Reformers, The; or, The Lost Art of Minding One's Business (1913)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Funny short from Biograph and Griffith about a happy family: the father (Charles Hill Mailes), the mother (Jennie Lee), the son (Robert Harron) and the daughter (Mae Marsh), which gets turned upside down after the father is asked to run for Mayor by the League of Civic Purity. This group is full of angry men and women who believe the world should be cleaned up under the rules they create. These rules include no drinking, no dancing, no Shakespeare and various other things. This is certainly another sly commentary on American life by the director and he captures some very nice humor throughout the film. There's no doubt these type of groups were around in 1913 since they are still around today and the way Griffith shows them as hypocrites is very well handled. The film certainly has a message in it and the message still holds up very well today. Both Harron and Marsh are very good in the film as is Mailes as the Mayor who lets the purity go to his head.
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