Seven Years Bad Luck

124. SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK (1920-USA). Written, directed by and starring MAX LINDER. Charlie Chaplin properly acknowledged his obvious debt to Max Linder by calling him “my teacher.” The elegant French comedian, whose films had delighted audiences since 1907, was the screen’s first great comic star. He established his personality Chaplin would draw upon: the debonair man-about-town, with mustache, top hat and cane Ñoften at odds with the world, but also extremely clever at adapting to difficult circumstances and remaining essentially unruffled. 1916, Linder came to the U.S. where he made this, his most famous movie. A broken mirror brings Max the proverb seven years’ had luck-only it all seems to descent upon him at once! He’s hit by a car, rejected by his fiancŽe because he puts her tiny poodle in a vase), mugged, caught in a compromising situation (his hand, covered with glue becomes stuck on a woman’s dress, which he accidentally tears off, and imprisoned with some unsavory types. Linder exhibits expert timing and extraordinary physical grace in a variety of chases and disguises. The many classic routine include the opening, in which a drunken and disoriented Max tosses his clothing out of a window, and opens a dos door to get some air; and the scene in which Max’s servant, trying to prevent him from discovering the broken mirror disguises himself as Max and mimics his actions exactly from the other side of the empty frame. Absolutely breathtaking in his precise timing, this dazzling and hilarious scene foreshadows the famous mirror routine in the Marx BrothersÕ “Duck Soup.” Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 85 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Comedy