"Easy Street" (film) is Released

Easy Street is a 1917 short comedy film by Charlie Chaplin.

In the film, the police are failing to maintain law and order and so it is Chaplin, as the Little Tramp character, who steps forward (rather reluctantly) to rid the street of bullies, help the poor, save women from madmen and generally keep the peace.

As the story begins, the Little Tramp is sleeping rough outside a mission near the streets of a lawless slum. He is reformed somewhat at a Mission where there is singing and religious education. His religious awakening inspired by a beautiful young woman who pleads for him to stay at the Mission.

Spotting a help wanted ad for a job at the police station, Chaplin hesitantly accepts and is assigned the rough-and-tumble Easy Street as his beat. Upon entering the street, he finds a bully, roughing up the locals and pilfering their money. Chaplin gets on the wrong side of this bully and following a chase the two eventually come to blows, culminating in Chaplin inventively using a gas lamp, to render the bully unconscious. The film continues with Chaplin aiding the people of Easy Street, rescuing a damsel in distress from the clutches of a sinister drug addict and putting the bully in his place once and for all.

If there is one human type more than any other that the whole wide world has it in for, it is the policeman type. Of course, the policeman isn’t really to blame for the public prejudice against his uniform — it’s just the natural human revulsion against any sort of authority — but just the same everybody loves to see the copper get it where the chicken got the axe.”

— Charlie Chaplin