Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Max et sa belle-mère - 1912

Country: France
Language: French
Directors: Max Linder, Lucien Nonguet
Writer: Max Linder
Stars: Max Linder, Léon Belières and Charles de Rochefort
Also Known As: Max and His Mother-in-Law UK / USA
Max und seine Schwiegermutter Austria / Germany
Max and His Ma-in-Law UK
Pior que uma Sogra Portugal
Max and his young bride attempt to enjoy an Alpine honeymoon, despite the presence of her mother. The story here is that Max is newlywed, and not very fond of his voluminous mother-in-law, but she refuses to be left out of their honeymoon trip to some winter sports resort, and bravely soldiers on. They depart by train.. and it's a REAL train, with bi-level coaches that I've known to exist, but never seen in motion. What a contrast to the silly prop-model trains in studio used by Méliès several times! Arrived at the resort, they go through the motions of several sports: skating, sleigh-riding, skiing - all of course played for slapstick, but with nice surprising details, and great outside scenes which must have been very difficult in early movie-making, considering the reflections of snow. Mother-in-law is the only one who makes it almost all the way downhill on skis, while the others run down behind her.Even on the train ride back, she still sticks to at least one ski, so is transported in an unconventional way.. but the final scene indicates she now has really won the respect of her son-in-law.

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