Sunday, June 7, 2015

Silent Sundays: His Trysting Place (1914)

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His Trysting Place is a usual comedy of errors and misunderstandings. Normally I am not a fan of the plot of errors where one thing goes wrong and everyone misunderstands each other but in this silent film it is used very well for a great amount of laughs.
            Clarence (Charlie Chaplin) sits in the kitchen trying to read the paper while his wife Mabel (Mabel Normand) takes care of their baby and make dinner. A small fire breaks out on the stove causing Clarence to catch his foot on fire and become annoyed. He is more annoyed when Mabel tells him to bring the baby into the living room. Clarence grabs the baby by handful of clothing and brings it into the living room and gives it a pistol to play with.
Image result for his trysting place 1914
Image result for his trysting place 1914
            Mabel sends Clarence out to get a bottle for the baby. It is obvious that Clarence is still annoyed and in no way wants to go out but he does. He buys a bottle and instead of going straight home he stops off at a dinner. He manages to get a man to move out of his seat where his food has just been placed in front of him so he can get a free meal. Ambrose, the man sitting next to Clarence, is a loud sloppy eater. It is yet another thing that annoys Clarence to no end so he starts a fight with Ambrose. After the skirmish Clarence rushes out but grabs Ambrose’s coat by mistake. In Ambrose’s coat is a letter he had told his secretary he would drop off to her lover. At the bottom it is signed “Love, Clarice”.
Image result for his trysting place 1914
Image result for his trysting place 1914
            At home Mabel has been trying to take care of the baby and do the ironing. When Clarence comes back Mabel looks in his coat pocket for the bottle. What she instead finds is the love letter. Mabel throws a fit over the letter and the ironing at Clarence. He leaves the house and heads to the park. Ambrose is in the park with his wife. He gets up and walks away. The wife looks in his jacket pocket and finds the baby bottle. She now thinks that he has a secret love child.
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            Mabel comes storming into the park with the baby. She hands the baby over to Clarence and she keeps on yelling at him. Hits and punches are thrown and kicks are kicked as Mabel, Clarence, and Ambrose duke it out in anger and frustration.
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            Eventually everything is resolved and Clarence and Mabel and their son are a happy family once more.

            I liked His Trysting Place. I liked the whole misunderstanding bit because Clarence and Ambrose were blundering fools. Their foolishness/stupidity made the whole misunderstanding hilarious. I was laughing when Mabel was beating Clarence up with the ironing board and then proceeded with her abuse in the park. The fighting scene in the park was great. It was interesting to see Charlie Chaplin in a character that was not a homeless man or his typical characters. He played a husband and father who, presumably, has a job based on the nice house. Despite not truly playing his tramp character Chaplin still wore his signature costume.  His Trysting Place is a nice short silent film running for twenty minutes. It was one of the funniest and entertaining twenty minutes I spent watching a film.
 Image result for his trysting place 1914