English intertitles DirectorCharles Chaplin
Edward Brewer (technical director) WriterVincent Bryan, Maverick Terrell Release dateJune 12, 1916 (1916-06-12) DirectorsCharlie Chaplin, Edward Brewer ScreenplayCharlie Chaplin, Vincent P. Bryan, Maverick Terrell CastCharles Chaplin (Fireman), Edna Purviance (Girl), Lloyd Bacon (Her Father), Eric Campbell (Foreman of the Brigade), Leo White (Owner of Burning House), Charlotte Mineau (Mother) Similar moviesPacific Rim, The Artist, Feast, Pluto's Christmas Tree, Mickey and the Seal, Tugboat Mickey
The Fireman is the second film Charlie Chaplin created for Mutual Film Corporation in 1916. Released on June 12, it starred Chaplin as the fireman and Edna Purviance as the daughter to Lloyd Bacon.
A young girl's father (Bacon) arranges with the local fire chief (Campbell) to have his house burn down so he could collect on the insurance money, in exchange he propose to the fire chief to marry his daughter.
However, a real fire breaks out elsewhere in the town. The firemen ignore an inhabitant of the burning building as he tries to alert them to the fire, first by activating the fire alarm, then by phoning the fire station, and then by going to the fire station in person. Eventually, a fireman (Chaplin), alerts the fire chief and the fire company goes to put out the fire.
Meanwhile the father set up a fire in the basement of his own house before realizing that his daughter is still inside in the upper floor. The fireman (Chaplin) who is in love with the daughter abandons the first house in fire to rush and heroically climbs the outside of the building to save her.
The film shows some early morning street scenes in the surrounding Los Angeles area.
The film makes use of reversing the film several times for comic effect: sliding up the fireman's pole, reversing the horses, hurrying back to station (in reverse) when he forgets the crew etc. The huge water tank in the station also comically has a second function as the coffee machine. A lot of the kicking in the film is clearly unfaked and fairly violent.
Charles Chaplin as Fireman
Edna Purviance as Girl
Lloyd Bacon as Her Father
Eric Campbell as Foreman of the Brigade
Leo White as Owner of Burning House
Albert Austin as Fireman
John Rand as Fireman
James T. Kelley as Fireman
Frank J. Coleman as Fireman
In 1932, Amedee Van Beuren of Van Beuren Studios, purchased Chaplin's Mutual comedies for $10,000 each, added music by Gene Rodemich and Winston Sharples and sound effects, and re-released them through RKO Radio Pictures. Chaplin had no legal recourse to stop the RKO release.