Fatty’s Chance Acquaintance
Today is the anniversary of the release of Fatty’s Chance Acquaintance (1915), directed by and starring Roscoe Arbuckle. A fairly typical “park bench” comedy, it stars Arbuckle as a harried husband (who seems to be dressed just like Oscar Wilde!) who goes to the park with his severe, poetry reading wife (Billie Bennett). They squabble and before long they become entangled with another couple. Fatty flirts with a girl (Minta Durfee) while her boyfriend (Harry McCoy) steals money out of the sleeping Mrs. Fatty’s purse. Later, Fatty steals his wife’s now empty purse and attempts to buy his new sweetie an ice cream, learning only too late that there is no way to pay for it. The mayhem escalates from there!
Watch the film (with non-English intertitles, I’m afraid) right here: http://www.openbeelden.nl/media/685589/Fatty_s_Chance_Acquaintance.
I realize in retrospect that this film was definitely one of the models for my own short Too Much Nutcracker.
For more on comedy film history see my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
For more on show biz history, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.