6 user 3 critic

Flirting with Fate (1916)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Comedy | 9 July 1916 (USA)
In the midst of an emotional depression, a man hires a murderer to kill him. But the despair soon passes, and the man must now escape the killer he's hired to end his life.


Christy Cabanne


Robert M. Baker (story)




Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks ... Augy Holliday
Jewel Carmen ... Gladys - the Girl
Howard Gaye Howard Gaye ... Roland Dabney
W.E. Lawrence ... Harry Hansum
George Beranger ... Automatic Joe
Dorothy Haydel Dorothy Haydel ... Phyllis
Lillian Langdon Lillian Langdon ... Mrs. Kingsley
Wilbur Higby Wilbur Higby ... The Landlord
J.P. McCarty J.P. McCarty ... The Detective


In the midst of an emotional depression, a man hires a murderer to kill him. But the despair soon passes, and the man must now escape the killer he's hired to end his life. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story of a would-be suicide who hires a "gunman" to kill him and the changes his mind after seeing a certain young woman. he fears the gunman, who is instructed to "kill on sight," and his attempts to avoid the "excecutioner" are said to be the funniest thing he has ever done. (Print Ad- Urbana Daily Democrat, ((Urbana, Ohio)) 21 September 1916)


Adventure | Comedy


Not Rated

Did You Know?


When Augy is escaping a Policeman jumping into a car, the camera is visible in the front car window. See more »

User Reviews

slow start, great stunt work, leading lady without charisma
19 June 2017 | by Anti-HeroAnnieSee all my reviews

This movie, with Douglas Fairbanks in the lead, has a slow start. Although painter Augy does not make a penny, he does not look depressed at all and when he falls in love with the beautiful and rich Gladys he's in seventh heaven. But when Glady's seeks consolation with another man, Augy's heart is broken and does not want to live anymore. After a failed suicide attempt, he hires a contract killer to do him in. From that moment on, it becomes a super fun and comic movie. Fairbanks shows what he's best in and does a lot of stunt work.

When I heard about the Dutch film 'De Surprise', with Jeroen van Koningsbrugge and Georgina Verbaan in 2015, I thought I had already seen the plot earlier. The Surprise has the same theme. This film is based on a story of Belcampo, which was filmed for Belgian television in 1984. But this is not the only movie with that same theme. In 2005, the Czechs made 'Shut up and shoot me'. In 1990 the Finns came with the black comedy; 'I hired a contract killer'. The French also made their own version with 'Up to his ears' in 1965. There is even a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode with this theme. Further back, in 1931, the Germans made the slapstick 'Der Mann, the Seinen Mörder Sucht'. But who thinks that 'Flirting with Fate' was the first in 1916 is deceived. It may be the first movie with this plot, but the credits for this original story should go to Jules Verne with his book 'Tribulations of a Chinaman in China', dating back to 1879.

Back to Flirting with Fate. Although Douglas Fairbanks plays the stars of heaven, leading lady, Jewel Carmen, is a bit disappointing. She's just a beautiful face and she hasn't really got charisma. Her friend Phyllis, played by Dorothy Haydel, has a minor role, but clearly has more charisma. In addition, George Beranger, who plays Automatic Joe, deserves a mention. He plays his role as a contract killer excellent.

But apart from the slow start and the flat leading lady this is a very nice movie.

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None | English

Release Date:

9 July 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assassin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fine Arts Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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