Plot: A drunk (Charlie Chaplin) has taken a cab ride, but still barely manages to stumble home. Now he just wants to sleep off the rest of the alcoholic experience, which means he just needs to reach his bed and fall into it. Of course, when you’re drunk and barely able to stand, even moving through your own home can be a challenge, as the poor souse soon learns. The house becomes an obstacle course of sorts, where simple chairs or tables are adversaries to the drunk, as these objects seem to block him from his goal, one after the other. Can the drunk somehow reach the warm embrace of his bed and get the sleep he wants so badly and if so, will the bed itself prove to be the final obstacle in his path to unconscious bliss?
Entertainment Value: This Mutual Film short is an interesting one for Charlie Chaplin, as it is a one man show, aside from a brief Albert Austin appearance at the short’s start. I don’t think anyone would doubt Chaplin’s solo abilities, but an entire short on his own adds some curio value, to be sure. I love how Chaplin plays off his costars, especially the heavies, but that kind of vibe is still present in One A.M., even if his costars are of a different stripe here. Chaplin battles all kinds of foes, but they’re inanimate objects, rather than human costars. As a drunk desperate to sleep, his clashes with tables, beds, and even stuffed animals are quite hilarious and he makes even those household items seem alive with humor here. This is just under half an hour of pure slapstick, physical humor from one of the masters, with one hilarious set piece after another and Chaplin in fine form.