Behind the Screen
|Behind the Screen|
Theatrical poster to Behind the Screen
|Directed by||Charles Chaplin
Edward Brewer (technical director)
|Produced by||Henry P. Caulfield|
|Written by||Charles Chaplin
George C. Zalibra
|Edited by||Charles Chaplin|
|Distributed by||Mutual Film Corporation|
|November 13, 1916|
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
The film takes place in a movie studio. A stagehand named David (Chaplin) has a supervisor, Goliath (Campbell). Much of the film is slapstick comedy involving Chaplin manhandling large props, but other plotlines include a strike by the stagehands, and Purviance, who is unable to become an actress, dressing as a man and becoming a stagehand.
References in documentaries
The 1983 documentary series Unknown Chaplin revealed previously unseen footage from this movie, including an alternate take where Purviance's character is shown playing a harp; an outtake in which Edna, playing the guitar, starts laughing (the documentary supports the belief that Purviance and Chaplin were romantically involved at the time); and several takes of a sequence in which Chaplin's character narrowly misses having his feet chopped off by an axe (accomplished by filming the scene backwards) - this sequence was never used in the final film.
The 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet draws attention to the scene where Chaplin's character - after learning that Purviance's character is really a woman - kisses her while on the set; at this point, a male stagehand enters and, thinking that Chaplin has kissed a man, starts acting in an overtly effeminate way until Chaplin kicks him.
- Charles Chaplin as David (Goliath's assistant)
- Edna Purviance as The Girl
- Eric Campbell as Goliath (a stagehand)
In 1932, Amedee Van Beuren of Van Beuren Studios, purchased Chaplin's Mutual comedies for $10,000 each, added music by Gene Rodemich and Winston Sharples and sound effects, and re-released them through RKO Radio Pictures. Chaplin had no legal recourse to stop the RKO release.
- The Celluloid Closet, DVD documentary (1995); Kenneth S. Lynn, Chaplin: His Life and Times (2003).
- SilentComedians entry
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Behind the Screen.|
- The short film Behind the Screen is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Behind the Screen at the Internet Movie Database
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