Mabel's Dramatic Career

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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.

Online: Internet Archive


The False Max Linder (Un idiot qui se croit Max Linder)

Tries, but fails, to be an imitation Max. Samples "Max Pedicure". Ironic movie posters (for actual movies) suggest a possible subtext of the film. One is titled "Le duel de Max (Max and His Rival)" from 1913. When the imposter takes off the current poster, a poster is revealed for another Pathé Frères film: "La rançon de Rigadin (1914)" starring Charles Prince, whose "Rigadin" character was the only film comic that rivalled Max in popularity (and sometimes both used the same scenario: e.g., The Lady Doctor, and Courting Two Lovers). Was this film a sly putdown in a 1914 hiphop-style battle?