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His Trysting Place

Big his trysting place
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The domestic discord of Charlie and his wife (Mabel Normand) stands in stark contrast to the harmonious Ambrose (Mack Swain) and his wife (Phyllis Allen). The two men meet and, after an altercation in a restaurant, mistakenly take each other’s overcoat. Mabel finds a love letter in Ambrose’s coat pocket; she thinks her husband has a mistress. Ambrose’s wife finds a baby bottle in Charlie’s coat pocket; she suspects her husband has an illegitimate child. The mix-up continues in a local park, with Charlie and Mabel eventually reconciled but with Ambrose still in hot water with his wife. His Trysting Places is one of the better two-reelers Chaplin made for Keystone in terms of story structure, directing, and editing. However, Chaplin’s frequently cruel screen characterization is far removed from his Little Tramp of such later masterpieces as The Kid (1921) and that film’s tender and loving relationship between parent and child. In His Trysting Places, Charlie holds Peter, his young son, by the scruff of his rompers, allows him to play with a genuine handgun on the floor, and indifferently places him near a dangerously fiery stove. As Mack Sennett noted in his autobiography, Chaplin “preceded W.C. Fields by many years with scenes in which he got laughs by being mean to a baby.” The indifference with which he treats his young son in this comedy anticipates Charlie, the policeman, in Easy Street (1917), who feeds an impoverished family’s brood of children like chickens as well as the brat kid of The Pilgrim (1923), whom Charlie gives a well-earned kick. Finished and shipped: October 1, 1914 Released: November 9, 1914 Scenario: Charles Chaplin Producer: Mack Sennett Director: Charles Chaplin Length: Two reels
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