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The Fatal Mallet (1914)

The Fatal Mallet—Charlie Chaplin  short silent film originally released June 1, 1914

The Fatal Mallet - classic Charlie Chaplin silent short film

The Fatal Mallet – classic Charlie Chaplin silent short film

Buy from Amazon.com The Fatal Mallet is pure slapstick from beginning to end.   The film begins with Mack Sennet walking with his girl, Mabel Normand.   Charlie Chaplin tries to steal her away, and when that fails, he begins throwing bricks at Sennet.   Sennet throws them back, accidentally hits Mabel, etc.   Mack Swain then enters the scene, and Mabel switches her attention to him as Charlie and Sennet are still fighting.   The two realize what’s happened, and they sneak up behind Swain and Charlie hits him over the head with a brick—to no effect.   They work together and hit him with two bricks at once—only to have him remove his hat and look up, as though he felt a drop of rain.

The slapstick gets faster and more farcical from then on, as a three-way fight for Mabel’s attention ensues, including Charlie finding a ridiculously large mallet (larger than any of the mens’ heads) which he puts to good use—just watching all of the incidentals with Charlie and the mallet are pure comedy gold.   It’s not deep, there’s no moral to the story, it’s just funny slapstick humor, and nobody did it better than Charlie Chaplin.   The Fatal Mallet is laugh out loud funny, and recommended.


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