Charlie Chaplin in THE NEW JANITOR (1914) – Charlie cleans up



(WARNING: Spoilers abound!)

Quickie plot summary: Charlie has just been fired from the title role (!) when he manages to thwart a bank robbery.

Charlie is the janitor at a bank, and some of the business leading up to his firing is amusing, but far too much time is spent on the “straight” story of one of the bank executives trying to embezzle funds from the bank’s safe.

The pay-off, however, is terrific: Charlie, having stooped down to help a fainted bank secretary, nevertheless holds a gun between his legs to keep the bank exec at bay. The ending, too, is interesting: A policeman, having heard gunshots, rushes to the scene and impulsively takes Charlie away, assuming from his grubby demeanor that he is the bank robber. This finale is played strictly for laughs, yet it seems to look forward to Chaplin’s later, more thoughtful shorts such as Police. A flawed but intriguing short.


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