5.7/10
71
4 user 1 critic

The Wrong Mr. Fox (1917)

| Comedy, Short
An unemployed actor is mistaken for the new preacher in a small town.

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Jimmy Fox
Florence Slade ...
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William Slade ...
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Storyline

Jimmy Fox, an actor, is hired to join a company in Canaan, Vermont. Meanwhile, Reverend John Fox is on the way to his new position in Canaan, New Hampshire. But each one gets off his train at the wrong stop, and both Mr. Foxes wind up in unexpected and unfamiliar surroundings. Written by Snow Leopard

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Comedy | Short

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Isn't some of this film missing?!
21 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

I saw this film on the DVD "Old Time Comedy Classics: Vol. 5"--a rather mediocre compilation of lesser-known silent comedies. The biggest problem with all the volumes is that the music is often terribly inappropriate and looks like it was just slapped on to the films with no concern as to whether it fits or not. Oddly, in another film on another volume, the tunes are all church hymns. Here with THE WRONG MR. FOX those same tunes would have been perfect--but they weren't used. In addition to the problems with the music, the title screen is annoying and cheesy and many of the films are badly in need of restoration. In fact, this film in particular appears as if the end of the film is missing--it ends too abruptly--almost like they ran out of film! Surely this wasn't how the film originally ended, though it is probable that a better version of the film isn't available--as most silent films have degraded too much to be seen today. I just wish the DVD manufacturers had said something about this instead of just letting it end the way it did.

As for the film, I was a bit surprised to see the character actor Victor Moore in the lead. I had no idea he'd been a silent comedian--I just remember him from films from the 30s and 40s (especially the great, though maudlin film MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW). In this film, he plays a stage performer--sort of like a circus or vaudeville man. However, in an odd mix-up, two Mr. Foxes are headed to the same town--this performer and a preachers. And, in a case of silly mistakes, they are both taken to the other's venue! The idea is pretty cute, but unfortunately, the results are only mediocre. It seems that with such fertile comedy ground, much more could have been made of it. Instead, it's just a mildly diverting film--one that you might even find yourself watching without a single laugh or smirk.


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