“Making A Living” is a silent comedy film directed by Henry Lehrman and released in 1914. The film stars Charlie Chaplin in his first film role for Keystone Studios, where he would go on to become a major star.
The film follows the exploits of Chaplin’s character, a swindler named Edgar English, who is trying to make a living by any means necessary. He starts off by trying to sell a fake stock certificate to a wealthy man, but when that fails, he tries his hand at journalism, posing as a reporter to get a scoop on a local murder case.
Along the way, Edgar English gets into all sorts of comical situations, including accidentally sitting on a woman’s hat and getting into a fight with a rival journalist. Despite his best efforts, however, he is never able to make a real success of himself, and by the end of the film, he is back to his old tricks, trying to swindle someone out of their money.
Despite its relatively simple plot, “Making A Living” is notable for introducing many of the comedic elements that would become hallmarks of Chaplin’s later work. The film features Chaplin’s signature tramp costume, as well as his distinctive physical humor and facial expressions. It also showcases his talent for improvisation and his ability to turn even the most mundane situations into comedy gold.
While “Making A Living” was not a huge commercial success upon its initial release, it helped to establish Chaplin as a rising star in the world of silent comedy, paving the way for many of his most famous films in the years to come.
Charles Chaplin, Emma Clifton, Chester Conklin