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A Serenade by Proxy (1913)

Not Rated | | Short, Comedy, Romance | 29 January 1913 (USA)
A farmer's daughter helps a farmhand win the heart of a cook by convincing him to serenade her, with unexpected results.



(story) (as A.H. Giebler)


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Cast overview:
... William Jackson
Margery Bonney Erskine ... Mrs. Jackson (as Mrs. Wallace Erskine)
... Muriel Jackson
... Thomas Perkins
Alice Washburn ... Romantic Molly
... Zeb Hawkins
Edward O'Connor ... Mike
... The Minister


Colonel Jackson, a well-to-do farmer, forbids young Thomas, a neighbor's son, to have any further communication with his daughter, Muriel. Considering her own romance shattered, Muriel lends herself to helping Zeb Hawkins, the chore boy. In winning the affections of Molly, the housemaid, whose head has been completely turned by constantly reading sensational novels. She refuses to consider Zeb as a suitor because he is not romantic enough. Muriel advises Zeb to emulate Molly's idea of a lover by serenading her. Zeb is anything but musical, so he gets a phonograph, points the horn towards Molly's window that night and grinds out "Love Me and the World is Mine," to such purpose that her heart is melted. Unfortunately, Molly does not possess a singing voice, but she induces Muriel to do the singing for her while she, Molly, stands at the open window and makes appropriate gestures. Soon after Molly accepts Zeb as her future husband, but not until he agrees to elope with her. The night of ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Comedy | Romance


Not Rated




Release Date:

29 January 1913 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A copy of this film survives at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. See more »


Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Pleasantly Absurd Short Comedy
26 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

This pleasantly absurd Edison Company short comedy shows the touch of director C. Jay Williams, whose movies often have the same easy-going, gentle humor that pokes fun at the characters without demeaning them. There's nothing particularly noteworthy about the technique, but the story is entertaining and is told at a good pace. Along the way, it even slips in a creative use of a phonograph, which must surely have pleased their studio boss.

The story focuses on two couples with different problems. The daughter of the house is in love with a man of whom her father disapproves, while at the same time a hired hand is trying to make progress with the cook. Things come together in the serenade scene, which is silly but cleverly done, bringing everyone together while setting up the finale.

When this was made, comedies of its length were one of the most common kinds of movies. This is well above average in its use of the techniques and conventions of its genre.

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