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Fatty and Mabel Adrift (1916)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Short | 9 January 1916 (USA)
The beach front house, where Fatty and Mabel live, has been "launched" out to sea by the villains. When Fatty and Mabel arise, they find the beds floating in a sea of water.
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Cast

Cast overview:
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ... Fatty
Mabel Normand ... Mabel
Al St. John ... Hiram Perkins' Son
Frank Hayes ... Mabel's Father
Mai Wells Mai Wells ... Mabel's Mother (as May Wells)
Wayland Trask Wayland Trask ... Brutus Bombastic - Chief Criminal
Glen Cavender ... I. Landem - Realtor
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Storyline

The beach front house, where Fatty and Mabel live, has been "launched" out to sea by the villains. When Fatty and Mabel arise, they find the beds floating in a sea of water. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

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Plot Keywords:

character name in title | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Concrete Biscuits See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Keystone Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The opening credits site Teddy the Keystone Dog as appearing in the film although it is in fact Luke (dog of Roscoe Arbuckle and Minta Durfee) who appears in the film. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Bed Time
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the 1960s, Castle Films released a truncated version of this film to the pre-VCR home market under the title Concrete Biscuits. Running approximately 5 minutes, the film features the famous hard biscuits scene and ends with Fatty and his dog chasing a man down the beach. See more »

Connections

Edited into When Comedy Was King (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love in a Malibu cottage
17 December 2016 | by ducatic-82290See all my reviews

This film must rate as one of the best in the Fatty and Mabel series. Fatty Arbuckle plays his usual overgrown clumsy self and Mabel N is – well – Mabel. Connoisseurs of Mabel will note that Miss Keystone is particularly alluring in this picture, in which she sports especially long banana curls. Al St. John provides the villainy and much of the comedy in his own zany style.

Fatty and Mabel are again country kids living an idyllic life down on the farm, with Mabel's parents, Mai Wells and Frank Hays. Idealism is catered for by the numerous domestic animals around the place – a Keystone staple. Al enters the film as the neighbor's son, eager to have Mabel's hand in marriage. It appears, though, that the sweet girl is betrothed to Fatty, and Mabel's parents send the stupid lad off with a series of oaths echoing in his ears. Al is livid and tearful, but hangs around the farmyard until he accidentally receives a bucket of milk over his head, thrown by Fatty. Fatty makes off, and helps a car driver with a flat tire by lifting the vehicle with his bare hands and blowing a new tire up by mouth. The next scene sees Al tormenting the Mabel by eating a peach, and the scene stands as a testament to Mabel's ability to seamlessly change expression – it is almost poetic. Al chivalrously gives Mabel the peach stone, but Mabel quickly snatches Al's second peach and wolfs it down, whereupon Al tries to throttle her. Fatty returns and there is trouble, which terminates with Al running down the road, a pitchfork in his backside, and Fatty's dog (Luke) on his tail.

In the meantime, Mabel's parents have bought the loving couple a house, and a wedding takes place. Fatty is a sight to behold in a dated frock coat from which he is threatening to burst out. It was reported that Mabel was injured by a flying shoe during this wedding scene – some people say the Queen of Keystone was 'crowned' with a vase by a love- rival, others say none of this ever happened. Fatty and Mabel's new cottage is at Castle Rock Beach, Malibu and Fatty and Mabel seem blissfully happy in their new abode. While Fatty, with dog perched on a rock,is fishing, Mabel busies herself making biscuits, which turn out to be rock hard, and smash plates when dropped on them. Our newly- wed is somewhat shocked, but, being a scatterbrain, resorts to smiling in the inimitable Mabel way, and preparing the meal. The next scene sees Mabel outside, calling Roscoe. A bit of unusual photography provides atmosphere in the form of the setting sun reflected in the cottage window. The setting sun over the sea also forms the background for Roscoe's fishing escapades, during which he apparently hooks a shark, and is sent, along with his dog, scurrying and falling around the beach.

Inside the house the dog gets to the table first and starts to drink the milk from a jug. However, things liven up when Roscoe tries to cut one of the biscuits. Mabel pretends she knows nothing of the rock- like biscuits, but after a series of comical performances by Roscoe, including tapping one with a tuning fork (actually a knife), Mabel breaks down in tears. There are some touching scenes set around Mabel going to bed, but the pair is later roused by a tremendous storm, accompanied with equally tremendous photography. In the middle of the night, however, Al and some villainous acquaintances knock the house from its flimsy foundations and set it to sea. The couple awake to find themselves floating in their beds. Panic ensues, and Luke appears to bite Roscoe's nose. However, Roscoe gets himself together, and ties a 'Help' note to the dog, and sends it to shore. The note reads: 'At sea – Aboard cottage – Sinking – Help! Fatty'.The Keystoners are saved!

Some people today might be surprised that, although Fatty and Mabel are married, they do not share a bed, or even a bedroom – Mabel sleeps with the dog. In fact, Mabel never did 'bed' anybody on-screen, and possibly two in a bed was one too many for Edwardian audiences. Of course, Sennett was a shrewd dude, and ensured that Mabel, despite her flirtations, always appeared 'available' to her male fans.

Luke the dog drinks from a milk jug, and Fatty and Mabel drink from a dirty bucket, this could be yet another Keystone bid to offend, as in Mabel's Busy Day in which Mabel licks her fingers and wipes her nose with her hand while serving hot dogs. On the other hand, 'Adrift' is noted for its touching love scenes, but notice that the kisses are not in the true Hollywood style, and could be termed 'off-centre' pecks (applies also to other Mabel kisses with Chaplin and co). See Simon Louvish's book 'Keystone' for an explanation of this oddity, and why Mabel was deemed to be 'unusually pure'.

In a 1915 photograph of Sennett, Adam Kessell and Mabel standing in the Keystone lot during reconstruction, Mabel's hair looks unkempt / wet, and her dress possibly damp. Could it be, considering 'Adrift' was made around this time, that Mabel had been plucked from the sinking house scene, thrust into a dress, and hustled off to a photo opportunity with Keystone's chief executive.

The Arbuckles had a house at Venice, just down the coast from this cottage– cheaper than Hollywood or Edendale in those days.Mabel used to visit regularly and it was said that Roscoe and Mabel swam with a dolphin here. However, it seems Fatty got fed up with this after a while – Mabel was Minta's friend, not his. A house near Castle Rock beach today will cost at least $2.5 million, but the main rock has long gone.


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