Series: Beatrice LaPlante
Director: Fred C. Newmeyer
Producer: Hal Roach
Stars: Beatrice LaPlante, Jack Richardson, Wallace Howe, Roy Brooks
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 16 May 1920
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: G-2
Filming dates: February 5-27, 1920
Merely A Maid
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|A father (Wallace Howe) is keen to marry off his daughter, Catty (Unidentified), to a suitor worth a million dollars. The maid, introduced as 'Kittenish' (Beatrice LaPlante) 'helps' by preparing the daughter for her meeting with the man, Westner (Unidentified) downstairs. After her father makes the formal introductions, the daughter and suitor are seated together on the sofa, and despite her affections towards him, he shows that he is not keen on her and she leaves.
Upstairs the maid has an idea that she will try to impress the wealthy man and begins to undress out of her uniform and into something more revealing, when Catty catches her in the act. Catty gets an idea to dress the maid in a revealing low-cut dress and takes her downstairs to meet guests, introducing her as her cousin from Bloody Falls, Wyoming. Catty soon regrets her idea when Westner embraces the maid excitedly.
Dinner is served and it doesn't take long before shoes are removed from under the table and a game of 'footsie' starts up, with people getting the wrong ideas! Feet, ankles, shins are all caressed by those sitting next to them. Let's just say that some guests are happier about it than others! A speech at the dinner table from Lord Sappehead (Jack Richardson) is met with applause, as well as his rear end being used to crack some walnuts which have been placed on his chair by the maid sitting next to him.
|After dinner, the jealous daughter instructs the butler to plant a necklace on the maid and then to call the police. As the guests dance, a fight breaks out between the two women, with the men getting involved and trying to hold the girls back. Eventually the two women are separated and the maid is lectured by the daughter's parents. Meanwhile, the necklace is slipped down the maid's dress as the dancing resumes. The daughter cries foul play when she 'realises' her necklace is missing and then conveniently fishes it out of the maid's dress.
The daughter orders the 'thief' out of her home as another fight breaks out among all the guests. Shoes are pulled, heads are smashed repeatedly against the floor, a pillow whacked over the owner's head, hair is pulled... and then the police storm in. But they are too late. The maid flees with one of the male guests who tells her they are heading west and that she will be his first wife. They get in the car and drive off, with the police on the back. In a surprising twist she pulls a gun on him and he ought to be good or else she will be his first widow. They laugh, hug and kiss and the car veers from side-to-side, riding down the empty road and into the sunset.
The maid using the dinner guests' backside as a walnut cracker!
• Copyrighted June 23, 1920.
• This was the first entry in the short-lived series of films starring Beatrice LaPlante.
• When Beatrice is introduced to the guests she does a curtsy, she leans forward so much that her cleavage is clearly showing. Surprisingly so much for 1920.
• Beatrice eats the walnuts after Jack Richardson has sat on them. Seriously, would you want to put something in your mouth after some guy's arse had been on it?
• How on earth was the butler able to place a cold metal necklace down Beatrice's dress, against her bare skin without her feeling it?
• It's a bit suspicious how the daughter knew exactly where to look for her missing necklace, given that it wasn't even on show. And does she cop a quick feel whilst she's at it as well?!
What the experts say
• "About as funny as falling face-first into a cow shit." ~ Lord Heath.
Kittenish, the maid
|John (Jack) Richardson
[according to the IMDb]
Steve Massa, Annette D'Agostino Lloyd (help)
John K. Carpenter (assistance in getting the film released on DVD)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Roy Brooks)
This page was last updated on: 29 May 2016