Charlie Chaplin (1951)

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two failures 115 The general mixup is complicated by the dropping of a crate from a truck upon the heads of two prosperous- looking passengers in an expensive car; and still more by the spilling of a barrel of hot tar by careless repairmen in front of the family automobile. The usual cop-and-driver altercation is enlivened by the precarious angles at which Charlie and the two po- licemen, stuck in the tar, carry on the debate. One of the traffic cops unwittingly disposes of his partner by lifting a sewer cover with his tarry shoe. Suddenly the flivver tears loose and the family rides off triumphantly. The next scene is on an excursion boat. On a last- minute errand off the boat Charlie returns just as she is pulling away. He gets aboard by using another unfortu- nate as a gangplank—a stout lady suspended by her hands and toes between wharf and boat. Back on deck he gets the dance fever as a Negro jazz band plays a lively tune. But after a few steps with his wife the boat interrupts with a dance of its own as it enters rough water. Charlie, seasick, is tormented by a persistent buttered popcorn salesman. All the passengers now feel the effect of the rocking boat. Charlie's tortures are intensified by the suggestive glissandos of the trombone player. Driven beyond endur- ance he grabs and pitches the offending instrument over- board. There follows the folding-chair gag. Patiently and persistently he tries to undo the contraption. No matter how he arranges it the chair collapses beneath him. After repeated trials he disgustedly sends it overboard after the trombone. A violent lurch of the boat sends Charlie into the lap of a stout lady whose equally hefty husband has gone for a drink of water. Returning to find a stranger in his wife's lap he picks a fight from which Charlie eventually emerges the surprised victor; and the family disembarks after its day of dubious "pleasure."