Pay Day by Charles Chaplin

Music composed by Charles Chaplin (1972), Musical associate: Eric James
Restored for live performance by Timothy Brock (2004)

For its 100th anniversary in 2022, in collaboration with Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, we are presenting a new 4K restoration of Pay Day from laboratory Immagine Ritrovata for screenings with live orchestras playing Timothy Brock’s beautiful score adaptation.


Released between The Kid and The Pilgrim, Charlie Chaplin’s Pay Day (1922) is often overshadowed his by earlier and later works. It is however a simple, delightful comedy, unusually casting the tramp character as a working man. His virago wife, played by the veteran expert in such roles, Phyllis Allen, awaits her deceiving husband’s pay day and subsequent late night return home with rolling pin held aloft, although hen-pecked Charlie is hilariously ingenious in his attempts to thwart her.

The film is divided into distinct “acts”. In the first part Charlie is seen as a workman on a building site (shot on location on a new building in construction close to the studio) pining over the boss’s daughter, and having difficulties with an elevator which at least has a delightful habit of delivering other people’s lunch to him. The fantastic scene in which Chaplin’s brother Sydney throws Charlie bricks to pile up on a scaffolding is a credit to both brothers’ music hall training and skills, and to Rollie Totheroh’s trick camera work.

The second “act” shows the workman on a night out and gives Chaplin the possibility for a drunk act of the kind that brought him fame in the English music halls before his cinematic career. In the finale, he returns home in the small hours and tries to hide from his wife by sleeping in the bathtub – in spite of the fact that it is full of washing.

Technical Specifications


Listen to the entire original soundtrack here. Please note that this differs somewhat from the score and parts you will receive for performance as the music has been adapted to fit the film at its original running speed, and to avoid some repetition.

Trailer of Pay Day

Listen to the Music

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