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Behind The Screen

Big behind the screen mutual 1916
Year :
1916
Cast :
Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Henry Bergman, Lloyd Bacon, Albert Austin, John Rand, Leo White, Frank J. Coleman, Charlotte Mineau, Leota Bryan, Wesley Ruggles, Tom Wood, James T. Kelly
Production :
Mutual
Description :
A refinement of his earlier comedies set in a film studio (A Film Johnnie and The Masquerader for Keystone in 1914 and His New Job for Essanay in 1915), Behind the Screen, Chaplin’s seventh film for Mutual, lampoons the unmotivated slapstick of the kind Chaplin disliked when he worked for Mack Sennett. Chaplin made the film as a sort of parody of the knockabout, pie-throwing comedy of the Keystone films. An aspiring actress (Edna Purviance), desperate for work, disguises herself as a boy and is hired at the studio as a stagehand when the regular crew strikes (the strikers and their plans to blow up the studio are reminiscent of Dough and Dynamite [1914]). Charlie, discovering that the new stagehand is in fact a girl, gently kisses her just as Goliath (Eric Campbell) enters. “Oh you naughty boys!” Goliath remarks in an intertitle, as he teasingly pinches their cheeks and dances about in an effeminate manner before offering his backside to Charlie, which Charlie promptly kicks. This curious scene representing a homosexual situation is highly unusual in American commercial cinema for its time.
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