Works by Ford Sterling (8)

An Interrupted Elopement

Maybe “Helen's Marriage” was a smash hit, because just three months later Mabel and Edward Dillon were at it again. Though this one is helped a bit by Ford Sterling hamming it up as usual, it's still mainly for collectors.

The Water Nymph

Seems like some footage may be missing because in the first scene Sennett gives Mabel a ring and a kiss, in the next scene he's crying with suitcase in hand, surrounded by his parents - but the reason is never revealed. In the next scene he tells Mabel to vamp the father - again, no reason given. Seems possible that this is a story of forbidden love, with the vamp used as blackmail. But this is never even hinted at - and Keystone did not build its comedic reputation on subtlety. So this ends up as mainly a showcase for Mabel's diving stunts, with help from Ford Sterling's tits-up-butt-out shtick.

A Grocery Clerk's Romance

A parody that's light on comedy, but turns a number of stock devices on their heads in just eight minutes. Unlike the numerous intemperance stories that purport to show “What Drink Did” to “Les Victimes De L'alcoolisme”, i.e. happy families torn into misery, this begins with the alcoholic slacker's family already unhappy, though still intact. In “L'Assommoir” the laundress is first abandoned when her husband runs off with another woman, then rescued by The Good Guy. Here it is The Good Guy, instead of a woman, that is splitting the laundress from her husband - and comically sabotaging a race-to-the-rescue along the way. While other intemperance tales end tragically, here the family's miserable life simply goes on as before - an ending less dramatic, more realistic.