Charles Chaplin

It. tit.: Charlot alla spiaggia. Scen.: Charles Chaplin. F.: Harry Ensign. Scgf.: E.T. Hazy. Int.: Charles Chaplin (pedestrian), Billy Armstrong (vacationer), Margie Reiger (vacationer’s wife), Bud Jamison (jealous husband), Edna Purviance (his wife), Paddy McGuire (owner of the banquet), Carl Stockdale (cop). Prod.: Jesse T. Robbins per The Essanay Manufacturing Company. DCP. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

With every new release the monetary value of Chaplin’s comedies grew exponentially. In fact, Essanay began to charge exhibitors a minimum rental fee of fifty dollars a day for each film, an unheard of amount until then. Despite the stellar revenue that Chaplin brought to the company, relations between Anderson, Spoor and Chaplin were never idyllic. Chaplin was eager to go back to California: “the studio facilities where not satisfactory, I did not feel settled or contented there, so I suggested to Anderson my going to Los Angeles, where they had better facilities for making comedies. He agreed, but also for another reason: because I was monopolizing the studio, which was not big enough or adequately staffed for three companies. So he negotiated the renting of a small studio at Boyle Heights, which was in the heart of Los Angeles. While we were there, two young men who were just beginning in the business came and rented studio space: Hal Roach and Harold Lloyd”. Arranging for the studio’s relocation considerably delayed the production schedule, which Chaplin remedied by shooting the ‘Keystone way’: in one day and on location at a windy beach near Crystal Pier. Like In the Park, in which the film’s simple plot is announced by its title, By the Sea, in effect, is an enjoyable sketch full of stunts and a few hilarious gags. Among them, the feigned cordiality between Chaplin and Billy Armstrong at the ice cream stand, which soon escalates into a series of mutual affronts. Not to be missed is the first embryonic scene of the ‘flea number’ (here an allusion to the unlucky adversary’s lice), one of Chaplin’s showpieces, and the pure slapstick-style fight with an ice cream cone standing in for a cream pie.