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SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK (director/writer: Max Linder; cinematographer: Charles J. Van Enger; music: Robert Israel; cast: Max Linder (Max), Alta Allen (Betty, his fiancee), Ralph McCullough (John, his valet), Betty Peterson (Mary, his maid), F. B. Crayne (Max’s false friend), Chance Ward (the conductor), Hugh Saxon (the station master), Thelma Percy (the station master’s daughter), Cap Anderson (jailbird); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating:NR; producer: Max Linder; TCM; 1921-silent)
“A few classic gags.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

In a chase around the full-length bedroom mirror for a kiss, the valet and maid for bachelor Max Linder accidentally break the mirror and try to conceal it from him by having the cook pose as Max’s reflection while he shaves. They order a new glass, but Max believes he’s seeing things and throws a shoe to break it. This begins a curse of seven years bad luck. His fiancée Betty (Alta Allen) gives himback his ringand his phony friend (F. B. Crayne) makes plans to marry Betty tomorrow. Leaving town by train, con artists rob Max. With no money, Max sneaks aboard the train, but the conductor (Chance Ward) pursues him. Finally arrested and appearing in court in the morning, he meets Betty and his rival getting hitched by the same judge about to try his case. Max foils their marriage and marries Betty, seven years later we see the happy couple walking in the street with their seven children.

One of the first great silent comedians, Max Linder, a native Frenchman, was successful in France but not so in America. In 1925, suffering from depression, he killed himself in a double-suicide pact with his wife. This film had a few classic gags (the mirror reflection bit, the robbery by the con artists, sneaking on the train and the chase scenes with the train conductor), but the story line drags.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”