The Rounders

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Chappy Charbuckle again, this time in cahoots instead of in conflict. Essentially just a showcase for Chaplin's drunk act, it can be viewed as a spinoff from Mabel's Strange Predicament where the drunk act, though just a sideshow to the main story of Mabel's predicament, got the biggest laughs. But the side show drunk act was more extended (and much funnier) than here, where it is the main attraction: yet another case of spinoff failure.

Online: Internet Archive


Mabel's Strange Predicament

Fans of Mabel's comedy don't like this because the focus is on her charm rather than her comic talents. And although Mabel stars, it's really a showcase for Chaplin - the film where The Tramp was born. But fans of Chaplin's pathos and progressive social commentary don't like to see the lovable Little Tramp obnoxiously drunk, belligerent, lewd, and molesting (though such drunk roles launched Chaplin's fame in the English music halls). So this film has gotten poor reviews. But this work is a gem precisely because it is different - showing how Chaplin's style diverged from American film comics, utilizing small quirky movements and subtle comic expression, not just broad clowning. Actually worthy of the Keystone byline 'farce comedy', and with its subtle humor, this is one for Max Linder fans (both Chaplin and Sennett were big fans): cf. 'Max Takes Tonics' (1911).

Note: there seems to be no agreement on director's credits: Mabel Normand (as claimed by IMDB and Wikipedia), Mabel Normand and Mack Sennett, or Henry Lehman and Mack Sennett.