This Film Is More Than 100 Years Old

The Floorwalker (1916)

The Floorwalker is a 30 minute comedy directed by (and written by, starring, etc) Charlie Chaplin, who plays his usual hapless self as he gets caught up in a plan by two corrupt store managers to steal all the shop’s money from a safe for some reason.

This is the earliest Charlie Chaplin film I’ve seen, I think. It’s pretty good fun, although it ends so abruptly I thought maybe the final few scenes were missing (but apparently they aren’t, so who knows what was going on there).

It also includes what is apparently the first ever “running the wrong way on an escalator” gag, which they make pretty extensive – and fairly wonderful – usage of, and then goes on to pioneer the “not actually a mirror gag” in a sequence where Charlie Chaplin and one of the nefarious managers look so alike they both think they’re looking at their own reflections (the basis of jokes in what feels like 90% of Bugs Bunny cartoons, at least, plus probably hundreds of other things down the years).



1. I watched this on blu-ray (this wonderful BFI set).

2. But there’s loads of versions of it on youtube if you want too.

3. Although I can’t vouch for the quality of either the image or the soundtrack on there.

4. This was Charlie Chaplin’s first film for Mutual.

5. Where he was paid $10,000 a week for a year to make 12 films.

6. Which he then did.

7. Although he took 18 months to finish them, the lazy bugger.

8. Before then moving on elsewhere to make even more films that aren’t on this blu-ray.


Film Information

Title: The Floorwalker
Year: 1916
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Duration: 30 minutes
Watch: youtube