His New Job (February 1, 1915)
Released on February 1, 1915: Charlie Chaplin wants to be an actor in a movie, and when the leading man is late he gets his chance, but creates enough havoc to ruin the picture.
Produced by Charles Chaplin
Directed by Charles Chaplin
Written by Charles Chaplin and Louella Parsons
The Actors: Charles Chaplin (film extra), Gloria Swanson (stenographer), Billy Armstrong (extra), Ben Turpin (extra in anteroom), Agnes Ayres (extra and secretary), Arthur W. Bates (carpenter), Robert Bolder (studio president), Frank J. Coleman (manager), Charles Hitchcock (leading man), Charles Inslee (director), Charlotte Mineau (film star), Jess Robbins (cameraman), Charles J. Stine (director), Leo White (Actor as Hussar Officer)
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Charlie Chaplin's Only Chicago Film
Charlie Chaplin got his start in motion pictures for Keystone Studios in California, but after 35 short comedies with Keystone he headed east to Chicago and the new Essanay Studios. Essanay was founded by two fellows . . . George Spoor (the 'S' in S & A, or Essanay) and Gilbert 'Bronco Billy' Anderson (the 'A' in Essanay). So this was in reality 'His New Job' - after leaving Keystone Studios his new job was in Chicago at Essanay Studios. This comedy was filmed during the cold Chicago winter of 1915, and Chaplin discovered very quickly that snow and ice were not two of his favorite things. Fortunately Gilbert Anderson, half of the Essanay ownership, had moved to Niles, California and started a west coast studio, and after filming this one comedy in Chicago Chaplin moved back to California to make his most famous movies at the Niles Essanay studio. In fact, two months later in April of 1915 Charlie Chaplin would film the movie that would include the character that we still remember him for, and became his trademark forevermore . . . The Tramp. In this story, possibly the very first movie about making movies, Charlie wants to be an actor, but after fumbling onto the set and disturbing the filming he is sent to work with the stage carpenter. When the leading man is late Charlie grabs his outfit and tries to take his place. This early silent film doesn't use title cards, so the action is a bit difficult to follow, but is well worth twenty minutes of time to watch Charlie Chaplin in Chicago in a story co-written by Louella Parsons, who would later become America's first newspaper movie columnist. You might want to peek at one other actor in this comedy . . . in the movie studio office behind Charlie and the other hopeful actors is a young girl stenographer who will one day become one of the most famous pioneering actresses of motion picture history . . . the one and only Gloria Swanson, appearing in the fifth movie of her long career that would include the most famous "Sunset Blvd." with William Holden. Pop a little bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Arthur W. Bates and Charlie Chaplin
Ben Turpin and Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin and Robert Bolder