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Lend Me Your Wife (1916)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Marcel Perez ...
Nilde Baracchi ...
(as Babette Perez)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rex Adams
Louise Carver
Tom Murray
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Storyline

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Release Date:

13 November 1916 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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The Museum of Modern Art in New York has a copy of this film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
At a Suitable Rate of Interest
11 September 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The title of this short pretty much sums up the plot: Perez stands to inherit a lot of money if he is married, so he asks fellow lineman Tom Murray and his wife, Babette Perez, to pretend she is married to Perez. As this is a comedy, you will not be surprised to discover this is not carried out successfully.

What is most interesting about this comedy is the way Perez -- who had been a tremendous comedy star in Italy as "Robinet" tries to marry his goofy, bonebreaking slapstick style to a more American venue. It's not terribly successful and Perez' character, "Tweedledum" strikes me as possessing the worse characteristics of Disney's Goofy and Art Carney's Ed Norton, but the physical gags are brilliant.

Perez' career in America would proceed erratically as he jumped from one company to another, until he lost a leg in 1922 -- probably due to a failed comedy stunt -- and he retreated behind the cameraman and died half a decade later. Because he kept changing names, it wasn't until recently that anyone connected all these performers and directors and realized they were one person. Steve Massa, whose book LAME BRAINS AND LUNATICS has a long chapter on Perez, thinks he's the next lost comic due for a major rediscovery. He may well be right.


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