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Max Wants a Divorce (1917)

Max gets into trouble at the altar. He has just kissed his bride when he espies over her shoulder a pretty girl sitting in a front pew. Max cannot help giving her a wink. His bride sees him... See full summary »

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Max
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Max's Wife (as Martha Early)
Ernest Maupain

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Storyline

Max gets into trouble at the altar. He has just kissed his bride when he espies over her shoulder a pretty girl sitting in a front pew. Max cannot help giving her a wink. His bride sees him. They continue the battle in their honeymoon apartment. After all the furniture is broken up they decide to break up housekeeping, even before they have started. Mrs. Max agrees that her flirtatious spouse shall compromise himself with the girl in the pew so she can get a divorce. Max leases an apartment, invites the girl to meet him there, then tips off Mrs. Max to raid them with detectives. But Max and the girl mistake the apartment and get into a private sanitarium for lunatics. The professor chucks them into padded cell No. 89 with a dozen crazy people. Mrs. Max and her detectives make the same mistake. All of them come face to face in No. 89. The girl berates Max for getting her into such a mess. Max and his bride look at each other, then at the crazy people. They decide life might be worse ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Comedy

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26 March 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Max Linder vil skilles  »

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1.33 : 1
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This film was previously thought lost, but a print has since been discovered. See more »

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Max's American Debut
17 February 2009 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

After Charlie Chaplin left Essannay, they needed a new comedy superstar and who but Max Linder, who had been France's leading comedy movie star -- and the world's -- for ten years? So Max left Paris and came to Chicago. Here in Max's second American film, we can see him adapting his style from the realistic French style to a more American style.

The plot is simple and the complications amusing: Max stands to inherit seven million dollars if he is not married. So he tells his bride they have to get a divorce until the money comes through. In order to get a divorce, though, they need a cause, so Max arranges an assignation and for a private detective to show up. In the meantime, the apartment he has taken is at the back of an insane asylum and his wife disguises herself as the maid in order to make sure no funny business really takes place....

The entire situation is far more slapstick than Max usually indulged in, but he is certainly up to the task, behaving just as Charley Chase would a decade later in his great series for Roach. Plus Max manages to insert a few beautiful shots, including a lovely silhouette. If the series was not as successful as had been hoped, this is still a fine two-reeler.


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