IMDb > Cupid's Rival (1917)

Cupid's Rival (1917) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
1 July 1917 (USA) See more »
A bumbling janitor in a fleabag hotel drives the residents crazy, and a poor artist believes that his girlfriend is having an affair with a wealthy artist living across the hall, and takes unorthodox measures to find out what's going on. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
F Gwynplaine MacIntyre is right! See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)
Billy West ... Janitor
Mary Ross ... Janitor's wife (as Mary Taylor)

Oliver Hardy ... Poor Artist (as Babe Hardy)
Ethel Marie Burton ... Poor Artists' Sweetheart (as Ethel Burton)
Leo White ... Rich Artist
Bud Ross ... Bell Boy (as Budd Ross)
Ethelyn Gibson ... A Model (as Ethlyn Gibson)
Joe Cohen ... Landlord
Florence McLaughlin ... Dancer (as Florence McLoughlin)

Directed by
Arvid E. Gillstrom 
Produced by
Louis Burstein .... producer
Cinematography by
Herman Obrock Jr. 
Film Editing by
Ben H. Cohen 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:


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F Gwynplaine MacIntyre is right!, 15 September 2009
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

Considering that the review by R. Gwynplaine MacIntyre gives a lot of background material concerning Charlie Chaplin imitators, I won't bore you with much more information. Suffice to say that of all the Chaplin "imitators" (a nice way to say thieves), Billy West was one of the best because he managed to look almost exactly like Chaplin and he was a pretty good rough and tumble comic. But, as Mr. MacIntyre also points out, West's shorts usually were about on par with a bad Chaplin short. Now I have seen one or two examples of West's films where he actually was as good or possibly even better than the average Chaplin short--but this is certainly not one of them.

I should point out that this film is less a copy of a Chaplin short of the day than a copy of the type film Chaplin was making back in 1914 and 1915. By 1917, his style had definitely matured and is more like the Chaplin we think of today. In contrast, his 1914 and 1915 films were totally unscripted and often just degenerated to everyone kicking and hitting each other for cheap laughs. And, that is exactly what happens here--really, really cheap laughs through pure slapstick. This is the trifecta of slapstick, as there is kicking, slapping and the cliché of a guy wildly shooting off a gun at everyone.

The plot, thin as it is, finds Billy working at a hotel. There are a lot of gags involving a painter (Oliver Hardy) and the other guests at the hotel. Some work well (I loved the scene with Billy vacuuming as the model's sash gets caught in the machine) but most fall very, very flat (aside from the bonking and shooting, the painting bit worse thin very quickly).

Overall, a curiosity and not much more.

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