Charlie Chaplin in TWENTY MINUTES OF LOVE (1914) – A bit short in more ways than one


Twenty Minutes of Love is the first Keystone short for which Chaplin received a writing-directing credit. But the only major stylistic difference is at the beginning, where Charlie comes upon several romantic couples in various stages of passion and he mimics them (at one point embracing a tree). This pantomime is probably the highlight of the film. After that, it’s back to Keystone high-kicking.

A woman in one of the couples asks her beau for a token of his love. He doesn’t have one handy, so he tells the woman to wait a moment, at which point he snatches a pocket-watch from a man sleeping on a park bench. Charlie happens to see this and, in a grand bit of payback, he steals the watch from the thief. As if that wasn’t enough hubris, Charlie then tries to sell the watch back to the original owner. The movie ends with a big chase in which Charlie knocks several people, innocent or otherwise, into the park’s pond.

And what possessed Chaplin to give the title Twenty Minutes of Love to a one-reeler, anyway?

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