Pay Day is definitely one of the best of all of Charlie Chaplin's early short comedies, and that's not even just because it is now placed at the end of The Gold Rush, Chaplin's own favorite of his films. Charlie plays a construction worker who shows up to work late to a job at which his boss is clearly a tyrant. The part where Charlie is in the ditch strenuously digging and only coming up with tiny bits of dirt is one of the funniest parts of the entire film. And then, of course, you have the classic brick throwing scene, which was sure to have knocked people off of their seats when they first saw it in 1922. But Pay Day is not just another slapstick comedy, it's also got one of the better stories of Chaplin's early, short films. His misadventures at work set up the scene for his underpayment (which seemed not to be enough pay because Charlie was uneducated and added wrong 2+2+2+2=9), and his eventual confrontations with his beast of a wife. When she takes nearly all of his paycheck, he sneaks away to a bar to get drunk, finally making it home at 5am, only to find his horrendous wife sleeping with a rolling pin. It is another classic moment when he sneaks into the bathroom (hoping to have convinced his wife that he has already left for work) and goes to jump into the bathtub full of laundry, only to find that it is also full of water. While Pay Day does present a steady stream of slapstick comedy (which was, of course, one of Chaplin's greatest skills), it is also a fairly involved story, which few of his short films had, but which were almost always very well done. He again presents the predicament of the working man, both in his work environment as well as an amusing comment on the working man's home life. If you are interested in Chaplin's work or in slapstick comedy in general, Pay Day is a must see.
Comedy / Short
Comedy / Short
After a difficult day at work, a bricklayer tries to enjoy his pay day without his wife knowing.
August 4, 2020