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The Max Linder Collection: Slapstick Symposium [DVD]

Release Date:05/27/2014
This release brings together three of influential silent-screen comedian Max Linder's movies. Included here are his 1921 films Be My Wife, and Seven Years Bad Luck, as well as the 1922 feature The Three Must-Get-Theres.
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    Be My Wife
    Although he had just recently returned to the United States and formed his own studio, comedian Max Linder's career was nearing an end. Here, he plays an eager suitor whose girlfriend (Alta Allen) has a stern and disapproving maiden aunt (Carolyn Rankin). The whole picture centers around Max's many attempts to win over the aunt, and the highlight is a scene in which he battles an imaginary intruder -- actually himself -- while his girl and aunt are shaking with fright in another room (Charley Chase later did something similar in his 1926 short, Mighty Like a Moose). After a number of other slapstick antics, a couple involving mice scurrying around in people's clothes, Max finally wins the girl. This feature was funny enough, although some of the jokes were on the musty side. But Linder had been so far surpassed by Charles Chaplin -- who he strongly influenced -- that this, and his other two 1921 pictures, paled in comparison. Soon after he completed these films, Linder would return to France where, in 1925, he would commit suicide. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Max Wants a Divorce
    This is one of several two-reelers Max Linder made for the Essanay studios in the wake of Charles Chaplin's departure. Here, the newly married Max finds out from his lawyer that his uncle has died and left him three million dollars -- providing that he stay single. He begs his wife to divorce him, and hires a co-respondent to give her cause. He asks a detective to come see him at a certain hour, when he plans to have the lady there. But the detective gets sidetracked while his wife, disguised as a maid, won't leave him alone. But it turns out that there was a mistake, and the uncle wanted Max to have the money only if he was married, so he was all right in the first place. While well-made, this and Linder's other Essanay films don't measure up to his classic earlier work. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Seven Years Bad Luck
    Seven Years Bad Luck is one of the few existing feature films starring top-hatted French farceur Max Linder. The story gets under way when Linder inadvertently breaks a mirror. Attempting to buck the consequences, superstitious Linder contrives to dispense with a full seven years' bad luck in a single day. The film is highlighted by a mirror routine borrowed from Chaplin's The Floorwalker (1916) and later repeated in the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup (1933). Made in Hollywood, Seven Years Bad Luck was Linder's next-to-last American effort; he returned to his native France in 1923, where he committed suicide two years later. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Three Must-Get-Theres
    The career of influential comedian Max Linder was nearing its end when he directed and starred in this burlesque of Douglas Fairbanks' Three Musketeers. As Dart-in-Again, Linder plays an hilarious spoof of the Fairbanks character. He is a peasant's son who rides his donkey, Jazbo, to Paris to make his fortune. Upon his arrival, he meets the three Must-Get-Theres -- Walrus (Jack Richardson), Octopus (Charles Metzetti) and Porpoise (Clarence Werpz). They all battle the forces of the evil Duke of Rich-Lou (Bull Montana). Dart-in-Again comes to the aid of the Queen (Catherine Rankin), and her seamstress, Connie (Jobyna Ralston, Harold Lloyd's future co-star). He retrieves the Queen's brooch from her lover, Bunkumin (Harry Mann) and saves her honor. For his heroic acts, Dart-In-Again is rewarded by the King (Frank Cooke), who makes him a full member of the Must-Get-Theres. He also weds Connie and all ends well. Unfortunately, things didn't end so well for Linder in real life -- three years later, he and his wife would commit suicide because his career was in a shambles. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Max Linder
      Max Linder
    • Alta Allen
      Alta Allen
    • Image coming soon
      Caroline Rankin

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.