T. it.: La strada della paura. Scen.: Charles Chaplin. F.: Roland Totheroh. Int.: Charles Chaplin (un vagabondo), Edna Purviance (ragazza dell’Esercito della Salvezza), Eric Campbell (il terrore del quartiere), Albert Austin (pastore/poliziotto), Henry Bergman (l’anarchico), Loyal Underwood (padre prolifico/secondo poliziotto), Janet Miller Sully (moglie dell’uomo prolifico/visitatrice alla Missione), Charlotte Mineau (la donna ingrata), Tom Wood (capo della polizia), Lloyd Bacon (drogato), Frank J. Coleman (terzo poliziotto), John Rand (visitatore alla Missione/quarto poliziotto) Prod.: Charles Chaplin per Lone Star Mutual. Pri. pro.: 22 gennaio 1917 DCP. D.: 26’ a 18 f/s. Bn.
Easy Street, together with The Pawnshop, is the masterpiece of the Mutual series. It is an absolute masterpiece. This film is a ballet, a poem, a parody, with a corrosive and farcical energy. And it is through this film that Chaplin’s social satire asserts itself and gains momentum. It is by far the most violent satire produced as a caricature by Chaplin prior to The Great Dictator. The characters descend in a maddeningly downward spiral that isolates them from the real world and plunges them into a symbolic and transparent representation of life. […] The conclusion is pure sublime irony. Institutions, laws, moral principles, and catechists had never been made fun of with such sarcastic virulence. Those who think they are keeping humanity on the straight path using snippets from the Bible and fear of the police are mocked with gusto. The same fate is reserved for ‘good intentions’ which suddenly blossom as a result of a smile or a blessing. Furthermore, Easy Street integrates farcical and comedic elements: when the Tramp robs the grocer’s cash box he was supposed to protect, the contradiction between his act and his duty is farcical. But this contradiction is only meant to underline his behavior and delineate his character, a character that is comical to the extent that it is revealed through such contradiction.
Jean Mitry, Tout Chaplin, Seghers, Paris 1972
Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in collaboration with Lobster Films and David Shepard. Other elements from: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, CNC – Archives françaises du film, British Film Institute
New musical score composed by Neil Brand and performed live by Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna