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Film / Easy Street

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Easy Street is a 1917 short comedy film directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin.

In the film, the police are failing to maintain law and order on the titular Easy Street, and have resorted to hiring anyone off the street who wants to be a policeman. Chaplin, as the Little Tramp character, is homeless and hungry so he steps forward (rather reluctantly) to rid the street of bullies, help the poor, save women from madmen and generally keep the peace. In particular, he has to use his wits to defeat one particular, hulking bully who seems determined to pound Charlie into jelly.



  • Anvil on Head: The Bully isn't stopped till The Tramp drops a metal stove on top of him from a second storey window.
  • Battle Trophy: The Bully wears the helmet of the last policeman who dared try to walk a beat on Easy Street.
  • The Brute: The Bully. Even in hard-bitten Easy Street, the other locals shy away from him.
  • The Coats Are Off: After a Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... moment, The Bully takes his coat off as he prepares to pummel The Tramp.
  • Crapsack World: Easy Street, where The Bully terrorizes everyone, there's a constant brawl in the streets, the police are scared to intervene, and poor women have to resort to stealing food.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Chaplin, as it turns out, who towards the end administers a beatdown against a whole gang.
  • Damsel in Distress: Chaplin rescues one from The Bully, and then from a gang of thugs.
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  • Defeat Means Friendship: In the end, even The Bully has become an upstanding citizen, escorting his wife to church and nodding respectfully to Charlie.
  • Drugs Are Good / Intoxication Ensues: Charlie accidentally sits on a cocaine syringe. This gives him the jolt of energy required to beat up the gang of thugs and rescue Edna Purviance.
  • Handy Cuffs: The cops at the station cuff The Bully with his hands in front. Of course, since he simply rips the cuffs apart after waking up, it might not make much of a difference.
  • Happy Ending: An atypically cheerful one for Chaplin—he brings peace and order to Easy Street, and he gets the girl.
  • Made of Iron: The Bully doesn't even flinch when hit over the head with a club. It takes being hit by a metal stove from a second story window to bring him down.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: The Tramp whacks The Bully over head several times with his nightstick while The Bully's back is turned. The Bully doesn't even notice till he turns round.
  • Rushed Inverted Reading: While attending the mission service, The Tramp holds his hymnal upside down (and sideways at one point).
  • Swallow the Key: When The Bully has the The Tramp trapped in his apartment, he locks the door and swallows the key so The Tramp can't escape.