By The Sea

By the Sea is a 1915 American comedy film Charlie Chaplin made while waiting for a studio to work in Los Angeles. He had just left Niles Essanay Studio after doing five films at that location. By the Sea was filmed all on location at Crystal Pier in April 1915. The story centers on Charlie’s Little Tramp character and how he gets into trouble trying to grab the attention of the ladies on the beach. Edna Purviance plays one of the wives in whom he shows interest. It is said to be the first film to incorporate the classic gag of a man slipping on a banana skin.

The Plot

Charlie is eating a banana while wandering along the seashore on the Crystal Pier. He nonchalantly throws the banana peel away and quickly slips on it. Shortly thereafter Charlie encounters a drunk. The two men argue over their hats which have blown off their heads in a heavy wind. They fight for a while but become weary of battling. They call a truce and agree to have ice cream cones together. However, an argument ensues over which man will pay for them. Their battle resumes. They smear the cones over each other–and over a six-foot dandy who standing at another counter. A second battle begins but Charlie slips away and starts flirting with the dandy’s sweetheart. At the end of the film Charlie is seated on a park bench surrounded by his enemies: the drunk who wants to continue their fight, the angry dandy, the drunk’s wife, and the dandy’s wife. Charlie cleverly tips the bench backwards, toppling everyone and allowing him to make a hasty escape on foot.

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