The usually so anti-establishment Charlie becomes a cop! (He needs the money). Mostly a lot of cheesy slapstick-thugs chasing Charlie around, and Charlie hitting them on the head with his nightstick, but I'm giving this one an extra star for the luridness of showing a junkie shooting up.
A really wonderful short! The main attraction is Chaplin's scrawny charm and acrobatics pitted against a well-built thug, but you can already see the way he used comedy to address poverty and cruelty (themes of his childhood). The finale, where he gets strength from accidentally poking himself with a junkie's needle, is a corker.
Chaplin's early shorts always seem so messy. Yet so hilarious. I just saw this and The Cure (this was much better) and noticed I get the biggest laughs usually from the smallest details- a tiny nod, a blank stare, a flick of the foot.
The one in which our intrepid hero inventively uses a gas lamp to quell his bullying opponent.. A down-on-his-luck Charlie reluctantly becomes a policeman and is assigned to the rough-and-ready Easy Street neighbourhood where he hilariously encounters the towering figure of Campbell. Easily one of Chaplin's finest and most enduring shorts, the film walks a fine line between humour and pathos and succeeds admirably...