Entente cordiale (1912)
Article 5665 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Max Linder
Featuring Max Linder, Jane Renouardt, Stacia Napierkowska
What it is: Max Linder comedy short
Max allows a friend to stay in his apartment. When they both fall in love with a beautiful maid, the rivalry causes them to engage in a duel.
Yes, there’s no apparent fantastic content in the plot description, and given that I recently covered a Max Linder short that (to my mind) was mistakenly classified as a fantasy, I found myself wondering if the same problem would crop up in this one. However, such is not the case; there is some clear fantastic content to be found here in the final scene, which involves dancing inanimate objects. There’s also some implied fantastic content when several characters believed dead come back to life, and though it’s clear they were faking being dead, I couldn’t help but note that one of the characters was a chicken, which certainly seems rather outre. Then there’s a touch of surrealism to the short, such as the scene where a piano is hitched up to the rear of a horse and buggy. As for the short itself, I found it genuinely amusing and a clear example of how Max Linder paved the way for Charlie Chaplin; there are some great comic bits here and there. This one is a lot of fun.