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A Clever Dummy (1917)

Not Rated | | Short, Comedy | 15 July 1917 (USA)
Dummy inventor Samuel Tinker has just developed a new life-sized mechanical dummy. He and his partner, Peter Clay, modeled the dummy after a janitor in their building. While the inventor's ... See full summary »

Directors:

Herman C. Raymaker (as H. Raymaker), Ferris Hartman | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ben Turpin ... A Romantic Janitor
Chester Conklin ... A Playful Property Man
Wallace Beery ... Patrick Cohen - a Vaudeville Manager
Juanita Hansen ... A Leading Lady
Claire Anderson Claire Anderson ... Tinker's Daughter - An Object of Affection
James Donnelly James Donnelly ... Samuel Tinker - Her Inventive Father
James Delano James Delano ... Clarence - His Interested Partner (as James DeLano)
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Storyline

Dummy inventor Samuel Tinker has just developed a new life-sized mechanical dummy. He and his partner, Peter Clay, modeled the dummy after a janitor in their building. While the inventor's daughter is in love and engaged to Clay, the janitor pines for the daughter. A misunderstanding breaks up the partnership, and Tinker forbids his daughter from marrying his now ex-partner. But the daughter hopes a possible lucrative purchase of the dummy from a vaudeville company will be the impetus for her father and Clay to mend their differences, and for them again to be married. The janitor, who sees this rift as an opportunity, hatches his own plan to be near the one he loves, the plan which involves him taking the place of the dummy. Not wanting to blow his cover, the janitor keeps on masquerading as the dummy even after the sale to the vaudeville company. A life-like dummy with a mind of his own on the loose has its own consequences. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 July 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Automatic Figure See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Keystone Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Remarkably inventive for 1917
8 January 2017 | by morrisonhimselfSee all my reviews

Ben Turpin steals the movie from ... Ben Turpin.

The science-fictiony aspects of this very clever motion picture make this a superlative Keystone production.

But there are also first-class production values along with a first-class cast of actors, most of whom are just unknown today.

For 1917, this is a fascinating look at imagined technology.

Mack Sennett gets writing credit, and there are three directors, very unusual.

Out of all the cast, today only Ben Turpin and Wallace Beery are known, and Beery, though listed third in the cast here, actually had a small part. Out of all the players, he is the only one who went on to big parts in the talkies.

"A Clever Dummy" is indeed very clever, and deserves your attention as some amazing Hollywood history, including its inventiveness and Wallace Beery's early work.


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