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Film / Pay Day

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Pay Day is a 1922 short film written by, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. It is the last two-reel (approx. 20 minutes) short comedy Chaplin ever made.

Charlie is a worker at a construction site who shows a remarkable talent both for catching bricks and for irritating his short-tempered supervisor. Charlie occasionally casts admiring glances at the supervisor's pretty daughter, but at the end of the day he has to go home to his horrible screaming battleaxe of a wife. It's pay day, though, so after managing to conceal some money from the wife Charlie goes out for a night of drinking.

Known for a remarkable sequence in which Chaplin uses a reversed film trick to show the Tramp catching a dizzying incoming blizzard of thrown bricks.



  • Alcohol Hic: Charlie is doing this by the time he gets home.
  • Awful Wedded Life: If your wife sleeps at night with a rolling pin in her arms, things are not good.
  • Construction Zone Calamity: Charlie works at a construction site. He shows a talent for catching bricks and a talent for dropping them on the foreman's head. He also manages to sit on a welding torch.
  • Henpecked Husband: Charlie is stuck in a marriage with a woman who is bigger than he is, is very mean, and apparently confiscates all of his pay, given how he has to hide it.
  • Longing Look: Charlie casts one of these at the foreman's daughter, played by his regular leading lady, Edna Purviance. Since he's married in this film, a Longing Look is all he gets.
  • Oblivious to Love: The foreman's daughter is barely aware that Charlie exists.
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  • The Tramp: Averted. Although he wears his usual outfit, Charlie has a wife (a horrible one, but still), an apartment, and a job. If the glimpse of a child's toy on the floor is any indication he's also a father.
  • Undercrank: Used a couple of times, like in a scene where Charlie means to board a trolley home, only for a horde of people to jump on the train at the speed of light, leaving him behind.