The Fireman

1916

Comedy

6
IMDb Rating 6.5/10 10 2872 2.9K

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Plot summary

Firefighter Charlie Chaplin is tricked into letting a house burn by an owner who wants to collect on the insurance.


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
February 27, 2024 at 12:59 AM

Top cast

Charles Chaplin as Fireman
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
233.75 MB
1280*960
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
12 hr 25 min
Seeds 9
433.94 MB
1440*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
12 hr 25 min
Seeds 25

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Steffi_P 7 / 10

"An honest fire"

One of the many advantages Charlie Chaplin had in the independence, confidence and familiarity of this point in his career was that he had a large crew of supporting players, each with their own slightly different character, whom the little tramp could play off of. Since the Fireman does not show Charlie at his funniest, let's take this opportunity to tip our hats to the gentlemen who were the butts of so many of his jokes.

Chaplin's supporting actors came in many shapes and sizes, but they all had one function in common – to be a puffed-up pompous twerp, who it was amusing to see brought down a peg. You see, Charlie's appeal lay in his own lack of pomposity, and his knack of deflating it in others. This even went to the point of Chaplin not always being the centre of attention, but still being the originator of the biggest laughs. And yet it was that army of pratfallers who keep the supply of potential gags flowing and fresh.

So who have we here? Most noticeable is of course Eric Campbell, in his second role for Chaplin. Campbell was a real find, having size coupled with sternness, meaning he was suitable play Chaplin's boss as well as antagonist. As the ultimate burly bully and a grim figure of authority, he provides us with the most satisfaction when Charlie gets the better of him. Then we get the jumped-up, self-important boss's pet as played by Albert Austin. After seeing Campbell repeatedly kick Charlie up the arse, Austin gets in one kick of his own, only to have Charlie ceremoniously kick him back. Finally there is Leo White, and I'm sad to say this really was finally for him because it was the last appearance of his recurring posh twit persona, and his penultimate appearance in any Chaplin picture. He is at his best here though, hopping frantically around trying to get the fire brigade round to his burning house. Charlie's languid, unconcerned response is hilarious, but only because White's exaggerated capering gives him such an excellent counterpoint.

This is all in all a fairly good Chaplin short, typical of the smoothness he displayed at the Mutual studios. It's also notable for a couple of camera trick gags, such as Charlie appearing to put the horses into reverse, or a jump cut which makes it look like the firemen got dressed in a split second. These are pretty funny, but Chaplin clearly did not consider himself a Melies and would not pursue the approach.

And where would we be without our all-important statistic? – Number of kicks up the arse: 15 (1 for, 13 against, 1 other)

Reviewed by planktonrules 6 / 10

a bit of a let-down

In 1914 and early 1915, Chaplin did his first comedy shorts. In general, they were pretty awful--with almost no plot and consisting of him mugging it up on camera and hitting people. However, in 1915 he left Keystone Studio and began making better films with Essenay (though there are some exceptions) and finally, in 1916, to Mutual where he made his best comedy shorts. These newer films had more plot and laughs and usually didn't relay on punching or kicking when they ran out of story ideas.

Compared to other Mutual comedies, this one is a bit of a let-down, as again and again it seems like Charlie and the crew really are given no direction. They just wanter about aimlessly and yell a lot and slap each other, but not a whole lot of plot until the very end. This is a pretty spectacular ending, though, as you really get to see Chaplin's athletic skills!

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 8 / 10

Rousing fire

Am a big fan of Charlie Chaplin, have been for over a decade now. Many films and shorts of his are very good to masterpiece, and like many others consider him a comedy genius and one of film's most important and influential directors.

From his post-Essanay period after leaving Keystone, 'The Fireman' is not one of his very best but is one of his best early efforts and among the better short films of his. It shows a noticeable step up in quality though from his Keystone period, where he was still evolving and in the infancy of his long career, from 1914, The Essanay and Mutual periods were something of Chaplin's adolescence period where his style had been found and starting to settle. Something that can be seen in the more than worthwhile 'The Fireman'.

The story is more discernible than usual and is never dull, but is sometimes a bit too busy and manic.

On the other hand, 'The Fireman' looks pretty good, not incredible but it was obvious that Chaplin was taking more time with his work and not churning out countless shorts in the same year of very variable success like he did with Keystone. Appreciate the importance of his Keystone period and there is some good stuff he did there, but the more mature and careful quality seen here and later on is obvious.

While not one of his most hilarious or touching, 'The Fireman' is still very funny with some clever, entertaining and well-timed slapstick and has substance and pathos that generally were not there with Keystone. It moves quickly and there is no dullness in sight. The ending is great fun.

Chaplin directs more than competently, if not quite cinematic genius standard yet. He also, as usual, gives an amusing and expressive performance and at clear ease with the physicality and substance of the role. The supporting cast acquit themselves well, particularly a charming Edna Purviance.

In summary, very good and one of the best from Chaplin's 1916 output. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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