Series: Mabel Normand

Director: F. Richard Jones, Hal Yates
Producer: Hal Roach

Stars: Mabel Normand, James Finlayson, Max Davidson, Theodore von Eltz
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 02 January 1927
Length: 2 reels*
Production No.: H-12
Filming dates: September 21 - October 12, 1926
Rating: 3/10

Anything Once!

Available on DVD:

The previously-ugly Mrs. De Puyster (NORA HAYDEN) is recovering from having had a face lift when her manager Granville (MAX DAVIDSON) brings her a marriage contract between herself and the Prince of Poronia. Granville stands to earn $1m (in 1927?) if he can persuade the prince to marry her. The French surgeon who performed the surgery (LEO WHITE) unwraps the bandages from Mrs. De Puyster to reveal something that resembles the Frankenstein monster and reminds his patient not to get excited or else her face may 'slip'. Mabel is working in a cleaning & pressing store when she accidentally takes a drink of gasoline (like you do). When she sees her mistake she is quick to breathe in the direction of her boss (JAMES FINLAYSON) who has just berated her and then lit a cigar. Eventually he extinguishes the flames by sticking his head in a water bucket.
Mabel is told to deliver Mrs. De Puyster's gown but when she tries to board the streetcar she is trampled by about 30 others all aiming for a seat at the same time. Mabel catches the next car but her package containing the gown is thrown out of the window by a passenger (NOAH YOUNG). The gown falls to the ground and is trampled by a horse and cart. She manages to deliver the gown to its impatient owner, who notices a hoof mark on it and gives Mabel a tongue-lashing but her surgeon warns her not to get over excited or risk her new face falling off. The angry Mrs. De Puyster telephones Mabel's boss to complain as Mabel returns to the store with the ruined garment. Prince Chevalier (THEODORE VON ELTZ) pulls up in a limousine with his advisor and spies Mabel in the shop acting bashful when they exchange eye contact.
The prince enters the store to seek out 'the beautiful goddess' he just saw but leaves after he sees her pulling a strange, lovestruck face. The costume ball, which has Finlayson dressed up in fancy clothing and making the announcements for all the guest introductions is momentarily brought to a halt when the host Mrs. De Puyster has failed to show up on time. With Mabel assuming her role as the wife-to-be she dresses in her costume as the prince arrives. A mishap with her long dress sees Mabel fall down a staircase bum first. The prince, thinking she is Mrs. De Puyster, whom he is there to be married to, takes Mabel by the arm and leads her off for a talk. At the window he asks her if the view is a northern or a southern exposure, and after seeing the back of her dress raised and exposing her backside she replies, "southern". Risqué!
The prince spares her blushes when he uses his cane to adjust her dress before asking her for them to go and sign the marriage papers. Meanwhile, after the real Mrs. De Puyster complains that she has no costume for the ceremony she sees the prince dancing with imposter Mabel and storms into a rage and confronts her armed with a dagger. She announces that the young woman stole her dress and then gives her a good slapping! The prince is then introduced to the real Mrs. De Puyster but when she bends down to curtsey him her face slips. It's not pretty. When the prince sees her real face he faints and promptly abdicates the throne, telling his advisor to marry her instead! Mrs. De Puyster accepts his proposal. The prince, however, manages to escape with Mabel in a hand-held carriage and asks her to marry him. She says she must be wooed first before the men carrying the carriage dump them both out onto the road. The end.

Favourite bit
Mabel taking two slaps to the face for being such a thief! Haha!

Copyrighted December 31, 1926.
Some sources say this was released as a 2-reel short, other sources say it was 3 reel.
Notice how when Mabel picks up the bottle of gasoline (you can get gasoline in glass bottles now?) how she faces the label very deliberately towards the camera.
Seriously, how could somebody NOT know that their head is on fire?!
It seems that basic common sense is in short supply in this film when approximately 30 people all try to board the streetcar at the same time. I mean, what is wrong with people?
Mabel signs the marriage papers with the name Susie Smaltz.
My opinion
Not overly impressed with this one, but like the title says, I'll watch anything once! It just doesn't do it for me. Lacklustre and uninteresting.

Mabel Normand
Little girl
James Finlayson
Mabel's boss
Max Davidson
Theodore von Eltz
Prince Chevalier of Poronia
Nora Hayden
Mrs. Minnie De Puyster
Gustav von Seyffertitz
Chancellor Gherkin
Leo White
Monsieur Roquefort, French surgeon
Silas D. Wilcox
Party guest
Ham Kinsey
Streetcar hopeful
Noah Young
Streetcar passenger
Harry Bowen
Streetcar conductor
Ed Brandenburg
Streetcar passenger


CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

This page was last updated on: 02 January 2023