“A Burlesque on Carmen” is a 1915 American silent film directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. The film is a comedic parody of the popular opera “Carmen” by Georges Bizet.
The story follows the love triangle between Don José (played by Chaplin), a naive and bumbling police officer; Carmen (played by Edna Purviance), a seductive gypsy woman; and Escamillo (played by Jack Henderson), a dashing toreador. Don José becomes infatuated with Carmen and becomes involved in her criminal activities, leading to a series of comedic misadventures.
Chaplin’s portrayal of Don José is characterized by his signature slapstick comedy, as he bumbles his way through his duties as a police officer and attempts to win Carmen’s affections. Edna Purviance gives a strong performance as Carmen, using her beauty and seductive charm to manipulate the men around her. Jack Henderson’s portrayal of Escamillo provides a perfect foil to Chaplin’s bumbling character, as he exudes confidence and masculinity.
The film is notable for its use of parody and satire to poke fun at the operatic genre, as well as for its innovative use of camera techniques and editing. It was also one of Chaplin’s earliest successes as a filmmaker, helping to establish him as one of the top stars of the silent film era.
Overall, “A Burlesque on Carmen” is a classic example of Chaplin’s comedic genius and remains a beloved film among fans of early cinema.
Charles Chaplin, Leo White
Charles Chaplin, Prosper Mérimée
Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Ben Turpin