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Mabel’s Strange Predicament (1914)

Mabel’s Strange Predicament—Charlie Chaplin—February 9, 1914

Mabel Normand, c.1910sMabel’s Strange Predicament is a short film, 17 minutes long, starring Mabel Normand, with Charlie Chaplin as the villain of the picture.   Mabel Normand was, at the time, a major film star, as well as one of the first female movie directors.   However, she is now remembered primarily for her work with Charlie Chaplin.   In this movie, however, Mabel Normand is clearly the star, with Charlie Chaplin in a supporting role.   Although dressed as the Tramp, Charlie Chaplin is not in character as the Trampin this film.   Rather, he plays a variation on his inebriate character that he made famous on the London stage.

Mabel's Strange Predicament - Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin in the hotel lobbyThe basic plot is that the inebriated Charlie Chaplin runs into an elegant lady (Mabel Normand) in the hotel lobby, gets tied up in her dog’s leash, and falls down.   Later, Charlie runs into the same lady in the hotel corridor, where she has been locked out of her room.   A chase follows, with Charlie chasing Mabel through various rooms, with Mabel ending up in the room of an elderly husband, where she hides under the bed when his wife and Mabel’s lover come chasing.

Trivia for Mabel’s Strange Predicament starring Charlie Chaplin

  • Banned by Swedish censors, who found it “brutalising” because of the amorous scene

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