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    Max reprend sa liberté (1912)

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    Tom Sutpen

    by Tom Sutpen

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    The beauty of this affable domestic morality play by Max Linder rests entirely with the actor/director's seemingly inexhaustible ability to balance his ineffably graceful screen presence against the character of a less than competent husband, consigned to his own dysfunctional devices after the wife runs home to Mother. Linder's comedies were always like this; forever two steps less unhinged, even in their slapstick elements, than the lovely knockabout grotesquerie of Keystone; and with a shade more emphasis on character. Though never as wildly successful in the States as the pantheon comics (Chaplin, Arbuckle, Keaton, Lloyd, etc), they nevertheless all took away something from Linder, whithout which their work, indeed the soul of American screen comedy itself, would have been a very different, possibly less charming, species.

    Tom Sutpen