There are two very distinct halves to this film and I believe that the first half is amongst Chaplin’s best Essanay work to date. Having come off In the Park which was fast and a little bit messy, the first half of A Jitney Elopement was surprisingly slow, calm and more reminiscent of his later feature films. The second half though features a full on frenetic car chase which takes place in and around San Francisco and makes this Chaplin’s most sprawling film to date. The title incidentally comes from the type of vehicle that the couple attempt to run away in – a kind of shared taxi.
Friday, 8 June 2012
Edna (Edna Purviance) has been betrothed to a rich Count by her father (Ernest Van Pelt) but she already has a secret love, The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin). Edna persuades her love to save her and he impersonates the Count at tea with Edna and her father. Once the Count (Leo White) turns up with his fantastical facial hair The Tramp is thrown out. Later in a park the foursome come together again and the two young lovers attempt to elope in an act that brings about a prolonged car chase.