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The Matrimaniac (1916)

7.0
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A young couple attempts to elope, with the bride's irate father in hot pursuit. The train stops briefly and the young man dashes off to find a minister, but before he can get himself and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Wilbur Higby ...
Mr. Lewis - Marna's Father
Fred Warren ...
Clyde E. Hopkins ...
G. Walter Henderson (as Clyde Hopkins)
Winifred Westover ...
Hotel Maid
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Storyline

A young couple attempts to elope, with the bride's irate father in hot pursuit. The train stops briefly and the young man dashes off to find a minister, but before he can get himself and the minister onto the train, it leaves, carrying his bride-to- be away. Now the young man, minister in tow, pursues his bride while her father and a horde of lawmen pursue them both. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Release Date:

16 December 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El casamiento de Jimmie  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Young Doug in a jaunty, pleasant comedy
8 October 2002 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

Viewers who associate the name of Douglas Fairbanks with Robin Hood, D'Artagnan, and other swashbuckling roles may be surprised to learn that he started his movie career in a series of satirical light comedies. In these films Doug usually played a good-natured but trouble-prone young gentleman of the modern age, similar to the roles played a few years later by Harold Lloyd. One such comedy is the oddly titled The Matrimaniac, in which Doug spends almost the entire, brief running time desperately attempting to elope with pretty Constance Talmadge. Actually, Doug spends most of the running time running; and also leaping out of windows, on and off trains, climbing walls, and even sliding across telephone wires high overhead. This is a movie that MOVES!

The Matrimaniac wastes no time on exposition. We never learn anything about the young couple, such as how they met, what he does for a living, or why her father opposes the match. And after all, who cares? The story grabs our attention right away with the elopement sequence, then we're off and running (and leaping, climbing, etc.), with no time to think about any unnecessary stuff. Much of the humor in this film is comparatively understated, as when an explanatory title wryly complains that the lovers are violating the rules of romance by eloping through the front door in broad daylight. There's a nice running gag concerning the I.O.U.s Doug leaves all over the region, as he "borrows" various items needed to help in his pursuit of the girl. And happily, you won't find the strained puns or racial gags which mar so many comedies of the period.

Doug is very much the center of attention, but the supporting players deserve notice. Leading lady Connie Talmadge, perhaps best remembered as The Mountain Girl in Griffith's Intolerance, went on to have a substantial starring career of her own in the '20s, but unfortunately never played opposite Fairbanks again. Winifred Westover, seen here in a small but significant role as the hotel maid who helps the lovers triumph, later married Western star William S. Hart. And unsung character actor Fred Warren is quite sympathetic as the minister who is shanghaied to marry the two runaways. The poor guy gets dragged into the lovers' situation early on, when his bath is interrupted by an insistent Doug, then spends much of his time trying to keep up with the leading man. He's suffering from a head-cold, bewildered by all the frantic activity, and to top it off, thrown into jail! Warren is practically Doug's co-star in this film. His minister is the butt of much of the humor, but he proves to be a good sport about it all -- and he's well rewarded for his pains, in the end.

It's no masterpiece, but The Matrimaniac is lightly enjoyable and well worth seeing, and packs a lot of incident into its brisk 45-minute running time -- accent on "running."


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