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Nigel De Brulier
To me, this movie was highly reminiscent of a Harold Lloyd or Buster Keaton film, though with fewer laughs. Now this ISN'T to say it wasn't funny or was a bad film--but the number and intensity of the laughs was lower than other similar films. And the reason it looked a lot like a film by these other comedians is that Max Linder originated so many of the comedy routines we took for granted in films by later comedians--such as the mirror gag that was copied in DUCK SOUP (1933). Also, in the scenes where Max steps on and off the train so acrobatically are exactly the sort of thing I would expect Keaton or perhaps Chaplin to do. Chaplin himself credits much of his success to things he learned by watching early Linder films, though by the time he made it to Hollywood, Linder's film apparently lost a lot of their frenetic spark.
This film ostensibly is about Max breaking a mirror and trying to avoid bad luck--though everything he did only made things worse. While a promising premise, the movie really seemed to lose direction and the original plot is seldom in evidence later in the film. Some very good and interesting moments, but a lackluster and vague plot didn't help this movie. Still, it is nice to see Linder in a full-length film and it is well worth seeing for its finer moments. to highlight Linder's talents.
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