Henry Lehrman Per guadagnarsi la vita; Scen.: Reed Heustis; F.: Enrique Juan Vallejo, Frank D. Williams; Int.: Charles Chaplin (il truffatore), Virginia Kirtley (la ragazza), Alice Davenport (la ma- dre), Henry Lehrman (il giornalista), Minta Durfee (la moglie infedele), Chester Conklin (il poliziotto); Prod.: Keystone Film Company 35mm. L.: 314 m. D.: 18’ a 16 f/s. 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

Even if more care was taken over this production than many of its contemporaries, Making a Living remains a rather flat short comedy compared to Chaplin’s later films at Keystone. Nevertheless, what does make the film interesting is its excessive behaviour and grotesque situations where caricature is pushed into the realms of wonder. Here, the world of the nouveau riche, like that of the bourgeoisie, becomes so ridiculous it is almost satirical, without this ever being established to begin with. Caricature in this period was nothing more than a pretext to shock the audience and make them laugh more easily. This film is in fact in the full burlesque tradition of Keystone, sometimes jovial, imaginative, and entertainingly mad, but also sometimes so ferocious that today’s audience may well find it difficult to appreciate.

Thierry Georges Mathieu, La naissance de Charlot. Keystone – 1914, n.1, Ars Regula, 2001


Copy From

Print restored at L’Immagine Ritrovata in 2005