Making A Living (1914) – Charlie Chaplin08:52

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Published on September 13, 2016

Making a Living

VIDEO of Making A Living (1914) – Charlie Chaplin

For the American television series, see It’s a Living (1980 TV series).
Making A Living
File:Making a Living.webm
Directed by Henry Lehrman
Produced by Mack Sennett
Written by Reed Heustis
Henry Lehrman
Starring Charlie Chaplin
Chester Conklin
Minta Durfee
Virginia Kirtley
Cinematography Enrique Juan Vallejo
Frank D. Williams
Distributed by Mutual Film Corporation
Release dates
  • February 2, 1914
Running time
13 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English (Original intertitles)

Making a Living (also known as Doing His Best, A Busted Johnny, Troubles and Take My Picture) is the first film starring Charlie Chaplin.[1] It premiered on February 2, 1914.[2] 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 and proposes to her, which she accepts. Lehrman enters to present the woman with flowers and a ring, which the woman refuses citing she’s engaged. Lehman sees Chaplin and 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.[2]

Chaplin’s performance[edit]

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 Little 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.[3] In later accounts Chaplin lamented that the best of his performance had been left out of the final cut.[4] Lehrman later admitted to deliberately mishandling the cutting of the film out of spite for Chaplin.[5] The Fremont Hotel, Los Angeles is shown briefly in the background of a fighting scene in the road. This is one of only a couple of films in which Chaplin and the Keystone Cops both appear.


See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ “Other titles of ‘Making a Living'”. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Neibaur, James (2012). Early Charlie Chaplin: The Artist As Apprentice at Keystone Studios. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810882426.
  3. Jump up^ Maland, Charles (1991). Charlie Chaplin and American Culture – The Evolution of a Star Image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691028605.
  4. Jump up^ Okuda, Ted (2005). Charlie Chaplin at Keystone And Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc. ISBN 0595365981.
  5. Jump up^ Weissman, Stephen (2005). CHAPLIN: A LIFE. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

External links[edit]

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