Monday, 27 February 2017

Charlie Chaplin

Behind the Screen is a 1916 Mutual Film Corporation comedy short, starring Charlie Chaplin and interesting for its early display of the 'sissy' stereotype. Chaplin plays a stagehand (David) who, along with coworker Eric Campbell (Goliath), finds himself overworked when the rest of the stagehands go on strike. Edna Purviance plays a struggling actress who disguises herself as a boy in order to get work as a stagehand.

Of course, Chaplin uncovers the ruse and wastes no time getting to better know the girl, who is still dressed as a boy... When Goliath catches them kissing he puts on an overtly effeminate act to make fun of them - until Chaplin gives him a kick!

It's a simple miscommunication joke that's as old as time, but it's unusual to see it played out overtly on camera at this time period.

Watch the whole thing on YouTube HERE, or enjoy the story in gif format:

Disguise

Fainting Fit

Deceit is revealed

Kiss

Caught in the Act

Prancing

Kick

The End


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