Eve's Love Letters
 
Series: All Stars Distribution: Pathé  Director: Leo McCarey  Cinematography: ?
Production: H-17 Type: Silent short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: Richard Currier
Released: 29 May 1927 Length: 2-reels

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A married couple, Adam and Eve (Forrest Stanley and Agnes Ayres) are at home with Eve playing the piano though her husband isn't impressed with her demonstration of Wagner.  The mysterious Mr X (Jerry Mandy) arrives to deliver a ransom letter, which after a lot of fuffing about (is that even a word?), is handed to the butler Anatole (Stan Laurel), who then takes it to Eve.
The letter states that a ransom of $10,000 is to be paid for the return of letters she had written to a "Sir Oliver Hardy" before she was married.  Eve enlists Anatole to help her get the potentially damaging evidence back before her husband finds out.
At midnight, Eve and Anatole turn up at Sir Oliver Hardy's hunting lodge to observe Mr X and his accomplice (Fred Malatesta) locking the letters in a safe.  As soon as the coast is clear, they sneak in through a window and attempt to break into the safe using alcohol and a lighted match to blow the lock.  The sound brings the two villains back into the room and begin a tussle with Eve and Anatole over the letters, which after a struggle end up being thrown (fortunately for Eve) onto an open fire.  Adam (who has gotten himself drunk at home) shows up and asks the two men if his wife is in the house.  Even though it is obvious that she is, they decidedly protect her.
Eve and Anatole retreat into a bedroom and dress in identical dressing gowns and manage to fool the villains and Adam before fleeing.  Anatole, now dressed as a woman attracts the eye of the drunken husband who propositions 'her' for a ride in his car, all under the watchful observation of his wife who has hidden behind a bush.
After some bashfulness followed by a good slap, Anatole jumps onto the back of the husband's car as he races home, passing a taxi which his wife is riding along the way in an attempt to get home before him.  Anatole races upstairs and jumps into the marital bed with Adam close behind.  He sees his 'wife' in bed and pulls back the covers only to find the woman (the butler) he was flirting with earlier.  Adam picks 'her' up and removes her from the bedroom just as his wife comes home to catch him in the act.   At this point she realises how far her husband would go with another woman and plots to teach him a lesson and gets into the bed just as he re-enters the room.
As he reprimands her he has the audacity to wave away the woman he has been flirting with to avoid him being caught out.  The butler plays along with the wife in collusion with one another to get the husband feeling guilty for his behaviour.  Through a series of coincidental timings, Adam is able to Eve from seeing his secret mistress in the house. 
To make things more awkward he calls for the butler, who has to quickly undress and get into his uniform to confirm to him that no woman has been in the house that night.  As soon as the husband's back is turned Anatole dresses back as the woman and resumes her flirting.  Things get worse when his wife then appears wearing the identical clothing and embraces him.
Adam calls for the butler again and the inevitable happens - he appears whilst still wearing the headcap.
Adam catches on to what is happening and confronts his wife in the hall, lifting up her dress to expose her, little realising it is really her.  This hands the advantage back to Eve, as Anatole stages a mock assault on the 'woman' in front of Adam from a distance.  Adam's confusion grows more as his wife appears to shoot Anatole in the chest.  Eve pours some sauce onto Anatole's shirt to make it appear he is actually wounded before he staggers back into the room and fakes his death for Adam to see.
Adam is almost convinced until he catches his wife and Anatole in the bedroom conversing over the next step of their plan, so as the two of them stage another fight Adam watches on and laughs.  But when Anatole (dressed as the woman) hits Eve a bit too hard, the husband steps in and removes the woman from the house.  He calls for Anatole and tells him never to let that woman in the house again.  The dizzy butler and Eve shake hands on a job well done when Adam isn't looking, but suffers one last indignity when a curtain rail falls down onto his head.

Favourite bit
Yep, those are Agnes Ayres's real legs!  Wow.

Facts
Production H-17 - All Star series.
Copyrighted April 11, 1927.
Also listed for May 28, 1927.

Filming dates
January 17-28, 1927.

Trivia
There is a subtle reference to the character names in the film.  The husband's name is "Adam", as highlighted by an intertitle card.  Although the woman's name is never revealed, we can assume from the title of the film it is "Eve"; also because they are her love letters in the film.  Therefore, the Adam and Eve reference is complete.
The married couple live at number 625.
The intertitle card that introduces Stan Laurel into the film makes reference to his real-life red hair by stating "Every time he takes off his hat woodpeckers chase him".  The term "woodpecker" was also later used by Mae Busch in describing Laurel in "The Bohemian Girl".
The ransom note demands $10,000 for letters which were written by the wife to a lover before she got married to another man.  That translates into approximately $132,662 in 2015 money.
I am pretty sure that nowhere in the job description of being one's butler does it say that he may be required to steal back letters which were written by his employer many years ago.
Despite the ransom on the letters, the butler and the wife have no right entering the hunting lodge through the unlocked window.  This amounts to burglary and their actions were illegal.  Later, the husband enters the same house without knocking.  So he too is technically breaking the law by trespassing - also armed with a gun!
The number of the cab is 229.  The driver is Chet Brandenburg (many sources claim this is Charlie Hall).
It's just a little co-incidental that there would be two dressing growns and headcaps exactly the same in the bedroom, and both conveniently available for the butler and the wife to find and dress into.
I think Stan Laurel gets quite "into" his role as the flirty other woman, doesn't she?  I mean, HE?

Agnes Ayres
Eve, the wife
Forrest Stanley
Adam, the husband
Stan Laurel
Anatole, the butler
Jerry Mandy
Mr. X
Chet Brandenburg
Cab driver
Fred Malatesta
Mr X's accomplice

CREDITS PUBLICITY MATERIAL

INTERTITLE CARDS

DVD COMPARISONS

Acknowledgements:
http://www.cable-car-guy.com/images/bigv/2014/agnes_ayres_film_daily_19270520_001.jpg (image)

This page was last updated on: 29 May 2017