Old movies, US History

This Is Charlie Chaplin’s First Film – He Hated It!

Making a Living is the first film featuring Charlie Chaplin. Written and directed by Henry Lehrman, it debuted on February 2, 1914.

Chaplin plays the lovable rouge Edgar English, a charmer who runs into a spot o’ bother with the Keystone Kops.  At this stage, Charlie had not yet developed his ‘little tramp’ character, which was only to emerge in his next film, Kid Auto Races at Venice.

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie disapproved of Lehrman’s final cut of Making a Living, saying his best performances had been left out.  Lehrman, who also appears opposite Chaplin in the film, eventually admitted that he sabotaged the editing out of spite for Charlie.

Never mind, we liked it Charlie…

Here it is:


The Cast:
Charlie Chaplin – Swindler
Henry Lehrman – Reporter
Virginia Kirtley – Daughter
Alice Davenport – Mother
Minta Durfee – Woman
Chester Conklin – Policeman / Bum




  1. Thank you for making these early Chaplin films available. They remind us of why Charlie was and remains the standard of great comedy. However, I think that the large photo of Chaplin, at the top of the page, is actually a studio print of Robert Downey Jr. staring in the 1992 film, “Chaplin”. I can understand the mistake. Downey Jr. is so remarkable in bringing the character to life I forgot I was watching a dramatic biography and not the real thing.

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