The Fatal Mallet

The Fatal Mallet is a 1914 American-made motion picture starring Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand. The film was written and directed by Mack Sennett, who also portrays one of Chaplin's rivals for Normand's attention (Sennett and Normand were offscreen lovers during this period).

The Fatal Mallet
Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett, and Charles Chaplin in The Fatal Mallet (1914)
Directed byMack Sennett
Produced byMack Sennett
Written byMack Sennett
StarringCharles Chaplin
Mabel Normand
Mack Sennett
CinematographyFrank D. Williams
Distributed byKeystone Studios
Release date
  • June 1, 1914 (1914-06-01)
Running time
18 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English (Original titles)

The Fatal Mallet is one of more than a dozen early films that writer/director/comedian Mabel Normand made with Charles Chaplin; Normand, who had written and directed films before Chaplin, mentored the young comedian.


Three men will fight for the love of a charming girl. Charlie (in famous tramp guise) and one other suitor (unusually played by Mack Sennett himself) teams up against the third, and play dirty, throwing bricks and using a mallet. However, Charlie double-crosses his partner, thus losing his trust and the girl in the end.


A reviewer for Moving Picture World said of The Fatal Mallet, "This one-reeler proves that hitting people over the head with bricks and mallets can sometimes be made amusing."

A reviewer for Bioscope positively wrote, "Though rivals in love for the beautiful Mabel Normand, Charles Chaplin and Mack Sennett combine to rid themselves of a third poacher on their preserves, and the employment of a deadly mallet gives these indescribable comedians the opportunity for another genuinely funny farce."


See also

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