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Charlie Chaplin's "Making A Living"


Charlie Chaplin's 1st Film Released Feb. 02 1914 Making a Living is the first film appearance of Charlie Chaplin, which premiered on February 2, 1914. Chaplin plays a lady-charming swindler, Edgar English, who runs afoul of the Keystone Kops. Chaplin's famed screen persona of "the Little Tramp" did not appear until the film Kid Auto Races at Venice. Find more Chaplin films

Making a Living (also known as Doing His Best, A Busted Johnny, Troubles and Take My Picture) is the first film starring Charlie Chaplin.<></> It premiered on February 2, 1914.< name="Neibaur"></> Chaplin plays Edgar English, a lady-charming swindler who runs afoul of the Keystone Kops. It was written and directed by Henry Lehrman.


Chaplin's character attempts to convince a passerby (director Henry Lehrman) to give him money. Chaplin is then shown flirting with a woman; Lehrman enters to present the woman with flowers and sees Chaplin. A slapstick fight between the two ensues. Later, Lehrman's character takes a photograph of an automobile accident; Chaplin's character steals the camera whilst the journalist is helping a trapped motorist and rushes back to the paper with it to claim the photograph as his own. A short pursuit with the Keystone Kops follows.< name="Neibaur" />

Chaplin's performance

Chaplin wore a large moustache and a top hat in this film, he also carries a walking cane. Chaplin's famed screen persona of "The Tramp" did not appear until his next film, Kid Auto Races at Venice, but his character in this film is somewhat similar, having hat, cane, moustache and baggy trousers.< name="Maland"></> In later accounts Chaplin lamented that the best of his performance had been left out of the final cut.< name="Okuda"></> Lehrman later admitted to deliberately mishandling the cutting of the film out of spite for Chaplin.< name="Weissman"></>
The Fremont Hotel, Los Angeles is shown briefly in the background of a fighting scene in the road.


  • Charlie Chaplin - Swindler
  • Virginia Kirtley - Daughter
  • Alice Davenport - Mother
  • Henry Lehrman - Reporter
  • Minta Durfee - Woman
  • Chester Conklin - Policeman / Bum

See also

  • Charlie Chaplin filmography

  • Category:1914 films
    Category:American films
    Category:American silent short films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:1910s comedy films
    Category:Films directed by Henry Lehrman
    Category:American comedy films
    Category:Films produced by Mack Sennett


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