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Charlie Chaplin  




Mutual, 1917.  Directed by Charlie Chaplin.  Camera:  R.H. Totheroh, W.C. Foster.  With Charlie Chaplin, Albert Austin, Monta Bell, Henry Bergman, Eric Campbell, Frank J. Coleman, Toraichi Kono, Edna Purviance, Janet Miller Sully, Loyal Underwood.

Charlie plays a convict who escapes from the penitentiary and its guards.  During his flight, he observes a man preparing to go swimming.  Needing a change from his prison garb, Charlie steals the man's bathing suit, puts it on, and goes into the water.  He then sees a girl and her mother in danger of drowning and rescues them.  They are well-to-do and honor the convict as a guest in their home, where he indulges in a kicking fest with the girl's jealous suitor.  In a borrowed tuxedo Charlie attends a party given by the girl's parents.  Charlie and the girl decide to have a dish of ice cream at a table on the balcony above the dancers.  Charlie succeeds in dropping the ice cream down his trousers.  He shakes it out and it falls on the back of the girl's mother.  Charlie's photo, however, turns up in a newspaper and his pleasant life suddenly ends. The guards from the penitentiary learn where he is, and off Charlie goes again.

This was the last of the twelve comedies Chaplin made for Mutual.  It also marked Eric Campbell's last appearance with Chaplin.  This very gentle man, who was the towering menace in the Mutual films, was killed in an auto accident shortly the film was completed.  Toraichi Kono, who played a bit in The Adventurer, was Chaplin's chauffeur for many years.

What was said about The Adventurer:

Chicago News

The Adventurer, Chaplin's current specialty, consists mainly of footwork. His agility has been demonstrated frequently, but never has he been taxed to such an extent as in this film.  He begins by fleeing from jail pursued by a horde of guards, it seems, for they emerge from the most unexpected places at frequent intervals, and he winds up his adventure with a continuance of his flight.  In the interim he has demonstrated his dexterity with his feet, his elusiveness and furthermore that he is a agile in the water as on land.  He out-kicks his proficient adversary in an encounter and as usual performs mirth-provoking acrobatic stunts.

Motion Picture Magazine

Mr. Chaplin, in presenting The Adventurer as is Mutual swan song, maintains the quality of past risible stunts, though shading in a trifle more n the deft stuff to the diminishment of the broad...There are many clever stunts in The Adventurer, and a few very new ones, furnishing material for much smiling, if not for side-shaking laughter.  Mr. Chaplin's Mutual career has been a satisfying one.  He has given the company a row of excellent comedies of his own peculiar vintage, which must needs be valuable for several years.  Considering that he did as well by Essanay, it is a safe gamble that his next affiliation will be similarly productive of excellence.  He is an artist as well as a player of motley.  Also he is a good businessman.

The Films of Charlie Chaplin,
by Gerald McDonald, Michael
Conway and Mark Ricci
Bonanza Books, New York 1965

Additional photos courtesy of Gary