“Behind the Screen” is a silent comedy film directed by Charlie Chaplin in 1916. The film is about a movie studio where Chaplin works as a stagehand. He and his colleague, played by Eric Campbell, are constantly at odds with each other, and their bickering often leads to slapstick mishaps.
The plot follows the misadventures of Chaplin and Campbell as they try to work on the set of a movie, with the former playing the role of a carpenter and the latter as a lumberjack. The two men are tasked with building a set for a movie scene, but their constant fighting and clumsiness lead to the destruction of the set and many comedic moments.
Along the way, Chaplin becomes smitten with the studio’s leading lady, played by Edna Purviance, and tries to impress her with his carpentry skills. However, his attempts at wooing her are constantly interrupted by Campbell, who is also vying for her attention.
The film is notable for its physical comedy and slapstick humor, which was characteristic of Chaplin’s style. It also features a cameo appearance by Chaplin’s real-life brother, Sydney, who plays a drunk in one of the scenes.
Overall, “Behind the Screen” is a classic example of early silent comedy and a prime example of Chaplin’s skill as a filmmaker and comedian.
Vincent Bryan, Charles Chaplin, Maverick Terrell
Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell