As Mabel is in the park with her over-protective mother, she sees her boyfriend and asks him to join them. When the couple slips away to be by themselves, a thief steals Mabel's mother's ...
See full summary »
A Slavonic Mass by Leos Janácek plays as historical figures, biblical characters, and mythical creatures gather in the pleasure dome. Aphrodite, Lilith, Isis, Kali, Astarte, Nero, Pan, and ... See full summary »
Samson De Brier,
A happy young couple become engaged, and soon afterwards they are married. But after their marriage, the husband begins to stay out carousing with his friends, leaving his wife at home with... See full summary »
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle,
Two brothers Tony and Michael follow different paths of life: Tony collects debts for local gangster Vinny and Michael is a baker. Tony's new girlfriend Trish devises a plan that will let ... See full summary »
Pierrot waxes romantic, entranced by the moon. Harlequin appears and bullies him, then uses a magic lantern to project an image of Columbine. Pierrot tries to court the illusory Columbine ... See full summary »
A voice occasionally says a word or two: "on the sidewalk" or "lithium" or a woman's name. A hand-held camera frames parts of sculptures, or moves across their surfaces, sometimes slowly, ... See full summary »
As Mabel is in the park with her over-protective mother, she sees her boyfriend and asks him to join them. When the couple slips away to be by themselves, a thief steals Mabel's mother's watch. While the mother is trying to get help from a policeman, the thief encounters Mabel and her boyfriend. Soon a complicated situation develops. Written by
Wished on Mabel is a pleasant ensemble piece set entirely in a park. It features two of Keystone's most popular stars, Mabel Normand and Roscoe Arbuckle, though neither one dominates the proceedings. They play a pair of happy young lovers, enjoying a day outside with Mabel's mother. Early on they're harassed by a persistent bumblebee (which results in a memorably funny close-up of Mabel looking cross-eyed as the bee lights on her nose), but otherwise everything is peachy, at least at first. Complications set in when a watch is stolen from Mabel's mother; confusion escalates and the watch changes hands several times before the matter is resolved.
The ensemble work in this film is a treat for silent comedy buffs: the thief who swipes the watch is played by Joe Bordeaux, a supporting player who appeared in many of Arbuckle's comedies but seldom so prominently featured as he is here. Bordeaux is pursued by perennial cop Edgar Kennedy, best remembered as a latter-day foil for Laurel & Hardy, still quite young and athletic in 1915 and not so bald as he would become. It's Kennedy the Cop who sets this little saga in motion, indirectly anyhow, by rousting the sleeping Bordeaux from a park bench (so that he can stretch out himself, naturally), prompting the watch-grabbing crime spree. Along the way we get a quick look at Glen Cavender, who would go on to play the chief Union spy in Buster Keaton's The General, among many other roles.
Viewers unfamiliar with Keystone comedies may be surprised at how quickly the characters resort to violence: Kennedy the Cop swings his billy club with abandon, not only at Bordeaux but at an innocent bystander, while Mabel rebuffs Bordeaux's mild advances with several swift punches. Still, this comedy is less violent than others the stars made at the time, and the tone is generally light-hearted. Both Roscoe and Mabel did more memorable work elsewhere, but it's a pleasure to see them looking so sprightly and happy as they do here. Wished on Mabel is a pleasant romp, not hilarious but less frantic than some of the other Keystones, and certainly worthwhile for silent comedy fans.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?