ICFS & HMATOS present: Chaplin Shorts – The Mutual Years (Collection #1)

Thursday, July 25, 2024

One of the most beloved actors of all time, Charlie Chaplin made many of his very best Shorts with Mutual Films from 1916-1917. Proctors is proud to celebrate these wonderful films with two different programs on one of the largest movie screens in the Northeast.

Though Chaplin wrote, directed, edited, produced and starred in all of his work for Mutual (as he did for most of the nearly 75 movies he made during his long, successful career), a dedicated troupe of talented performers formed around him to assist, including terrific leading lady, Edna Purviance, oft-villainous foil, Eric Campbell (who became nearly as famous as Chaplin) and the versatile Henry Bergman. Together their comic tales frequently focused on underdogs unlikely poised to take on authority, privilege or injustice in its various guises.

Providing musical accompaniment for these treasures is—a treasure himself—Carl Hackert, Program Director of the Hudson-Mohawk American Theatre Organ Society and one of New York’s most celebrated theater organists. Hackert’s performance partner for this event will be “George,” a magnificent digital recreation of George Wright’s famous Hollywood Philharmonic recording studio organ!

Not Rated. Each program runs approximately 75 minutes.


THE PAWNSHOP (1916; 25 minutes) 
Containing one of his greatest stunts, Chaplin plays an assistant in a pawnshop run by Henry Bergman. He engages in slapstick battles with his fellow pawnshop assistant, contends with eccentric customers and flirts with the pawnbroker’s daughter (Edna Purviance). And then someone pulls out a gun.

THE RINK (1916; 24 minutes)
A terrible waiter messes up every meal prior to taking a lunch break at a roller rink where he displays his amazing and comical skating skills. Impressed, she invites him to her skating party that night where he confronts some people who have taken a serious dislike to him.

EASY STREET (1917; 26 minutes)
“Ever the scourge of flatfoots, the Tramp becomes a bobby himself in ‘Easy Street’…an absolute hellhole. The notion of the poor being left to defend their own decrepit communities, as true authorities avoid it like the plague, is not the apex of the short’s social commentary, merely its most subtly woven barb. As a cop, the Tramp finds that his usual criminal activities go unpunished and even praised when he helps a strung-out woman shoplift to feed herself, a boldly satiric display of social justice that can only be carried out by breaking the law. Additionally, Chaplin’s fight with Eric Campbell’s towering thug is one of his finest, dancing around the brute’s destruction and using objects like a bent streetlight to his advantage.”—Jake Cole; MTV.com

Personal Responsibility Statement: Proctors prides itself on offering a diverse selection of arts entertainment. Not all productions may appeal to or be appropriate for every person or for all ages. Patrons are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the shows we offer in order to make informed decisions prior to purchasing tickets.

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