Max Linder Is Now With Us
Famous French Comedian Arrives After Stormy Voyage and
Makes Quick Jump for Essanay Studio.
MAX LINDER arrived in New York on the morning of November 7. At the French Line Pier to meet the screen player who was the first to attain distinction in the comedy field was George K. Spoor, president of the Essanay Company. While the Espagne, three days overdue, was being warped into her dock Mr. Spoor was asked how long the latest Essanay acquisition would remain in New York. The Chicago manufacturer replied he was going to try to get him started for Chicago that afternoon, Mr. Spoor adding he had been in town since Monday awaiting the arrival of the steamer.
Mr. Linder, through his secretary, Albert Petitmaitre, told a World man he had had rather a rough trip. In the Bay of Biscay the Espange had collided with an unknown vessel and a serious accident had been narrowly averted. For a hundred feet amidships, on the port side, the French liner showed the marks of the bow of the unknown vessel, which disappeared without sending out any signals. All the passengers had been stationed by their lifeboats while the officers investigated the extent of the damage, which fortunately proved immaterial; fortunately especially because the seas were running so high small boats would have had slim chance. Head winds were encountered throughout the trip.
Mr. Linder in manner is as serious as one might expect him to be jovial. His bearing exemplifier what we read of the Frenchman of today and reflects the determination and sense of responsibility of a nation under stress. Mr. Linder has contributed his "bit" to the French cause. It is said he purposely has limited his contract to twelve months so that in case he is again called he may be free to return to his country.
At the outbreak of the war the player entered the artillery division of the army. He was severely wounded in the left shoulder, the injury entailing three operations. After a period of two and a half months in hospital he went to Italy and made personal appeals to the Italian nation to enter the war on the side of the allies. For his work there he was thanked by Prime Minister Salandra. Later, in Switzerland, where he went to recuperate, he engaged in the making of a few pictures. Mr. Petitmaitre said Mr. Linder weighed less than ninety pounds when he left the hospital, but the secretary added the player had picked up to his normal weight, seemingly about 135 pounds.
Mr. Linder will immediately enter upon the making of comedies. Four scripts awaited his arrival at the Essanay studio. In the direction of these he will have the assistance of Leo White, at one time associated with Chaplin in the making of Essanay comedies.
The appearance of Mr. Linder in American-made pictures will be awaited with deep interest by those of the photoplay public who remember his exceptional work in the French Pathe Company. To the newer followers of the screen he may perhaps be described as an athletic or even acrobatic Sidney Drew. Before he entered the army he was known the world over as the best-dressed man on the screen. Incidentally it might be added that judging from the amount of baggage he brought along he has intentions of sustaining that reputation. He likewise is known as a man without fear. His courage has been demonstrated on numberless occasions.
"Here's welcome and good luck to Max Linder." (Moving Picture World, Nov. 25, 1916)
– Photographs by F. de Stefano and James Sullivan, HERALD photographers.
No. 1−Commandant M. Laurent, of the Espagne, relating the details of the collision. No. 2−Reporter on board the Herald tug hailing the Espagne. No. 3−The Espagne, of the French line. No. 4−Where the Espagne was struck. No. 5−Miss Elsie De Wolfe, who was aboard the Espagne. [New York Herald Tribune, Nov. 6, 1916]