Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fatty's Chance Acquaintance (USA,1915)

Actor Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, in his first years at Keystone studios, often played roles of helpless men who behaved like babies. Not the best characterization by Arbuckle, but he fortunately honed his humor and played more sophisticated roles after a short time in his cinema career.
In this film it is visible a common example of setting in silent comedies of the era, which is the use of parks. They were widely employed by directors due to their natural lightning and beautiful landscapes, everything for free.
In this specific film Fatty, who seems to behave like a grown up child, is a henpecked husband and he is even beaten by his wife in public. They both sit on a bench in a park while the wife mercilessly oppressed Fatty.
Meanwhile, a pickpocket arrives at the park with a pretty female companion. Fatty’s wife refuses to buy him a soft drink. A short time later, he drinks some water in a outdoors water fountain and ended up talking briefly to the pickpocket, who soon leaves.
While the wife stays alone, she falls asleep. The pickpocket approaches and takes money out of her purse. She does not realize she was robbed, but a policeman witnessed everything. While the theft happened, Fatty spots the pickpocket’s friend and starts flirting with her.
The policeman confronted the pickpocket, who got to run away. Fatty gets his wife’s purse while she’s asleep on the park bench and goes to a restaurant with the other woman, where they have an ice cream. Unfortunately, Fatty did not realize his wife had just been robbed and there was no money in her purse. In the next scene, we can see the policeman was still trying to catch the pickpocket, without much success.
Then, another couple sits besides Fatty’s wife. She awakes and thinks it was that couple who stole her purse. And she tries to take the woman’s purse away, without realizing it was NOT her own purse that the other woman was holding.
When Fatty had to pay the restaurant bill, he realized there was no money in his wife’s purse. Then, he returns to the park, where he meets the pickpocket again. Fatty gets some money with him to pay the bill. The pickpocket gets very angry after realizing Fatty had taken his girl to the restaurant and a there is a fight between both men.
Fatty’s wife finds her purse and sees him embracing the other woman at the restaurant. While the pickpocket is laughing at Fatty’s misfortune from a distance, the policeman returns and finally gets to arrest the criminal. As expected, the film ends with Fatty’s wife beating him due to his flirting out of turn.

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