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The Floorwalker

The Floorwalker U rating

Chaplin’s first comedy for Mutual Films features the first film use of an elevator as a source for slapstick.

Comedy 1916 28 mins Silent

Director: Charles Chaplin

Overview

In Charlie Chaplin’s first comedy for Mutual Film Corporation he plays a variant of his Tramp persona who shares a likeness to the floorwalker of a department store. The resemblance leads to confusion, chaos and much hilarity.

As well as being Chaplin’s debut for Mutual, The Floorwalker is a significant film comedy in other respects; it contains the first known instances of two popular tropes in screen comedy – the use of an elevator as a source for slapstick, and a ‘mirror’ scene in which two participants ape each other’s movements (most famously used in the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup).