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American Aristocracy (1916)

A young man fights to overcome a piratical arms smuggler and to win the heart of a rich man's daughter.




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Cast overview:
Cassius Lee
Geraldine Hicks
C.A. de Lima ...
Leander Hicks (as Charles De Lima)
Albert Parker ...
Percy Horton
Delgado (as Arthur Ortego)


A young man fights to overcome a piratical arms smuggler and to win the heart of a rich man's daughter.

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Release Date:

12 November 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikanische Aristokratie  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The car that Percy drives appears to be a 1912 Stutz racer (though the IMCarDb lists it as "unknown"). See more »

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User Reviews

This one holds up very well.
6 March 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While Douglas Fairbanks is often known for his athletic prowess and adventure movies like "The Thief of Bagdad", "Robin Hood" and "Zorro", he also had a nice penchant for comedy. Though most of his surviving films are of the former type, a few comedies exist today—and "American Aristocracy" manages to merge BOTH genres into one! The film begins by making fun of all the rich industrialists' wives and how they view themselves as being much like European royalty. However, these families who live and vacation in luxury all made their fortunes through manufacturing things like chewing gum, hair pins and the like—yet they put on airs and behave as if they are somehow better than others.

Into this snobbish society comes Cassius (Fairbanks)—an entomologist who is not a part of this genteel world. But he wants to be accepted and tries very hard to crash society—mostly because he's infatuated with the fair Geraldine. His chance comes when Percy gets Cassius to pretend to be him. And, when Cassius drives fast cars and flies airplanes, Percy's friends all thing he is something else! However, Geraldine isn't so easily fooled and slowly falls for Cassius.

While the film had mostly been a romantic comedy up to this point, the plot turns quickly. You learn that Percy is evil—and secretly running gunpowder to the Central Powers (i.e., Germany and the other nations fighting the US during WWI). When Cassius finds out, he becomes a bit of an action hero—not just to save America, apple pie and democracy but because Geraldine and her father have been kidnapped by Percy and his baddies. Can Cassius somehow fight the forces of not niceness and save the day AND the girl? What do you think?! The film is a very nice balance between comedy, romance and amazing athleticism. As always, Fairbanks is clearly doing his own stunts and watching him running, leaping and nearly breaking his neck is quite exciting. A well-crafted film as well, this one has stood up well with time.

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