Works, By Duration: 6-15 minutes (148)

Total: 347 works

The Cruel Mother (La marâtre/The Stepmother)

Relax - it's not an attack on motherhood. It's just another shot at the traditional whipping post: the stepmother. No new ground covered here, as everyone who's been subjected to fairy tales learned that stepmothers are evil (usually long before learning what the word 'stepmother' means). But be warned that the child beating scenes are not for the squeamish.

The Truth Behind the Ape-Man (La vérité sur l'homme-singe)

Notable for an early use of inter-cutting for comic effect (in a running gag), and the manic performance of the uncredited lead as ape-man (shades of Harpo). Also impressed by how efffective the wordless storytelling was. Or maybe not: almost all the online reviews I read were either baffled or off the mark. But if you're feeling the need for clues, there's a detailed breakdown at:

The Policemen's Little Run (La course des sergents de ville)

Dog goes for sausage, police go after dog.

The Doctor's Bride/An Evil Thought Thwarted

Geezer Alert! Next time you old farts are out cruising for young hotties, carry along this flick to show her why a boring bourgeois baldy's better than a hot young hunk. Guaranteed to thwart her evil thoughts - and let you put yours in action. Or at least give you both a good laugh.

The Surprises of a Flirtation (Les surprises de l'amour)

A father and two sons pursue the same dame. Even though this release date is not in Linder's early period, this is not Max, the dapper and loveable upper-class twit.

Romeo Turns Bandit (Roméo Se Fait Bandit)

Romeo hires bandits to kidnap Juliet and capture her father. Move on folks, nothing to see here.

Drunkard's Child

Smelly old geezer flashes fat cash to lure a young boy. Then, when boy's mom croaks, he seizes the opportunity to bumrush dad from his own house and snatch the boy. Finally, dad gets snuffed out when geezer's crony pumps lead into dad's back, and authorities bestow blessings on the snatch&snuff - with no one once bothering to ask the kid what he would like. Stats: in this under-7 minutes short, the serial flasher flashes his wallet 3 times. Good clean family fun film.

The Little Vixen (Petite Rosse)

Max must learn to juggle three balls to win a mischievous maid. Includes one of the craziest of the Crazy Max dances. The title of this print "Max Jongleur par Amour (Juggling for Love)" is probably a re-release title, for there is no film with that title in the Pathe catalog. The description of the plot, down to the wording of the intertitles, identifies it as "Petite rosse". The film was originally also released in Pathecolor.

Max's First Job (Les débuts de Max au cinématographe)

Max applies for a job as an actor, and perfectly captures that mix of jitters and groveling that marks any job-seeker.

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.

Troubles Of A Grasswidower (Vive La Vie de Garçon)

Max has a wife who tires of his annoying behavior and returns to her mother. At first, Max is quite pleased to have the house all to himself. But he quickly discovers that even the most basic domestic chores can be fraught with difficulty. Introduces the Crazy Max dance

Custody Of The Child (Possession de l'enfant)

Mom and Dad head to Splitsville, for unspecified reasons, but we see that while Mom begs for a second chance, Pops says no dice - which suggests deep mistrust may be an obstacle to reconcilement. We also note that, after the split, neither has a live-in lover. A relatively mature portrait (that doesn't place blame) of the pain of divorce on a child who makes it clear he wants both parents, on a mother who is cut off from the child and put out of the home with no financial support nor support from her family, and on a father who has money and authority, yet is helpless in his struggle to ease his child's suffering.

The Unexpected Guest

Though we see the unexpected guest two years after its conception was hinted at, making it at least 15 months old, it appears to be still an infant!