Works by Ford Sterling (4)

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.

Mabel's Dramatic Career

Mack Sennett stars as a bumpkin who courts, then quickly dumps, his klutzy housemaid, played by Mabel Normand. The maid later finds success on screen - in Keystone comedies! Sennett assembled a fine cast: Mabel's comic mug (above) and nicely timed pratfalls are enough to carry the comedy by itself, but she gets ample help from Ford Sterling's wacky comic moves. The Keystone-within-a-Keystone is a clever touch that's more realistic than the similar scene in `The False Max Linder`. Unfortunately, Sennett's performance seems amateurishly overacted and drags the pace down. Thankfully, Sennett didn't star in many more of his comedies after this.