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Mr. Smith, Barber (1912)

Smith was of a sporting turn of mind, but his wife kept him thoroughly under control. Still when a man decides to deceive his better half for the purpose of getting a night off with the ... See full summary »

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Anne Taylor ...
Mrs. Smith
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Elsie Godfrey
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Cyril Carson (as H.S. Mack)
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Smith was of a sporting turn of mind, but his wife kept him thoroughly under control. Still when a man decides to deceive his better half for the purpose of getting a night off with the boys, he is generally equal to the emergency. So when Smith received a message and note from the friend whom he was shaving that a good time awaited him at the Cozy Corner Club, he arranged with the said friend to send him, Smith, a bogus telegram calling him out of town. So Smith's wife dutifully saw hubby off to the depot and loyally returned to take Smith's place in the barber shop, whilst he was absent. A customer came in to be shaved. Mrs. Smith donned her husband's working jacket and before she had completed her task, accidentally placed her hand in the pocket of the jacket, and discovered, not the telegram, which called her husband away, but a note signed "Jessie," inviting Smith to take a friend to the Cozy Corner Club that night. Mrs. Smith thereupon resolved to see things through and chooses ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Comedy

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13 April 1912 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Released as a split reel along with the drama A Leap for Love (1912). See more »

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From Split Reel to Feature
1 April 2016 | by See all my reviews

John Cumpson wants to go out for a night on the town with his friend, but his wife won't let him. He fakes a telegram calling him to a funeral. When his wife finds out...

It's a very amusing split reel comedy from IMP (the precursor of Universal Pictures) that you can see for yourself on YouTube at the Eye Institute site. If you think you already know it, it may be that you have, or that you have seen the story used several times. It's best remembered as the plot for Laurel & Hardy's SONS OF THE DESERT. In this version, the tubby Cumpson is paired with the skinny Hayward Mack as the friend and Anne Taylor as the overbearing wife.

There is some nice elaboration, but the split reel length makes this version rather telegraphic. Still, it's interesting to see how a story like this evolves with the increasing length of movies.


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