63. A Dog's Life (1918)

First National 1918-23

Film still for A Dog's Life


Charlie (the tramp) is sleeping rough by a fence in town, as is Scraps, his canine equivalent. Charlie steals hot dogs from a vendor until he is spotted by a policeman. Evading the law, he looks for work at the employment office but the competition is fierce and he is persistently pushed to the end of the queue.

Outside again, Charlie and Scraps search for food. The dog gets into trouble with a gang of dogs raiding a butcher's shop. He is rescued by Charlie and a friendship develops. Outside a lively dance hall Charlie pinches food from a lunch wagon and again succeeds in escaping the policeman's attentions even when the owner hits Charlie on the head with a German sausage. He makes himself scarce by going into the Green Lantern, a dance hall, where he has to hide Scraps in his trousers. The tail however, sticks out from a tear in the cloth. As Charlie sits next to the drummer in the band, the dog's tail beats the drum. The raucous act on stage is replaced by Edna, an ingénue singing a heartrending ballad, which reduces the audience to tears.

Edna (off-stage) inexpertly attempts to flirt with Charlie, obliging him to buy a drink. They dance but he is thrown out for having no money. Thieves at work in the Green Lantern hide a stolen wallet in Charlie's outdoor sleeping place. Scraps digs it up, gives it to Charlie and Charlie returns to the dance hall to find Edna, who has just been fired for not bringing in the clients. He describes to her the idyllic country life they can start with the money, but at that moment the thieves arrive and reclaim their loot. Charlie is thrown out of the Green Lantern again but sneaks back in. He knocks one of the villains out cold and inserting his own arms through those of the unconscious man, proceeds to relieve the other villain of half the money and knock him out too. Charlie runs for it and takes refuge in the lunch wagon outside. When he is cornered he gives the wallet to Scraps who takes it to Edna. The police arrive and arrest the thieves. We next see Charlie planting seeds in a field and a happy Edna calling him in for dinner. They look fondly at a cradle, which contains Scraps and a litter of puppies.


Charles Chaplin (Tramp)
Edna Purviance (Bar Singer)
Mut (Scraps)
Sydney Chaplin (Lunch Wagon Owner)
Henry Bergman (Man in Employment Agency and Lady in Dance Hall)
Charles Riesner (Clerk in Employment Agency and Drummer)
Albert Austin (Crook)
Tom Wilson (Policeman)
M. J. McCarty (Unemployed Man)
Mel Brown (Unemployed Man)
Charles Force (Unemployed Man)
Bert Appling (Unemployed Man)
Thomas Riley (Unemployed Man)
Slim Cole (Unemployed Man)
Ted Edwards (Unemployed Man)
Louis Fitzroy (Unemployed Man)
Dave Anderson (Unemployed Man)
Granville Redmond (Proprietor of Dance Hall)
Minnie Chaplin (Dramatic Lady in Dance Hall)
Alf Reeves (Man at Bar)
N. Tahbel (Hot Tamaly Man)
Rob Wagner (Man in Dance Hall)
1. S. McVey (Musician)
J. F. Parker (Musician)
AI Blake
Loyal Underwood
James T. Kelley
Fred Starr
Janet Miller Sully
Grace Wilson (Mrs Tom Wilson)
Jerry Ferragoma
Jack Duffy, Richard Dunbar, Edward Miller, Billy Dul, Bruce Randall, Brand O'Ree, Bill White, John Lord, Jim O'Niall, H. C. Simmons, J. L. Fraube, Jim Habif, Florence Parellee, Miss Cullington, Margaret Dracup, Ella Eckhardt, Sarah Rosenberg, Lottie Smithson, Lillian Morgan, Jean Johnson, Fay Holderness, Dorothy Cleveland, J. Miller, Minnie Eckhardt, Mrs Rigoletti. (People in Dance Hall)
Production started:
15 January 1918
Production finished:
9 April 1918
14 April 1918
2674 ft