From the standpoint of laughs this two-reel Chaplin-Mutual is about the funniest turned out by the new Mutual during the entire time the comedian has been with it. It is a combination of all the surefire laugh getters that Chaplin has ever used with a couple of added starters for good measure. But it sure is a picture that will bring the laughs so fast one must figure what there is for Chaplin to follow it with. Chaplin starts out as an escaped convict, opportunity for chase stuff, and there are a few new wrinkles in the hunt along the beach by the prison guards. The up and down the path chase, the climb up the side of a cliff and the trapping of Chaplin in a cave and his escape all brought laughs, but it was not until he ingratiated himself into the family of the Judge that sent him away, by rescuing the wife and daughter from a watery grave, attended by the usual comedy stunts, that the real laughs began. The big scream occurs when Chaplin spills a dish of ice cream into the front of his trousers while sitting on the balcony of the Judge's home with the latter's daughter (the other guests beingseated below). Chaplin in shaking the cream down his trouser‘s leg lets it fall through a space in the floor and onto the back of one of the grande dames in agown very much decollete. As the ice slips down her back and disappears into the folds of her dress the audience almost bursts with laughter. There are the usual fill-ins with the drinks and the dance floor stuff which bring a fewlaughs, finally a chase when the prison guards discover their man is at the Judge's house. Chaplin makes excellent use of a funny piece of business with afolding door, but finally escapes while the chief warder releases hold to shakehands with a pretty girl the comedian introduces. Chaplin does not rely on his hop, skip, jump, run, nor bis moustache tricks in this picture. His shoes are not the usual Chaplin footgear, and the cane is also missing; but Chaplin without them is funnier than ever.
Fred. in Variety,26.10.1917
Restored by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, with support from the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation.