Seven Years Bad Luck

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Max breaks a mirror, then tries to avoid bad luck, but makes things worse. First of Linder's three full-length feature films made in USA.

Online: Internet Archive

That Was Then...

Cécile Guyon Cécile Guyon laughing
Cécile Guyon in Max Speaks English (1914)

The leading ladies of Max Linder's French films displayed a formidable screen presence that not only transcended their limited roles, but also transcends time: fashions change, but style is ageless.

...This Is Now

With some (relatively mild) darky humor, a cop chase, and a Mary Pickford-wannabe (Max's strangest looking love interest since "In Love With The Bearded Woman"), this was an obvious effort to climb aboard the American comedy gravy train.

Mary Pickford-wannabe
It's "America's Sweetheart", "The Girl with the Curls": Alta Allen (wait - who??)
Santa's helper knocked up
Some elf is left shoeless, and Santa Claus is missing his maternity dress
Barnyard Betty in her sack
The good news is that Barnyard Betty soon loses that sack on her back

A bit sad to see a unique talent reduced to imitating a simpler style, in a doomed attempt not to be left behind (like a great bebopper playing top-40). Watching the dapper Max on screen first lose his suitcase, then his wallet, and ending in jail as the scratch-bitch for a fleabag thug, we can only wonder what Linder felt about his own off-screen fortunes as he penned this tale of decline.


Max Is Stuck Up (Max Ne Se Mariera Pas)

Max has an important dinner date, but things get a bit sticky. In other comedies, the fly paper gag felt more frustrating than funny. But the humor here lies in Max's attempts to hide his difficulties, which just compounds the problem - a core trait of Max.