Charlie vs. Chester Conklin

Those Love Pangs
R: Charles Chaplin. D: Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Cecile Arnold, Vivian Edwards, Peggy Page, Marvin Faylen, Fritz Schade. P: Keystone Film Company. USA – Rel. 10 October 1914

“In his memoirs, Mack Sennett recalled that production on the largely improvised short was shut down after only a few days and a few simple shots. (…) What remained to make up Those Love Pangs was a mishmash of elements familiar from a handful of then-recent Chaplin shorts, including the boarding house setting of The Star Boarder, the romantic goings on at the centre of Twenty Minutes of Love, and in the cinema-set climax, elements of A Film Johnnie. It’s clear that in the trade off in comic material between Those Love Pangs and Dough and Dynamite, it was the second film that came off best.
That’s not to say that there’s nothing notable about this largely improvised, off-the-cuff short. It’s not as innovative or as interesting as the one that followed, but it did show — albeit in small details — that Chaplin’s art, especially his performance, was continuing to grow and develop beyond the confines of the formula of Keystone slapstick (although he still manages to include the inevitable lake-in-the-park scene, where his forlorn romantic contemplates suicide).”
Brian J. Robb
Chaplin: Film by Film

Dough and Dynamite
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Mack Sennett, Charles Chaplin. K: Frank D. Williams. D: Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Fritz Schade, Norma Nichols, Peggy Page, Cecile Arnold. P: Keystone Film Company. USA – Rel.  26 October 1914

“If Those Love Pangs was a lesser film in Chaplin’s filmography, there’s good reason; all the best material had been left out, marked instead for this film. That picture had aimed to set him and Chester Conklin up as screen rivals for the attentions of their landlady, without any real idea of how that was going to unfold. Chaplin developed the idea of them working at a bakery and that soon grew into such promising material that it was shifted out to be a separate picture, this one. Those Love Pangs was therefore developed once again, was shot quickly in only four days and ended up feeling much like an afterthought, albeit one that benefitted from Chaplin’s continued growth as a filmmaker; he endowed it with enough interesting detail that it doesn’t feel unworthy of attention. It’s immediately obvious that Dough and Dynamite completely overshadows it, though, as Jeffrey Vance ably highlights: ‘In the early silent-film era,’ he explains, ‘Dough and Dynamite was generally regarded as one of the greatest of all Hollywood comedies.'”
Hal C. F. Astell

Gentlemen of Nerve
R: Charles Chaplin. D: Charles Chaplin, Chester Conklin, Mack Swain, Mabel Normand, Phyllis Allen, Alice Davenport. P: Keystone Film Company. USA – Rel. 29 October 1914

“The first deliberate meaning of the title presumably refers to the real drivers racing their automobiles on the Ascot Park Speedway in Los Angeles on Sunday, 20th September, 1914. This is the same venue which served as the background for Mabel’s Busy Day, four months earlier, possibly the worst of Chaplin’s 1914 shorts. That was ostensibly a Mabel Normand picture with Chaplin trying to steal it from her, while this is a Charlie Chaplin picture with Normand trying to steal it from him, so it could easily be regarded as a riff on the earlier film or a thematic sequel. I found Mabel’s Busy Day not only the worst of Chaplin’s pictures for Keystone but the one in which he was most obnoxious and least sympathetic; he returns to that here somewhat but not to the same degree. Fortunately, Mabel, an annoying character in that film too for her constant ‘woe is me’ attitude and an unbelievable copout at the end, is an absolute joy here and surely the cause of some of the best moments in the picture.”
Hal C. F. Astell