Cruel, Cruel Love

Cruel, Cruel Love is a 1914 American comedy silent film made at the Keystone Studios and starring Charlie Chaplin.

Cruel, Cruel Love
Theatrical poster
Directed byGeorge Nichols
Mack Sennett
Produced byMack Sennett
Written byCraig Hutchinson
StarringCharles Chaplin
Edgar Kennedy
Minta Durfee
Alice Davenport
Glen Cavender
Billy Gilbert
Chester Conklin (uncredited)
CinematographyFrank D. Williams
Distributed byMutual Film Corporation
Release date
  • March 26, 1914 (1914-03-26)
Running time
16 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film; English (Original titles)


Chaplin plays a character quite different from the Little Tramp for which he would become famous. In this short Keystone film, Chaplin is instead a rich, upper-class gentleman (Lord Helpus) whose romance is endangered when his girlfriend (played by Minta Durfee) sees him being embraced by her maid and jumps to the wrong conclusion. She angrily sends Lord Helpus away, saying she never wants to see him again. Distraught, when Lord Helpus arrives home he is determined to end his life. He swallows what he thinks is a glass of poison and envisions himself being tortured in Hell. Not long afterward, the girlfriend's gardener and maid explain to Minta that Lord Helpus was not flirting at all. Minta quickly sends a note of apology to Lord Helpus. upon reading it, Lord Helpus flies into a panic and summons an ambulance to help him before he dies from the fatal dose of poison. There is no danger of Lord Helpus expiring: His butler had stealthily switched the liquid in the glass to harmless water.

Chaplin's romantic interest in this film, Minta Durfee, was the wife of fellow Keystone actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle.


Preservation status

Cruel, Cruel Love was presumed to be a lost film for more than 50 years until a complete nitrate film copy in reasonable condition was discovered in South America.[1] Restoration copies were made by David Shepard of Film Preservation Associates, and by Lobster Films of Paris, and its original two-reel format is available for sale.[2]


A reviewer from Motion Picture World wrote, "Slight in texture, but it makes a pleasing, laughable picture."

See also


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