A Busy Day

A Busy Day is a 1914 short film starring Charlie Chaplin and Mack Swain.

A Busy Day
film scene
Directed byMack Sennett
Produced byMack Sennett
StarringCharlie Chaplin
CinematographyFrank D. Williams
Distributed byMutual Film
Release date
  • May 7, 1914 (1914-05-07)
Running time
6 minutes
CountryUnited States


In A Busy Day, a wife (played by an energetic Charlie Chaplin) becomes jealous of her husband's interest in another woman during a military parade. On her way to attack the couple, the wife interrupts the set of a film, knocking over a film director and a police officer. Finally, the husband pushes the wife off a pier and she falls into the harbor.


According to the 1965 book The Films of Charlie Chaplin, A Busy Day is the first of three films in which Chaplin plays a woman. The other two were The Masquerader (1914) and A Woman (1915). Chaplin used the wardrobe of fellow Keystone player Alice Davenport.

It was typical for Mack Sennett to shoot Keystone comedies using real events--such as a parade--as the background for comic mayhem. This short film (about half a reel) was shot near San Pedro Harbor in less than two hours. In it, one can see interesting glimpses of First World War-era American naval ships in the background. The other part of the reel is an educational short titled The Morning Papers.


A reviewer from Bioscope noted, "[Chaplin] gives an amazing exhibition of acrobatic humor."


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