Charlie in Transition

The Rounders
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Frank D. Williams. D: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Phyllis Allen, Minta Durfee, Al St. John. P: Keystone Film Company. USA 1914

“The impersonation of a drunk was a long-lived vaudeville standby, a staple of the live entertainment circuit that just as quickly became a staple of screen entertainment in the early days of silent comedy. This film was the only one to properly team Chaplin with Fatty Arbuckle (they’d appeared together, but had minimal interaction before), and Chaplin biographer David Thompson saw it as looking back over ‘Chaplin’s whole gallery of inebriates from Karno to Keystone, and forward to A Night Out (1915) and ultimately to the Tramp’s night on the town with the millionaire in City Lights (1931).’ The title of The Rounders supposedly derives from the buying of drinks in rounds, so those who participate are ’rounders’, but it is a phrase that has long since fallen into disuse (although another explanation for the term suggests it derives from a combination of ‘rogue’ and ‘bounder’).”
Brian J. Robb
Chaplin: Film-By-Film


Getting Acquainted
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Frank D. Williams. D: Charles Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy, Edgar Kennedy, Cecile Arnold. P: Keystone Film Company. USA 1914

“Chaplin’s second-to-last short for Keystone came in early December of 1914 with the release of Getting Acquainted. Chaplin had been as happy as he could be with the confines of the studio because he was quite happy with the wage he was earning. However, when Chaplin became aware of his rising stardom and huge popularity, he began to realise Sennett was not really paying him his dues. For him to have stayed at Keystone for much longer would have meant not only a huge pay rise, but also free reign as a creative artist. (…) But it wasn’t to be and Sennett could no longer contain his star, the man who had been giving him a good living but knew would be leaving the nest for greater things. Getting Acquainted is the product of a man with a lot on his mind, namely his own future. It doesn’t exactly feel half hearted but it’s obvious that Charlie was putting on his running shoes. That said, no Chaplin fan couldn’t enjoy the opportunity of watching the great man goof off. And that is basically what he is doing here. It’s another Keystone park comedy, with Charlie suffering along with his wife, hilariously named Mrs Sniffels, who he can’t wait to get away from so he can try to woo Mabel, a pretty girl he has his eyes on. By no means a highlight but interesting for seeing a Chaplin just about to switch gears.”
Chris Wade: Charlie Chaplin – The Complete Film Guide. Wisdom Twins Books 2019, p. 90-91

Chaplin’s last short for Keystone:

His Prehistoric Past
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Frank D. Williams. D: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, May Wallace, Gene Marsh, Fritz Schade, Cecile Arnold, Al St. John. P: Keystone Film Company. USA 1914