BIOGRAPHICAL

SKETCH 9.1

MAX LINDER

Le Roi du Cinématographe

During the half decade between 1910 and 1914, French audiences came to regard Max Linder (b. Gabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle, 1883-1925) as “le roi du cinématographe”—“the King of the Movies.” Indeed, the influential critic Louis Delluc declared that Max “est Cinéma, comme le cinéma lui même”—“Max is cinema itself.”[1] Linder was not only the greatest film star in pre-World War I France, but the first film star of international magnitude. On personal appearance tours between 1910 and 1913, he was welcomed by crowds of fans in Germany, Spain, Austria, Poland, and Russia, and in 1912, his salary at Pathé-Frères jumped from 150,000 to a million francs, making him by far the highest-paid movie star in the world.[2] Despite the war and the collapse of the French film industry, Max Linder remained a star with global appeal: when the immensely popular Charlie Chaplin left the American production company Essanay in 1916, Linder was the logical choice to fill the substantial void in the firm’s product line, and Essanay gave him $5,000 a week to write, direct, and star in a year’s worth of three-reel comedies.

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Harlequin

            Albert Capellani, La Légende de

      Polichinelle, Pathé-Frères, France, 1907

Before “Max”

  Born to well-to-do parents in the wine region of Bordeaux, Max was fascinated at an early age by the fairground shows and circuses that passed through the area (see Chapter 6.3) and took up acting at age 16, when he entered the prestigious Bordeaux Conservatoire.[3] A minor star of light comedies on the Paris stage by 1904 (around which time he adopted the name “Max Linder”), he was recruited for the movies by Louis J. Gasnier, a theater casting coordinator who moonlighted as a director at Pathé, and he appeared in his first film in 1905. For four years, he played both leads and extras, and not all of his films were comedies. In 1907, for example, Linder was directed by Albert Capellani in a strange rescue-revenge féerie entitled La Légende de Polichinelle (Harlequin’s Story), which is undoubtedly more interesting for Capellani’s direction than for Linder’s capering in the lead role of a mechanical toy in love with a doll (Figure B9.1).[4]

Some time during 1907-1908, Linder first assumed the character of the overconfident young man about town who would eventually develop into a full-fledged bourgeois dandy. The new character, however, did not immediately propel Linder into the ranks of premier film comics. For one thing, ex-music hall comedian René Gréhan was already starring in Pathé’s Gontran series as an elegantly dressed boulevardier, and the company was committed to “Gontran” as a complementary comic type to that of its more raucous comic star, André Deed’s “Boireau” (see Chapter 9.2 and Reading 9.4).

In late 1907, however, Gréhan defected to the newly formed Éclair, and Linder, as film historian Alan Williams puts it, “was chosen to fill Gréhan’s shoes, as well as his evening coat, dress shirt, and tie.”[5] Under Gasnier’s direction, Linder made several comic shorts for each of which, though he appeared as different characters, the name “Max” was included in the advertising.[6] The first of these films was Les Débuts d’un patineur (Skater's Debut or An Unskilled Skater—1907), in which the immaculately dressed Max performs various pratfalls on an iced-over lake (see Chapter 9.2/Figure 9.19). Although the comedy was largely slapstick, Max came across as a recognizable human rather than comic type, and as English critic David Robinson observes, the advance in characterization would be crucial to Linder’s imminent success: according to Robinson,

[in] the character of an elegant young boulevardier whose eye for the ladies was always getting him into scrapes, Max broke with the prevailing fashion for comedians, of grotesque and extravagant costumes and make-up, perceiving the rich comedy inherent in the contrast between his personal elegance and sophistication and the absurdity of the situations that befell him. . . . [H]e fought against the frenetic and exaggerated activity of his comic contemporaries, preferring a more developed and carefully observed variety of visual comedy.[7]

Unfortunately, Les Débuts d’un patineur wasn’t popular with either audiences or Pathé executives, and to further stall Linder’s career, Gasnier left for Italy to help to establish Pathé’s Film d’Arte Italiana affiliate. There was no sequel to Les Débuts d’un patineur, and Linder was cast in only a few miscellaneous studio projects in 1908. Early in 1909, however, Linder found himself the beneficiary of two propititious events. At the end of 1908, a new Italian company, Itala Film, had lured Deed away from Pathé, thus depriving the studio of its premier comic series. Shortly thereafter, Gasnier returned from Italy with plans to star Linder in a series of his own.[8] Having lost both Gréhan and Deed, Pathé was understandably receptive to the idea.

See the moving picture

Vixen

                             La Petite rosse,

                  Pathé-Frères, France, 1909

In the films that followed, Linder, though still playing different characters from film to film, found a pattern for comic business in which, as Robinson has observed, the humor sprang from the clash between his character’s affected self-confidence and his social and romantic ineptitude.[9] In La Petite rosse (The Little Vixen, 1909), for example, Max’s foppish young man is courting an athletic woman who sets him a test before she will agree to marry him: he must learn to juggle three balls. After eight days of clumsy practice, he resorts to cheating by hiring a professional juggler to perform the feat for him. He arranges to demonstrate his newly acquired skill from behind a screen, but both audience and girl quickly figure out that the juggler’s arms extending from the side of the screen don’t belong to Max (Figure B9.2).[10]

“Scenario by Max Linder, Played by the Author”

  The alternate title of La Petite rosse, Max jongleur par amour (Max Juggles for Love), suggests that Linder’s plots often play a simple variation on the central conflict between his persona and his pursuits: the elegant man of leisure is typically undone when he’s impelled to pursue either some idiosyncratic obsession that he isn’t likely to satisfy or some improvised skill that he isn’t likely to master. The formula quickly proved popular, and Alan Williams attributes the success of the fully developed character to the fact that he appealed to different classes of viewers: “Not only could the bougeoisie itself be amused by the antics of this idiot son . . ., but viewers from other classes could laugh at him insofar as he symbolized (and ridiculed) the whole bourgeoisie.”[11] By the spring of 1910, Linder’s popularity was so great that the character was formally christened “Max” and the name “Max” made a signature feature of series titles (e.g., Max a un duel [Max Fights a Duel—1911], Max professeur de tango [Max the Tango Teacher—1912], Max boxeur par amour [Max Boxes for Love—1912], Max fait le tour du monde [Max Takes a World Tour—1913]). By 1912, Linder was regularly directing himself in scenarios of his own devising, and he was probably the first star to be credited as the auteur, or author, of his own films, whose opening credits would often read: “Scenario by Max Linder, played by the author.”[12]

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Tonic

                      Victime du quinquina,

                  Pathé-Frères, France, 1911

From 1912 to 1914, the Max series was issued on a biweekly basis, but Linder’s pace was much less hectic than those of other series comedians: he was a more meticulous craftsman, and along with his talent for concocting a variety of gags on a running theme, he was adept at fashioning cleverly structured scenarios. In one of his best films, Victime du quinquina (Max Takes Tonics, 1911—Figure B9.3), Max mistakenly drinks a large dose of wine instead of the quinine prescribed by his doctor.[13] Thoroughly inebriated, he proceeds to have a series of run-ins with representatives of bureaucratic authority: the War Minister, an ambassador, and the chief of the Paris police. Each challenges him to a duel, and so Max stumbles on his way with three calling cards in his pocket. Managing to strap himself to a lamppost with his own coat, he is rescued by a cop who, finding one of the cards, mistakes him for the chief of police and escorts him “home.” Tossed into the street by the real chief of police, he lands on a second cop, who finds the ambassador’s card and makes the same mistake as the first cop. When he’s thrown out of the ambassador’s house, a third cop takes him to the minister’s house, where, after crawling into bed with the minister and his wife, he’s tossed from a second-story window. This time, he lands on top of all three cops, and when they put two and two together, Max is unceremoniously pummeled.

Max Comes Across

The First American Venture

  Linder saw service in World War I but was mustered out when he suffered damage to his lungs. From this point on, he would also suffer from recurring bouts of depression. When he was ready to return to work in 1916, he found the French industry in severely reduced circumstances, due mostly to wartime shortages of money and material, loss of access to foreign markets, and an onslaught of imports from unaffected industries in America and Italy.[14] In the summer of 1916, however, Linder was offered the contract with Essanay and soon left war-torn Europe for the United States.

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Divorce

                      Max Wants a Divorce,

                       Essanay, USA, 1917

In 1917, Linder made three films for Essanay, two in Chicago and one at the company’s studio in Niles, California. The first, Max Comes Across, wrapped Linder’s wartime voyage to the United States around a shipboard farce. The film was ignored by American audiences (“Max came across,” quipped Hollywood publicist turned historian Terry Ramsaye, “but he did not go over”[15]), as was Max Wants a Divorce, although this farce, which revolves around a bogus divorce concocted to collect an inheritance, plays to Linder’s strength in building comedy out of romantic escapades (Figure B9.4). Filmed in California, the third film, Max and His Taxi, veers from Max’s efforts to find a cab to his decision to commit suicide by lying down in front of a train. It was reasonably successful, but Essanay was in financial straits and Linder dispirited by the failure of the American venture; the contract was mutually canceled, and Linder returned to Paris in 1917.

Back in France, Linder made three films, the third of which was Le Petit café (The Little Café, 1919), an adaptation of a popular play in which Max was cast as a waiter who inherits a fortune but is tricked into fulfilling a twenty-year contract by the café owner. The character then effectively splits in two, with Max playing him as a disgruntled waiter by day and a wealthy playboy during the evening. Judging from available fragments, Linder appears to be near the peak of his form, and Le Petit café was extremely popular in Europe, grossing more than a million francs on an investment of 160,000.[16] In the United States, the trade journal Moving Picture World noted the arrival of the film in a curiously nostalgic tone: “The reappearance of Max Linder on the American screen is certain to awaken fond memories in the minds of picture fans, for the time was when Max led them all as a comedian.”[17] Le Petit café had little success at the U.S. box office.

Chaplin

   Charlie Chaplin and Max Linder,

           Chaplin’s Studio, 1920

Max Comes Back Across: The Second American Venture

  One positive outcome of Linder’s first sojourn in the United States was his acqaintanceship with Charlie Chaplin, which was both professional and personal, and when Linder returned to the U.S. in 1919 to make films through his own newly established company, Max Linder Productions, it may have been with Chaplin’s encouragement.[18] Linder bought a house next door to Chaplin’s in Los Angeles, and one journalist reports that, as he worked on the films which he produced in America in 1921-1922, “Linder would go next door to Chaplin’s home and discuss the day’s shooting. The two often sat until dawn, developing and refining the gags. Chaplin’s suggestions were invaluable, Linder said,”[19] and Robinson, like many critics, regards the three films that Linder completed during his second American venture as “comic masterpieces, as good as anything in Linder’s career.”[20]

The plot of Seven Years Bad Luck (1921—Figure B9.5) is vintage Linder: determined to convince his girlfriend that he’s faithful, Max manages only to aggravate her doubts. The loose structure of the film—like that of many of Linder’s longer movies—is subject to criticism like that leveled by American critic Gerald Mast, who argues that “Linder strings together a series of jests, unified solely by the figure performing them.” Seven Years Bad Luck, though “Linder’s best film,” is really “a feature with a tremendous number of brilliantly comic, imaginative sequences that are unrelated to each other. . . . The real structure of the film . . . is a series of Max’s adventures and misadventures, without causality or motivation to link them.”[21]. The gem of Seven Years Bad Luck, however, may very well be the crown jewel in Linder’s entire œuvre: having broken Max’s mirror, his manservant recruits his cook to stand on the opposite side of the empty mirror frame and mimic Max’s every movement with uncanny precision. (The gag, which was subsequently replicated by other comedians, is discussed in detail in Reading 9.3. Seven Years Bad Luck is also discussed in Reading 9.2.)[22]

See the moving picture

Wife

                   Be My Wife, Max Linder

                   Productions, USA, 1921

“Max” is also the central character in Be My Wife (1921), in which he is yet again entangled in romantic difficulties: he’s engaged to a girl whose aunt detests him and does everything in her power to sabotage the relationship. In fact, one critic’s description of Max’s escapades in Be My Wife—“the standard story of the clueless Max winning over his fiancée although his behavior should warrant institutionalization”[23]—could actually be applied to any number of Linder films. The sequence in Figure B9.6, for example, illustrates the self-dramatizing lengths to which Max will go in order to save everyone from a (nonexistent) burglar.

Linder’s final American film is a highly imaginative spoof of popular Douglas Fairbanks swashbucklers, particularly The Three Musketeers, which had been released in 1921. There is no place—strictly speaking—for “Max” in The Three Must-Get-Theres (1922—Figure B9.7), in which Linder appears as Dart-in-Again, a young man who wants to join Walrus, Octopus, and Porpoise among the musketeers of King Louis XIII. The plot revolves around Dart-in-Again’s heroic foiling of a dastardly scheme by the evil L’il Cardinal Richie-Loo, whereby he wins the hand of a lovely aristocratic lady. As in Seven Years Bad Luck, the plot ultimately gives way to a succession of comic set-pieces, many of them sight gags and others making abundant use of anachronisms (typewriters, telephones, and various motorized vehicles). The film was reportedly one of Linder’s favorites among his films, and Fairbanks liked it, too. Like Seven Years Bad Luck and Be My Wife, however, The Three Must-Get-Theres was coolly received and disappointing at the box office.[24]

The Final Years

See the moving picture

Secours

        Abel Gance, Au Secours!, Société des

             Films Abel Gance, France, 1924

Dispirited and doubting his ability to continue getting laughs from an audience, Linder returned to France, where he made two more films, one of them in collaboration with Abel Gance, one of France’s most important independent directors (see Reading 6.1). Made quickly and cheaply in 1924, Au Secours! (The Haunted House or Help!) stars Linder as a man who bets that he can spend an hour in a haunted castle. A playful mixture of comedy and horror movie, this 31-minute two-reeler features both Linder’s comedic contributions and a gallery of eerie images that Gance creates through special effects, especially superimpositions and optical distortions (Figure B9.8). The film was never released, either because Linder and Gance quarreled over its final form or because of problems with Linder’s American distributor.[25]

Death

  The details of the story have never been satisfactorily explained, but on November 1, 1925, the 42-year-old Linder, who was evidently depressed about the decline of his stardom, and his 19-year-old wife were found dead after carrying out an apparent suicide pact the night before.

Postscripts

Panorama

           Max Linder Panorama, Paris, 2011

The Ciné-Max Linder

  In 1914, Linder indulged a longtime desire to open his own movie theater when he purchased the 1,200-seat Kosmorama in Paris. It opened as the Ciné-Max Linder in December of that year, and Linder operated it until 1923, when it closed. It was reopened by Pathé in 1932 and refurbished in Art Deco style and then renovated again in the 1950s. Threatened with closure in the early 1980s, the theater was bought by a consortium of cinephiles (L’Association Ciné Max Linder), who installed a large panoramic screen (one of the largest in Paris) instead of subdividing the space into several small theaters. Known as the Max Linder Panorama, the theater now specializes in big international productions at the original Paris location, 24 boulevard Poissionière.[26]

Basterds

         Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds,

      Universal Pictures et al., USA/Germany, 2009

“I Always Preferred Linder to Chaplin”

  American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009), a black comedy about Jewish-American Nazi killers in World War II France, abounds in film references. In one scene, a young German officer pauses before a theater where an attractive young woman is changing the marquee. When he asks her about the upcoming program, she tells him that it’s a Max Linder festival. “I always preferred Linder to Chaplin,” he says, venturing an unconventional opinion that he immediately qualifies: “Except Linder never made a film as good as The Kid.” The preference for Linder is probably a nod to the fact that the woman is French; even so, despite his worldwide popularity in the 1910s, Linder was practically forgotten by the mid-1940s, even in France.

What is Tarantino getting at by embellishing a saga of wartime atrocities and counteratrocities with an often playful catalog of cinematic references? As a movie about historical events, Inglourious Basterds must be at least as much about audience responses to the cinematic treatment of historical events as about the historical events with which the film is concerned. Among Tarantino’s themes, therefore, appears to be a critique of what one commentator refers to as “the cheapening, rewriting, and wholesale liquidation of history through its cinematic representations.”[27] The business of the cinema, Tarantino suggests, is to heighten audience members’ reactions to staged events (historical or otherwise) and thus the sensibilities with which they contemplate the meanings of those events.

In the case of a film that treats its audience to the activities of two groups—on the one hand, a cadre of German officers who want to screen a Nazi-made propadanda film about a German war hero and, on the other, a cell of Jewish-American assassins who take scalps from the German soldiers that they kill—there is clearly an imperative to attune one’s sensibilities to two equally dubious sides of a historical conflict. Theoretically, such finely tuned sensibilities should, under one appropriate set of circumstances, be conditioned to assess a conflict of opinions over the relative merits of Charlie Chaplin and Max Linder and, under another appropriate set of circumstances, the argument that because justice cannot properly serve the Jewish victims of World War II, those victims should be entitled to take any revenge that they see fit and which they can manage to exact.[28]


[1] Quoted by Maud Linder, “Max Linder,” Les Indépendants du premier siècle [in English] (n.d.), at www.lips.org (accessed October 11, 2016).

[2] See Richard Abel, The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema 1896-1914, rev. ed. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 1994), p. 410.

[3] For reliable biographical information about Linder, see: Ginette Vincendeau, Stars and Stardom in French Cinema (London and New York: Continuum, 2000), esp. pp. 43-50; Stephen Bottomore, “Linder, Max,” in World Film Directors: Volume I. 1890-1945, ed. John Wakeman (New York: H.H. Wilson, 1987), pp. 671-76; Alan Williams, Republic of Images: A History of French Filmmaking (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard Univ. Press, 1992), pp. 59-62, at https://books.google.com (accessed October 11, 2016); David Robinson, “Max Linder,” in The Oxford History of Word Cinema, ed. Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1996), p. 117.

Brief and accessible but less reliable accounts include: Maud Linder, “Max Linder,” Les Indépendants du premier siècle; James Travers, “Max Linder," filmsdefrance.com (2013), at www.filmsdefrance.com (accessed October 11, 2016); “Max Linder: The Overlooked Silent Movie Star from Saint-Loubès,” Invisible Bordeaux (December 2012), at http://invisiblebordeaux.blogspot.fr (accessed October 11, 2016).

Linder’s daughter, Maud Linder (b. 1924), a sometime journalist and assistant film director, has written a book about her father entitled Max Linder etait mon père [Max Linder Was My Father] (Paris: Flammarion, 1992). Somewhat more effective in drawing attention to her father’s long neglected legacy have been two compilation films for which she was responsible. In 1963, she assembled Linder’s last three Hollywood films, along with narration by the French filmmaker René Clair, as En compagnie de Max Linder (Laugh with Max Linder or Pop Goes the Cork), which was screened at the Venice Film Festival but had little impact. Twenty years later, she wrote, directed, and narrated L’Homme au chapeau de soie (The Man in the Silk Hat, 1983), a documentary about her father’s life and work featuring numerous clips from his films (which, unfortunately, are often truncated and not clearly identified). The latter film, according to one historian, has “one main purpose: the resurrection of Max Linder’s position in the film comedy pantheon. Obviously, it is a labor of love, and therein lie certain obstacles. Always striving to fulfill its goal, this documentary celebrates rather than investigates. We learn much of Linder’s engaging screen presence but little of his tormented private life” (Rick Decroix, quoted by Chris Driver, “Max Linder: The Light That Burns Twice as Bright Lasts Half as Long,” Magazine Americana, November 2004, at www.americanpopularculture.com [accessed September 18, 2016]).

[4] On Figure B9.1 and La Légende de Polichinelle, see Abel, The Ciné Goes to Town, pp. 293-94.

[5] Republic of Images, p. 60.

[6] See Williams, Republic of Images, pp. 59-60, at https://books.google.com; Abel, The Ciné Goes to Town, p. 237; Bottomore, “Linder, Max,” p.672.

[7] Chaplin: The Mirror of Opinion (London: Secker & Warburg; Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1984), p. 85. See also Robinson, “Rise and Fall of the Clowns: The Golden Age of French Comedy 1907-1914,” Sight and Sound 56 (Summer 1987), pp. 199-200; Robinson, The Great Funnies: A History of Film Comedy (London: Studio Vista, 1969), p. 24.

[8] See Robinson, “The Italian Comedy,” Sight and Sound 55 (Spring 1986), pp. 105-06; Bottomore, “Linder, Max,” p. 672. On Gréhan, see Abel, The Ciné Goes to Town, pp. 393-94. Anthony Balducci, “The Team of André Deed and Max Linder,” Anthony Balducci’s Journal (November 29, 2015), at https://anthonybalduccisjournal.wordpress.com (accessed September 18, 2016), reports that Linder and Deed appeared together in at least three Pathé comedies in 1908.

[9] See Williams, Republic of Images, pp. 60-61, at https://books.google.com.

[10] On La Petite rosse, see Abel, The Ciné Goes to Town, pp. 237-38.

[11] See Williams, Republic of Images, p. 61, at https://books.google.com.

[12] L’Homme au chapeau de soie, prod. Films Max Linder, dir. Maud Linder (Paris: Éditions Atlas, 1983).

In “Max Linder and the Emergence of Film Stardom,” Early Popular Visual Culture 14:1 (2016), pp. 55-86, Andrew Shail observes that Linder was the beneficiary of “Pathé Frères’ decision to launch the first ever star publicity campaign for a film performer who was not already famous from another cultural realm.” He argues that Pathé’s campaign for Linder directly inspired “the first decision to launch a publicity campaign in the US: IMP’s campaign for Florence Lawrence,” and discusses the reasons why the two production companies made “the significant investments necessary to establish their performer employees as production values and thereby instigate the star system.”

In “Ripple Effect: The Theatrical Life of Max Linder,” New Theatre Quarterly 25:3 (2009), pp. 241-54, Frank Bren characterizes Linder the filmmaker as “an innovative writer-actor of variety and revue” who produced “cinema-theatre creations” for the screen instead of the variety stage. Bren argues that Linder’s “theatrical spirit” may have influenced practices in the modern theater and was certainly an important model for the work of France's preeminent post-World War II comedian-filmmakers, Jacques Tati and Pierre Étaix.

[13] On Figure B9.3 and Victime du quinquina, see Abel, The Ciné Goes to Town, pp. 240-41, 411. (According to Bottomore [“Linder, Max,” p. 673], this film was probably reedited and released in 1914 as Max et le quinquina.)

[14] See Williams, Republic of Images, pp. 77-79, at https://books.google.com; Abel, “French Silent Cinema,” in The Oxford History of World Cinema, pp. 114-15.

[15] A Million and One Nights: A History of the Motion Picture through 1925 (1926; rpt. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), p. 738.

[16] On Le Petit Café, see Bottomore, “Linder, Max,” p. 675; and Richard Lewis Ward, When the Cock Crows: A History of the Pathé Exchange (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 2016), p. 49, at https://books.google.com (accessed September 18, 2016).

[17] Quoted by Ward, When the Cock Crows, p. 49.

[18] See Robinson, Chaplin: The Mirror of Opinion, p. 85. Rencontre Max Linder/Chaplin, two minutes’ worth of footage shot in Chicago in 1917, shows Linder and Chaplin miming an elaborately courteous meeting and then, with appropriate comic complications, getting into a taxi. The clip can be seen at www.youtube.com (accessed May 20, 2017). See Chaplin Restored: Essanay and Mutual Classics, To Save and Protect: The 12th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2014), at www.moma.org (accessed October 22, 2016). On Linder’s American-made films and his influence on American comic filmmakers, see Larry Langman, Destination Hollywood: The Influence of Europeans on American Filmmaking (Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland & Co., 2000), pp. 45-46, at https://books.google.com (accessed October 22, 2016). On the question of Linder’s influence on Chaplin, see Reading 9.3.

[19] Jack Spears, “Chaplin’s Collaborators,” Films in Review (January 1962), p. 34; quoted by Bottomore, “Linder, Max,” p. 675.

[20] Chaplin: The Mirror of Opinion, p. 85.

[21] The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies, 2nd ed. (Chicago and London: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1979), p. 38, at https://books.google.com (accessed September 18, 2016).

[22] On Seven Years Bad Luck, see Mast, The Comic Mind, pp. 38-39, at https://books.google.com (accessed September 18, 2016); Jacek Klinowski and Adam Garbicz, Feature Cinema in the 20th Century: A Comprehensive Guide: Volume One: 1913-1950 [eBook] (UK: Planet RGB Limited, 2012), at https://books.google.com (accessed October 22, 2016). Henry Waldman’s Hollywood and the Foreign Touch: A Dictionary of Foreign Filmmakers and Their Films from America, 1910-1995 (Lanham, MD, and London: Scarecrow Press, 1996), pp. 166-68, at https://books.google.com (accessed October 22, 2016), briefly covers the six films that resulted from Linder’s two American ventures.

[23] Wade Sheeler, “The Tragedy of Film’s First Comic: The Max Linder Collection,” The Retro Set (June 4, 2014), at http://theretroset.com (accessed October 22, 2016).

[24] On The Three Must-Get-Theres, see also Bryony Dixon, 100 Silent Films, BFI Screen Guides (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 216-17, at https://books.google.com (accessed October 22, 2016); Klinowski and Garbicz, Feature Cinema in the 20th Century, at https://books.google.com. In “Max Linder in Seven Years Bad Luck 1921,” Silents Are Golden (1998-2016), at www.silentsaregolden.com (accessed October 22, 2016), Tim Lussier provides a synopsis of The Three Must-Get-Theres as well as descriptions of several gags. For Figure B9.7, see also Walter Kerr, The Silent Clowns (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 58. On Fairbanks and The Three Musketeers, see John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh, Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century (Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2014), Ch.11.

Producer and film preservationist (through his French company Lobster Films) Serge Bromberg provides an overview of the provenance and status of prints of Linder’s second set of American-made films in “Seven Years Bad Luck,” San Francisco Silent Film Festival (San Francisco, 2014), at www.silentfilm.org (accessed October 22, 2016). All three films were originally made as five-reelers but abridged for release in Europe. When U.S. rights expired in 1933, the executor of Linder’s estate ordered the negatives of the U.S. versions destroyed because he did not realize that the European versions were truncated. Maud Linder purchased the rights to the three films from the estate in 1953. Her En compagnie de Max Linder was compiled from the European prints plus portions of the American versions that had surfaced in the 1950s; her first compilation included a complete version of Seven Years Bad Luck and clips from the two other films. Lobster restored Seven Years Bad Luck from an original 1925 nitrate print supplemented by a few shots culled from a 16mm Kodascope print intended for home use.

Two incomplete prints of Be My Wife were later discovered, one at the Cineteca Italiana in Milan and one at Bromberg’s Lobster Films in Paris. Fortunately, the two prints complemented one another and when reassembled and digitally restored produced the complete version that’s now available. As for The Three Must-Get-Theres, which Bromberg considers “Linder's American masterpiece,” the original nitrate prints were destroyed in World War II, and all that was thought to be left was a condensed 16mm print in Germany’s Reichsfilmarchiv. Subsequently, however, prints came to light in Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia. Unfortunately, all derived from four-reel European versions, so that not even the version restored by Lobster in 2010 provides the original five-reel American version, which may be lost forever.

[25] On Au Secours!, see Bottomore, “Linder, Max,” p. 675; Kevin Brownlow, The Parade’s Gone By . . . (New York: Ballantine, 1969), p. 631. For Figure B9.8, see also Norman Kind, Abel Gance: A Politics of Spectacle (London: BFI Publishing, 1984), p. 188.

[26] See “Max Linder Panorama,” Cinema Treasures (Cinema Treasures LLC, 2000-2016), at http://cinematreasures.org (accessed October 22, 2016).

[27] Scott Foundas, “Kino über Alles,” Film Comment (July-August 2009), p. 33.

[28] Zeljko Uvanovic and Kristijan Stakor, “Tarantino’s Approach to the Notorious Nazi Past,” EzineArticles (March 11, 2010), at http://ezinearticles.com (accessed October 22, 2016). On Inglourious Basterds, see also Nick James, “Carve His Name with Pride,” Sight and Sound 19:7 (NS) (July 2009), pp. 16-19.

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