26, 1914 Scenario: Craig Hutchinson Producer: Mack Sennett Director: George Nichols Length: One reel
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