AN INTRODUCTION TO A DAY’S PLEASURE (1919)
A Day’s Pleasure was Charlie Chaplin’s fifth film for First National.
One of his shortest films, A Day’s Pleasure is just two reels long, lasting for approximately twenty minutes.
Chaplin does not play the tramp–instead taking the part of a husband taking his wife and two children out for a boat trip. Chaplin built up a series of mishaps for his character and others over the course of the short film, including a misfunctioning car, seasickness, a dispute with a jealous husband, angry motorists, a sticky time with a barrel of tar and a bad tempered cop.
The shooting of A Day’s Pleasure began on 30 June 1919 with the traffic jam scene. This scene was soon completed on 9 July. Chaplin’s first son, Norman Spencer Chaplin, was born on 7 July 1919 with severe disabilities that required urgent surgery. Tragically, Norman died on 10 July 1919 and the production of A Day’s Pleasure, or Chaplin’s Picnic as it was originally titled, was abandoned.
After significant pressure from the distribution company for the release of another Chaplin film, the production of A Day’s Pleasure was picked up once again. Chaplain rented a pleasure boat and all remaining filming was completed in just over a week.