Mabel's Married Life

Mabel's Married Life (1914) is an American comedy silent film made by Keystone Studios starring and co-written by Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand, and directed by Chaplin. As was so often the case during his first year in film, Chaplin's character is soon staggering drunk.

Mabel's Married Life
Normand, Chaplin, and Mack Swain
Directed byCharles Chaplin
Produced byMack Sennett
Written byCharles Chaplin
Mabel Normand
StarringCharles Chaplin
Mabel Normand
CinematographyFrank D. Williams
Distributed byMutual Film
Release date
  • June 20, 1914 (1914-06-20)
Running time
17 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English (Original titles)


Chaplin, in tramp attire, sits in the park with his wife, Mabel. While he was gone to a bar, a large man holding a tennis racquet moves in on his wife. Chaplin returns to find them laughing together. But despite kicking him and hitting him with his cane the man is undeterred in his wooing of his wife.

The man drags Mabel down to the edge of the lake in the park. Meanwhile, Charlie finds the man's wife and they return together, where the wife first confronts her husband but then ends up confronting Mabel. She goes to strike her but hits Charlie instead. The couple then leave. Mabel heads home but stops at a sporting goods store where she orders a man-shaped punch-bag. It is delivered whilst she is in her pyjamas. She wraps herself in a leopard-skin rug to answer the door. She starts practising boxing moves on the dummy/punchbag. It is weighted so it swings back and knocks her over.

Meanwhile, Charlie returns to the bar. A man there ridicules Charlie's clothes, particularly his baggy trousers. Then the first man reappears further ridiculing Charlie who is by now drunk.

Charlie returns home, inexplicably holding a bunch of fresh onions, and trying to work out what the smell is. He throws them away. They fly through an open door and onto Mabel who is in bed.

Charlie in his drunken state sees the dummy as the rival and prepares to fight. Mabel watches from the bedroom, frustrated by his actions. Charlie demands the dummy leaves. He pushes it. It swings back then rolls forward again striking Charlie. Charlie tries to placate it but ends up striking it again. Each time he hits it, it hits him back harder. Mabel joins in the fight then reveals to Charlie that it is just a dummy. Meanwhile, neighbour get concerned at the noise.


Motion Picture News noted, "All will be aching from laughter when it is over."

A reviewer from Bioscope wrote, "The mix-up between Mabel, Charles and the dummy is extremely funny, and in the restaurant Mr. Chaplin gives a very excellent study in inebriation. This is certainly one of the best of the Keystone comedies."

A reviewer from Motion Picture World misspelled Chaplin's surname while praising his work in Mabel's Married Life. He wrote, "Charles Chapman [sic] and Mabel Normand are at their best, and everyone knows what that means."


See also

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