Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914)

  • This was filmed about 6 months into Charlie Chaplin’s film career. “So what?” you say? So he’s not acting as the goddamn tramp in this, and I am overjoyed.
  • This is the first “full-length” comedy ever to be released. (Thanks Dan Aykroyd. I mean…Mack Sennett. Whatever. Same thing.)
  • Tillie (Marie Dressler) plays fetch with her dog using a brick? This seems like nonsense.

(I will allow it, though – because it just resulted in The Stranger (Chaplin) being hit in the face.)

…I’m sorry, I forgot already that my plan is to not hate Chaplin in this. My bad.

  • Tillie needs to take off that hat she’s wearing if she wants to enchant Charlie Stranger. It looks like garbage.
  • Glad to see that Tillie’s house features common wall decor items of the era: a sign that says “God Bless Our Home” and a picture of Abraham Lincoln. Solid choices.
  • Chaplin spies Tillie’s father with a load of money, and now he wants to steal it with Tillie’s assistance. I’m all for this plan. Tillie’s father seems like a grouch.
  • These title cards are fantastic.


Tillie is now wearing a hat that has curlicues coming off both sides & a designedly fake-looking bird on top. I think it’s equally as awful as the garbage hat – just in its own special way.

  • Ha! Chaplin left Mabel Normand’s character for Marie Dressler’s. That’s hilarious.
  • Side note: Mabel Normand’s eyes are gorgeous.
  • Chaplin & Dressler are an exquisite team. All of their actions are perfectly choreographed and perfectly in synch with each other’s. This pairing is a quite joyful one to watch.
  • I like how Mabel Normand’s hat has some big, stylish feathers on it…in comparison to the full, obviously fake bird on top of Dressler’s. Nice work, costume department. You nailed that one.
  • Mabel & Charlie Stranger make off with Tillie’s purse (which contains all of the stolen Father money in it) while Tillie is dancing too zealously, for too long. To be fair, Tillie handed her bag to Charlie Stranger and then proceeded to disregard the pair of them for far too long, so it’s kinda her fault – but still. Chaplin & Mabel are thiefs.
  • Mabel & Charlie Stranger are looking sharp after their Tillie’s Purse Funded shopping adventure!
  • Turns out Tillie’s uncle is a millionaire? Doesn’t look like their personalities align very well, however. I suppose that was predictable. After all, Tillie has been drunkenly galavanting around town all afternoon while wearing a bird on her head, so…
  • Mabel & Charlie Stranger are now watching a movie (within a movie). That’s always fun.
  • Oh, look at you, Tillie! Off to get a job. (Has she even realized her father’s money has been stolen at this point? It seems like she hasn’t.)
  • The rich uncle is now hiking up a waterfall??? (Title card: “UNCLE STARTS ON A TRIP TO THE SUMMIT.”) That seems random.

…Unless he plans to fall off & leave all his money & jaguar rugs to Tillie, that is.

  • Tillie is not a great waitress, y’all. This will not last too long – she is way uncoordinated & likes to shove people too much.
  • Indeed – Millionaire Uncle No Name has fallen to his death atop the snowy waterfall peak. Tillie is now a richling!!!
  • Also…Uncle Millionaire does have a name, we just found out: Douglas Banks. That’s…fair. (Ha.)
  • Dressler + Chaplin = Perfection. Brilliant call, Mack Sennett.
  • In conclusion, Charlie Stranger marries (maries?) Tillie for her money, Tillie doesn’t mind, and also (surprise!) Uncle Millionaire isn’t dead.
  • The end (as in: Part 6 of 6) kind of devolves into everyone slapping everyone, Dressler wildly shooting a gun into the air, and Chaplin falling down every 10 seconds – but you know…that’s just how it goes in the 1910s.
  • Thankfully, Uncle Millionaire returns from his non-death trip & puts a stop to all of that. Sort of. The movie ends with 75% of the cast falling into the ocean, and Tillie & Mabel crying about how stupid their boy Chaplin is. Quality.

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