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Be my wife

Weitere Titel: Max heiratet sein Weibchen (D)/ Sei mein Weibchen (Ö)/ Soyez ma femme (F) - Arbeitstitel: Too much pep; Who pays my wife's bills? - Regie: Max Linder - Szenario: Max Linder - Kamera: Charles J. Van Enger - Länge: 4470ft. - s/w - Interpreten: Max Linder; Alta Allen {Mädchen}; Caroline Rankin {Tante}; Lincoln Stedman {Archie}; Rose Dione {Mme Coralie}; Charles McHugh {Mr. Mme Coralie}; Viora Daniel {Mrs.Du Pont}; Arthur Clayton {Mr.Du Pont}; Pal {der Hund} - Produktion: Max Linder Productions - Vertrieb: Goldwyn Distributing Corp. - © 23.11.1921 - Sondervorführung: 7.6.1921 (New York/ Aeolian Hall) - UA: 6. November 1921 (Sacramento/ Godard's Theatre) — Weitere Auff.: 27.4.23 (Paris/ Cine Magic Palace); 4.5.23 (Wien/ Imperial-Kino); März 1924 (Hamburg/ Waterloo-Theater)

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Max Linder gehört zu den altbewährtesten Filmhumoristen. Sein Weltruf ist älter als der Chaplins und der anderen seiner Art, die vor allem Amerika hervorgebracht hat. Ziemlich lange war er von der Leinwand verschwunden. Nun taucht er wieder in diesem Lustspiel auf, mit seinem im Grundton wie in mancher Geste von Chaplin gemahnenden, sehr wirksamen natürlich-grotesken Humor. Diesmal bewegt er sich auf Freiersfüßen, muß eine Reihe von Hindernissen überwinden, das Mißtrauen einer Drachentante und die Intriguen eines Nebenbuhlers, schließlich die Traumvorstellungen der eigenen Eifersucht. Lustig sind die Szenen im traumhaft wandelbaren Konfektionshause Meyer, wo sich Liebespaare Stelldichein geben und wo auf Wunsch und je nach Bedürfnis ein kleines Zechgelage sich im Handumdrehen in eine Anprobierszene verwandelt. Max sitzt unterdessen im Zentralheizungsschacht und zerschmilzt wie die Kerze in seiner Hand. Diese ergiebige Situation ist vielfältig humorvoll ausgenützt und spielt in ein argloses Stelldichein im Nebenraum immer wieder störend und aufregend hinüber. Der beste Einfall ist aber Maxens Solokampf mit einem von ihm vorgetäuschten Einbrecher, dessen „siegreicher“ Ausgang ihm den Sieg über seinen feigen Rivalen sichert! Dieser rächt sich freilich, indem er am Hochzeitstag beim feierlichen Trauungsakt eine Maus in die Hose des glücklichen Bräutigams schlüpfen läßt. Diese mütterliche Maus treibt mit ihren Streichen und mit ihrer plötzlich sich einstellenden Kinderschar beinahe Maxens mühevoll genug geschlossene Ehe und die ganze Hochzeitsgesellschaft panikartig auseinander, bis sich schließlich doch noch alles zum guten wendet und der bewegten Lustigkeit des Films den sentimentalen Abschluß gibt. Dr. R. P. (Süddeutsche Filmzeitung, 16.5.1924)

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If you haven't seen anything to make you laugh during the past few weeks take a jaunt down to the California Theater. Max Linder is there in "Be my wife," and he's making everybody agreeably happy. Max always does a number of funny things. You're sure of that. They may not be howlingly funny but at least they are entertainingly amusing. He has a different slant of humor, and manages always to intrigue you with his own quicksilver presence. Some of the gags in "Be my wife" are very good. The climax is a bear. Or, to be zoologically correct, it's a white rat. In fact, several white rats. And what Linder does with them is a caution. There's a French dexterity to the Linder humor. Some of it is too subtle to get over with a wallop, but all of it is very engaging, and occasionally just a bit risque. As risque anyway as the censorship will allow. The only trouble with Linder's photoplays is that they're not built up to whopping big thrills like those of Lloyd, Semon and others. They're always imbued with novelty, however, and were the construction improved, would probably hit the ball clear over the fence. Max's supporting players make a very good record. Most amusing is Caroline Rankin as Auntie. Lincoln Stedman plays the heavy, or I should say the "weighty," cleverly, Alta Allen, Viora Daniels, Rose Dione, Arthur Clayton and Charlie McHugh are others in the picture. Not omitting the dog, Pal, who does a very effective bit. By Edwin Schallert. (The Los Angeles Times, Apr. 3, 1922)

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C'est une des dernières productions de Max Linder. Sans aucun doute, ce film réunira les suffrages du public français, car il dégage une atmosphère d'humour française qui sert brillamment la technique américaine. Le scénario, vif, alerte, cocasse, est fait de situations pleines de fantaisie et dont Max est l'infatigable héros. Soyez ma femme! C'est à Mary, une blonde charmante et précieuse que s'adresse cette amoureuse injonction. Et la jeune fille céderait volontiers sans l'opposition machiavélique d'une tante, qui a choisi pour sa nièce un bellâtre nommé Pimprenelle. Et cette rivalité conduit les soupirants dans les plus équivoques et humides paradis de l'Amérique sèche. Des tribulations naissent dont on ne saurait conter toute l'originalité et les trouvailles comiques. Elles aboutiront bientôt à la réalisation des vœux de Max et de Mary. L'interprétation, la mise en scène, le scénario, tout est vivant, adroit et homogène dans ce film. (Le Matin, 20.4.1923)

 

 

 

Eine Kopie des Films wird verwahrt in: Archives du Film du CNC (Bois d'Arcy), Cineteca del Friuli (Gemona), Cineteca Italiana (Milano), Lobster Films (Paris) Der Film wurde veröffentlicht auf DVD "The Max Linder Collection" (-"-, 0:57:00) und auf DVD/BluRay "Max Linder - Les Long métrages Américains" (Soyez ma femme, 1921, 0:55:00)" Ein Ausschnitt des Films ist enthalten in: Laugh with Max Linder (DVD, 2003) (13:00); En compagnie de Max Linder (Dokumentation, 1963) (10:00); L'homme au chapeau de soie (Dokumentation, 1983); Le Temps de Max (TV-Dokumentation, 2000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weitere Filmbeschreibungen/Kritiken:

 

Max Linders unwiderstehliche Komik feiert in diesem Film wieder neue Triumphe. Er heiratet, aber er hat einen Nebenbuhler, der ihm durch allerlei Ränke das Leben und die Liebe bitter macht. Er steckt ihm beispielsweise eine weiße Maus in die Tasche, diese bekommt dort Junge und der ganze Körper Maxens ist mit weißen Mäuslein besät. Sein Nebenbuhler bringt ihn in den Verdacht der Untreue, ja so weit, daß er an der Treue seiner Frau zweifelt. Man sieht Max in den verfänglichsten Situationen, in denen es ein anderer gar nicht aushalten könnte. Und doch die Liebe siegt. Max kann sich endlich des ruhigen Besitzes seiner Liebe freuen. Die urdrolligen Situationen, die dieser Film bietet, bringen die Lachmuskeln in Erregung. Ob man will oder nicht, man muß lachen. Man muß sich sagen, es ist einer der heitersten Filme, die wir je gesehen haben. (Kino Journal, 28.4.1923)

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Die lustige Geschichte von Maxens Brautwerbung, der diversen Zwischenfälle beim Hochzeitsfest und schließlich die dem Hinauswurf seiner Schwiegermama vorausgehenden heiteren Ereignisse. - Das Ganze ist inhaltlich vorwiegend auf Situationskomik gestellt, sehr unterhaltend, auch darstellerisch ausgezeichnet. Lediglich die Photos entsprechen nicht durchgehends. (Paimann's Filmlisten, 4.5.1923)

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Max Linder dürfte in Kürze sich auch in Deutschland wieder die Herzen des Kinopublikums erobern. Die Aafa (Althoff-Ambos-Film A.-G.) bringt demnächst in ihrem Verleih für ganz Deutschland eine große fünfaktige Max Linder-Komödie heraus, die einen interessanten Vergleich darüber ermöglichen wird, inwieweit Max Linder das große unerreichte Vorbild der großen amerikanischen Filmkomiker gewesen ist. Der Film betitelt sich: "Max heiratet sein Weibchen". (Berliner Börsen-Zeitung, 31.10.1923)

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Eine Tante, die Max nicht gern sieht und der unausbleibliche Rivale tun ihr übliches, um die Sache gründlich zu verwickeln. - Herausgeschmissen aus ihrem Hause, verkleidet er sich als Musiklehrer und alles scheint nunmehr großartig zu gehen, bis plötzlich "Pal", der Hund der Tante und sicherlich das unintelligenteste Tier, was im Film je gespielt, Max erkennt. - Auf der Flucht vor dem bissigen Köter fällt Max von einem Zaun und sein Rivale schlägt ihm derartig aufs Haupt, daß er bewußtlos liegen bleibt. Jetzt träumt Max, daß er bereits verheiratet sei, aber die kratzbürstige Tante geht immer noch um und verursacht dauernden Aerger. - Jetzt überstürzen sich eine Reihe der urkomischsten Situationen; eifersüchtige Ehemänner, Modesalons mit wunderschönen Modellen wechseln sich ab mit Max, der überall behindert und überall als Sündenbock angesehen wird. Gerade, als Max alle Hindernisse überwunden glaubt und nur die rosigsten Farben an seinem Ehehimmel sieht, erwacht er und bemerkt, daß er überhaupt noch gar nicht verheiratet ist. - Sofort sieht man ihn erneute Anstrengungen machen, sein Mädel zu gewinnen. - Wahrhaft zwerchfellerschütternd ist es, wenn der Zuschauer den von Max improvisierten Kampf mit einem Einbrecher beobachtet. - Dieser Kampf ist nämlich in Wahrheit gar kein Kampf, sondern Max schlägt sich mit sich selbst und kommt endlich als Sieger stolz zur Tante. Nun ist nichts mehr zu machen, auch die Tante ist von Maxems Tüchtigkeit überzeugt und nimmt ihn als Schwiegerneffen gnädig auf. (Programmheft, 30.5.1924)

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This comedy should give excellent satisfaction. Most of the situations are original; they should create roars of laughter, particularly in a crowded house. The one near the end, in which the star, standing behind the curtain, makes it appear as if two men are fighting, attaining this effect by using a pair of shoes in his hands and touching the ground with them, stands out the most. The plot revolves around Max Linder, as the hero, who, in trying to marry the girl he loves, gets into trouble; but he eventually overcomes all difficulties. The situations lack good connection, and the interest somewhat lags in the “joints,” but this defect will, no doubt, be overlooked on account of the other good qualities. – State Rights, 5 reels. (Harrison's Reports, Jun. 18, 1921)

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The latest five reel comedy starring and made by Max Linder runs the French comedian's most recent predecessor, "Seven Years Bad Luck" a close second in the number of laughs it offers. Distribution plans in connection with "Be My Wife" have not yet been announced. Linder is again author, director and star of the piece, and while "Be My Wife" isn't as original as "Seven Years Bad Luck," it has enough laughs to satisfy anyone and even if some of the stunts are not new, Linder does them in a new way, and they amuse just the same. This is especially true of one trick in particular which has been used time and again and always sends any audience into an uproar. That is the mouse running up the comedian's leg while he is going through the marriage ceremony. Linder handles this stunt about the best yet, and adds a new one when after removing the mother mouse he still feels "creepy" and upon further examination discloses a tribe of young mice. "Be My Wife" would have proven a much better comedy if so much time hadn't been wasted in getting started. The opening reel has hardly a laugh, and the spectator can't even get a line on what it is all about other than that it is taking place in a dressmaking establishment which is a camouflage for a cafe. The first comedy business comes with the entrance of the police in the dress shop. The mere pushing of a button changes the rear cafe suite into a fitting room. This is a good bit, but they keep it up so long that it loses some of its value. Another bit in which the comedian hides in a steam closet isn't as funny as it should be, also because there is too much of it. About the best and the most original piece is the star's imaginary fight with a burglar, while his fiancee and her aunt stand petrified in the outside room. Linder wrecks the room and himself in an effort to fight off the would-be intruder, and then presents himself to the girl and her aunt as a hero. At the wedding reception, the aunt is also a victim of a stray mouse, and when she gets out in the center of the floor and acts hysterical the guests stand by amused at her evident knowledge of the "shimmy." Of course, at the end of the fifth reel, Max wins the aunt's consent to marry her niece.

 

Enough Comedy To Please The Majority - Box Office Analysis for the Exhibitor - Linder's latest can't be considered a knock-out comedy feature because it isn't consistently uproarious and also because much of the comedy business is not new, even though most of it will get laughs because it is well done. The star works hard and is a successful entertainer because he has a distinct style and lends considerable humor to his acting because of his unusual facial expressions. The fact that the majority of the laughs come late in the picture won't have a serious effect. Exhibitors catering to a comedy-loving audience will likely satisfy them with "Be My Wife." Stills of some of the situations together with catch lines should attract attention. If you played "Seven Years Bad Luck," be sure to recall it and tell them Max Linder is the star and producer of "Be My Wife." (Film Daily, June 12, 1921)

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The reckless question of "Be My Wife?" has placed many a good man in trouble. When Max Linder pops the question at his sweetheart and she ties the ball and chain to him by answering in the affirmative in the early stages of his new five-reel comedy which has the rash but popular question as its title, it is getting in and out of the subsequent difficulties that furnish the ground plan of the fun, and fun there is. But it is a different Max Linder appearing as the foil for the comedy. It seems as though somebody must have told the French comedian he would get better results if he were more subdued in his method, and he evidently followed the advice. Linder, who wrote and directed the picture, has made himself subservient to situations and titles in squeezing out the laughs. "Be My Wife" is a succession of these situations, and nothing more. They are generously, too generously in the first two reels, larded with gag titles. Except for one or two incidents the situations are positive laugh winners and they are illustrated at length. And the pictorial laughs are augmented by extremely humorous captions, except where there is too much strain apparent in rapid firing similes. The general effect, however, receives no permanent damage from the faults. Linder's support is excellent, and it contributes no small amount to the comedy, and Pal, the dog, is one of the hardest and most successful workers. In fact human performers contributing a lesser portion to the whole have been listed as the star of the thing. Linder's funniest scene is the fake fight be has with himself when he shams evicting a supposed burglarious intruder, and the best of the other scenes is at the dance following the wedding, when the unfriendly aunt performs a natural "shimmy." having a school of white mice under her corsage. The burlesque of the "Count of Monte Cristo" effect in the titles of Passion, where the victims were counted "One." "Two," "Three" in candles, is a pretty fancy. The candles in "Be My Wife" wilt and collapse with a most humorous effect instead of going out. Strange as it may seem in a picture that has practically no connected story, it still remains that the most glaring fault in the direction is a bald anti-climax. The Story To outline the story of "Be My Wife" would be to catalogue a succession of events that are connected by the thinnest of threads but still strong enough to hold together the broken pieces. The "plot" is as fragmentary as a dropped plate with wires running through it, and it doesn't make any difference. Max, the fiancee, after he is accepted by his sweetheart, successfully obstructs the machinations of a rival for the girl's favor, but has great difficulty in winning over her aunt to his side. After the wedding, when a divorce is impending, he accomplishes the latter feat and at the same time makes his wife respect him more. [Reviewed by Fritz Tidden.] (Moving Picture World, Jun. 18, 1921)

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Written, directed and acted by the star, this farce misses being funny by several hundred points. There is too much muchness to it and it is likely to prove tedious to those looking for something funny. Five reels. "Be My Wife" is good in spots, but the farcical humor is prolonged until it bores instead of entertains. A downtown theatre audience. Chicago, found occasion to laugh but once or twice during its unreeling. Many of the scenes are well handled, it is well produced and photographed, but it would have gained considerably by being shortened a little. It showed evidence of too much padding. Then, too, the story is far from original. The same theme has served comedians since comedies were first born. Max is seeking the hand of Mary. He has a rival and Mary has an aunt that objects to him. He disguises himself as a music teacher, but "Pal" a dog discovers him. Max falls over a fence and becomes unconscious. He dreams he is married and cannot shake the aunt. There is a wife who suspects her husband of flirting and she retaliates by picking a few lovers herself. Just as the marital difficulties are settled Max wakes up. He then attempts to win the girl and impersonates a burglar in a terrific struggle with himself in an adjoining room, while his rival, the aunt and his best girl listen to the struggle. He steps forth "victorious" and wins her hand, as the crabbed aunt accepts him as her nephew-in-law. Alta Allen. Caroline Rankin, Viora Daniels, Rose Dione, Lincoln Stedman and Arthur Clayton are in the cast. (Exhibitors Herald, Feb. 11, 1922)

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"What the Picture Did For Me" VERDICTS ON FILMS IN LANGUAGE OF EXHIBITOR

You won't go amiss on this if you are looking for laughter. — Mrs. R. G. Jordan. Hinsdale theatre. Hinsdale, Ill. — Neighborhood patronage. 01/21/22

While this is not as good as Seven Years Bad Luck, it seemed to please the men. The ladies did not care for it. The picture will furnish many laughs. — Mrs. James Webb, Cozy theatre, Union, Okla. — Small town patronage. 05/27/22

For a change, went over fine. — Grand theatre, Anamosa, 1a. — Neighborhood patronage. 10/14/22

As an actor Max would make a good funeral director. Lay off this one. — Jack Cairns, Brooklyn theatre, Detroit, Mich. — Neighborhood patronage. 10/21/22

Very good comedy. Well liked. Good business. — G. Strasser Sons, Emblem theatre. Buffalo. N. Y.— Neighborhood patronage. 10/21/22

Good picture, fair attendance. — William Noble, New Folly theatre, Oklahoma City, Okla. — General patronage. 10/28/22

This will please all the men and kids. Ladies did not care much. Fairly good comedy, but bordering close to slapstick. — Ralph R. Gribble, Grand theatre. New Hamburg, Ont., Can. — Neighborhood patronage. 11/04/22

Didn't see it myself, but it was reported as fair entertainment. — J. C. Jenkins. Auditorium theatre, Neligh, Neb. — General patronage. 12/09/22

Very good comedy that kept the crowd roaring. Some said it was the very best they ever saw. — Roy W. Adams, Pastime theatre. Mason. Mich. — Small town patronage. 12/30/22

Very excellent comedy. Max surely does know how to make them laugh. — H. C. Reinhardt, Victory theatre, Bay City, Mich. — Neighborhood patronage. 12/30/22

(Exhibitors Herald, 1922)