Cassius Lee (Fairbanks) is titled as an FFV. For non-Americans, this means First Families of Virginia. According to Wikipedia, the Lees were at the core of Virginian aristocracy for centuries. The car which Percy drives appears to be a Stutz 1912 racer (though the IMCarDb lists it as "unknown". The seaplane appears to be a Curtiss Type F, and the torpedo boat destroyer (no 36) was USN Patterson, in commission 1911-1919. Milwaukee, where the Budhausers came from, was a centre of the US brewing industry. See more »
The US business 'aristicracy' - and a 'bug-hunter'!
First, this wonderful old comedy 'introduces' us to the high-nosed, gossiping and bored 'high society' of early 20th century businessmen and their wives, who've got nothing to do but counting their money and boasting with their inventions - like 'hatpin king' Hicks, who invented the 'hatpin with the hump'; an enormous achievement for mankind, of course... While his daughter Geraldine isn't only bored by her life, but also looking for a REAL man; because guys like Percy, the malted milk big shot who is after her, in fact are nothing else but lazy braggarts.
And THEN, of course, we meet the TOTAL contrast to all this dullness: our hero Doug Fairbanks alias Cassius Lee, an entomologist (or just plain bug-hunter), who runs carefreely and cheerfully through the fields, jumps fences and climbs trees in search for some rare insect - and as fate would have it, Geraldine and her friends happen to pass him by in their car; and she'd announced to them earlier that she was SO bored that she'd kiss the first man she'll see... Which she does - and Cassius, completely perplexed, has been bitten by the love-bug! But what chance is there for a 'simple' scientist to get into the 'American Aristocracy'? He isn't even admitted to the big seaside hotel dance without an invitation... He gets in, though, by his usual way of climbing walls - but is shown very soon very clearly that he's an 'unwanted person' in those circles; although Geraldine remembers him and seems to develop quite a liking for him... And he also makes the acquaintance of Percy, who, being rejected constantly by Geraldine because he never DOES anything but making money, believes that he can use this dashing, athletic, fearless young fellow as a 'double' to show the girl what a 'great' sportsman he is. And Cassius, in urgent need of money, accepts willingly - but he soon finds out that Percy has got a dark secret...
This wonderfully light comedy was a perfect vehicle back in 1916 for the rising star Doug Fairbanks, and of course his hilarious antics amuse and impress us just the same today; but it's also a movie of almost historical interest: we get a VERY good glimpse into the world of haughty pre-WWI business big shots: the "American Aristocracy"!
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