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Fox Trot Finesse (1915)

Ferdie's wife is fox-trot crazy, wanting to go dancing all the time. To get out of it, Ferdie fakes an ankle injury. When his wife spies him walking without his crutch, she writes a letter ... See full summary »

Director:

Sidney Drew (uncredited)

Writer:

Maurice Morris
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Drew ... Ferdie Crosby
Mrs. Sidney Drew ... Ferdie's Wife - Eva
Ethel Lee Ethel Lee ... Ferdie's Mother-in-Law - Mrs. U. Newit
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Storyline

Ferdie's wife is fox-trot crazy, wanting to go dancing all the time. To get out of it, Ferdie fakes an ankle injury. When his wife spies him walking without his crutch, she writes a letter to her stern mother, inviting her to stay with them while Ferdie heals. Rather than face his mother-in-law, Ferdie admits he was faking his injury, and tears up the letter. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1915 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Foxtrot Finesse See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
If TV had been around in 1915, sitcoms would've looked like this
12 May 2002 | by wmorrow59See all my reviews

Fox Trot Finesse is a pleasant, straightforward comedy short that stars a married couple who billed themselves as Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew. He came from the Barrymore/Drew clan, and had a background on the stage; she was a scenarist and film actress. The movie's plot, as outlined above, might sound like an early version of the domestic TV sitcoms that would become so familiar (and tiresome, eventually) in the 1950's and '60s, and I suppose it amounts to little more than that, and yet the film has a touch of charm all its own, attributable mainly to the leads.

Sidney Drew certainly doesn't look like a comedian: he's a hollow- eyed, wizened little man with a hawk nose who chain-smokes throughout the movie, and looks much older than his 52 years -- closer to 72. And yet his wry expressions, pained looks and brief moments of triumph are funny and winning, maybe because we don't expect this Woodrow Wilson look-alike to be so lively. Drew's wife, whose name was Lucille McVey, was considerably younger, plump but pretty, and played off her husband with skill and grace. This plot suits their age difference, too: all she wants to do is dance, while he just wants peace and quiet and another cigarette. Drew's weariness appears genuine, but he reveals an impish streak in his clever ploy to avoid dancing; Lucy Ricardo couldn't have done it better. There's also a nice trick shot involving Mr. Drew's formidable mother-in-law who materializes as a ghostly image, to his horror.

The dance mania theme was surely a topical joke aimed at the contemporary ballroom dancing craze, inspired by another married show biz couple, Vernon & Irene Castle. The source of the satire is now long forgotten, but Fox Trot Finesse remains surprisingly fresh and amusing.


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