A Day's Pleasure

A Day's Pleasure (1919) is Charlie Chaplin's fourth film for First National Films. It was created at the Chaplin Studio. It was a quickly made two-reeler to help fill a gap while working on his first feature The Kid. It is about a day outing with his wife and the kids and things do not go smoothly. Edna Purviance plays Chaplin's wife and Jackie Coogan one of the kids. The first scene shows the Chaplin Studio corner office in the background while Chaplin tries to get his car started.

A Day's Pleasure
Theatrical poster to A Day's Pleasure
Directed byCharles Chaplin
Produced byCharles Chaplin
Written byCharles Chaplin
StarringCharles Chaplin
Edna Purviance
Marion Feducha
Bob Kelly
Jackie Coogan
Tom Wilson
Babe London
Henry Bergman
Loyal Underwood
Music byCharles Chaplin (in 1959 re-release as part of The Chaplin Revue)
CinematographyRoland Totheroh
Edited byCharles Chaplin (uncredited)
Charles Chaplin Productions
Distributed byFirst National Pictures Inc.
Release date
  • December 15, 1919 (1919-12-15)
Running time
25 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English (Original intertitles)



After an initial scene featuring a Ford which is extremely reluctant to start, most of the action takes place on an excursion ferry. Gags revolve around seasickness, which Charlie, a fat couple, and even the boat's all-black ragtime band succumb to, deckchairs, and Charlie's comic pugnacity. This is followed by a scene of the family returning home, and encountering trouble at an intersection, which involves a traffic cop, and hot tar.


A Day's Pleasure is almost universally regarded as Chaplin's least impressive First National film. Even contemporary critics were muted in their enthusiasm, as evidenced by this mixed review from The New York Times of December 8, 1919 :

"Charlie Chaplin is screamingly funny in his latest picture, A Day's Pleasure, at the Strand, when he tries in vain to solve the mysteries of a collapsible deck chair. He is also funny in many little bits of pantomime and burlesque, in which he is inimitable. But most of the time he depends for comedy upon seasickness, a Ford car, and biff-bang slap-stick, with which he is little, if any, funnier than many other screen comedians."[1]


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