Harlequin’s Story (1907)
aka La legende de Polichinelle
Article 5646 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Albert Capellani and Lucien Nonguet
Featuring Max Linder
What it is: Adventures of a clown
A clown sets out with an army of dwarfs to rescue his girl who has been turned into a giant dancing doll.
This looks like one of those shorts that isn’t intended to tell a whole story, but to enact the climax only of a well-known tale, though the story of Polichinelle certainly isn’t well known by me. It doesn’t make what there is left of the story difficult to follow, but the presentation here is merely passable. The great French silent comedian Max Linder in the role of the title character is put forth as the main attraction, but this one is hardly representative of his work, and he isn’t really given anything special to do. The best thing about this one is the design of the shop where the hero takes the girl. The worst thing about it is that it ends with a long and pointless dance scene. This one isn’t particularly worth seeking out.