A Night in the Show

Director: Charlie Chaplin

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The little tramp isn't in evidence in A Night in the Show (1915), for Chaplin plays a mean-spirited gent rather than an innocent.

A Night in the ShowHe's Mr. Pest, a drunkard, who strikes a match on a man's bald pate, attempts to horn in at the front of a line at the theater, starts fights on any flimsy premise, imposes himself on everyone around him, offends women, destroys other peoples' expensive hats, & is an all round unpleasant sot.

Pushing a fat lady in a fountain is about the height of the humor, which ain't that humorous. May White who plays the lady in the fountain returns in another scene as the bellydancer La Belle Weinerworst, & a third role as Tootsy Frutti the Snake Charmer. She's a lot funnier than Charlie in this one.

And not getting enough fat-jokes out of May's comedy, Mr. Pest gets into mutual harrassment schtick with the late arriving Fat Boy (Dee Lampton), revealing a singular lack of imagination in variety of humor, in addition to a willingness to harm a child, the "best" of this crummy schtick being a pie fight.

Charlie also plays Mr. Rowdy in the peanut gallery above, who shakes a bottle of beer & sprays the audience below, including Mr. Pest. Both characters are equal nuisances the only characte rdifferentiation being Mr. Pest seems to be a man of means while Mr. Rowdy is a peasant.

It's hard to believe this was based on a stage pantomime as there doesn't seem to be enough to it to amount to a mole-hill of beans. What saves it is not Charlie's presence which falls flat, but some of the vaudeville acts on the stage, of which we see too little.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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