It. tit.: Charlot marinaio. Scen.: Charles Chaplin. F.: Harry Ensign. Scgf.: E.T. Hazy. Int.: Charles Chaplin (Charlie), Edna Purviance (master’s daughter), Wesley Ruggles (owner), John Rand (captain), Bud Jamison (nostromo), Billy Armstrong (cuoco), Lawrence A. Bowes (marinaio), Paddy McGuire (marinaio), Fred Goodwins (boatswain). Prod.: Jesse T. Robbins per The Essanay Manufacturing Company. DCP. Bn.
Of note among the papers from the second half of 1915 in Chaplin’s archive is the substantial correspondence between Sydney Chaplin, who after the term of the Keystone contract dedicated himself full-time to his brother’s business, and James Pershing, who was in charge of the Charles Chaplin Advertising Service Company. In the fall of 1915, Pershing informed Sydney that the situation was out of control and it was impossible to monitor the daily production of lighters, candy boxes, walking sticks, handkerchiefs, decals, squirting rings, marbles, toothpaste and mechanical dolls with the Tramp’s image. Even the Old World was not immune to Chaplin, and in France Himalaya Films, the distributor of his comedies, called him ‘Charlot’. At that time, Chaplin was so busy with making films that it took him a bit before he realized that his fame went far beyond the state lines of California: “According to reports, my popularity kept increasing with each succeeding comedy. Although I knew the extent of my success in Los Angeles by the long lines at the box office, I did not realize to what magnitude it had grown elsewhere. In New York, toys and statuettes of my characters were being sold in all the department stores and drugstores. Ziegfeld Follies girls were doing Chaplin numbers, marring their beauty with moustaches, derby hats, big shoes and baggy trousers, singing a song called Those Charlie Chaplin Feet”. Shanghaied (slang for being forced aboard a ship) came out in October of 1915, right in the middle of this first wave of Chaplinitis. As was the case for previous films, the specific set, here a ship, triggered the plot and new comic possibilities: “Mal de mer – writes David Robinson – was to remain a favourite joke: it figured in Chaplin’s very last appearance on the screen, more than half a century later. The shipboard gags were also to provide prototypes for the first half of The Immigrant”.