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
Breaktime - Silent Film Light by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Amazing Plan - Silent Film Dark by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Fig Leaf Times Two by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923.