Fun Size Review: Burlesque on Carmen (1915)

Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance are just as cute as bugs in this energetic send-up of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1915 version of Carmen. Purviance is particularly charming as the infamous (and goofy) seductress.

Essanay, Chaplin’s studio at the time, padded the film with outtakes and Ben Turpin footage and this bloated version was the only one available for years. (Chaplin sued, by the way.) Happily, David Shepard restored Chaplin’s original creative vision and I am glad to report that it’s a hoot! Make it a double feature with the DeMille picture.

How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.

As in the opera, the male lead stabs Carmen. Of course, Chaplin has his own goofy take on the murder.

Read my full-length review here, in which I combat a bunch of darn fool notions about Chaplin and his creative process specifically connected to this film and the Essanay lawsuit.

If it were a dessert it would be: Kahlua Brownie and Chocolate Mousse Shooters. Good things come in small packages (and they still have a kick!)

Availability: You can see the restored version as part of Flicker Alley’s Chaplin at Essanay collection or you can see it bundled with DeMille’s Carmen in another Flicker Alley release.


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