Cupid's Rival  
  01 July 1917  
  King Bee Studios  
  silent short  

Director Producer Cinematography Editor
Arvid E. Gillstrom Louis Burstein Herman Obrock Jr. Ben H. Cohen


Billy West is the janitor in a hotel who serves breakfast to a successful painter whilst causing mayhem with the porter and other guests, which includes down-on-his-luck Oliver Hardy who is so desperate for food that he eats the breakfast plate. The hungry artist is propositioned by the landlord to paint his portrait in lieu of his rent, which he starts on immediately. When Hardy's girlfriend shows up she is asked to pose for the rival artist in his portrait which leads to a spot of jealousy, resulting in Hardy dressing up as a woman in order to spy on her during the painting.
Billy West's character is wandering around aimlessly with practically nothing to do but get in the way, a role which serves no purpose to the plot whatsoever.

It's a dreadfully dull and slow film with the laughs totally absent.

Favourite bit
In what is an awful film it is hard to find any scene worthy of mention to be included in my favourite bit section, but....
The model posing for her portrait complains that she is hot so the artist (Leo White) puts on an electric fan for her. This blows the bottom of her dress out towards the bottom of the nearby door. On the other side of the door Billy West is vacuuming the hallway and pushes the hoover up to the artists' door. The suction catches the bottom of the dress underneath and pulls the dress through the crack in the bottom of the door. With the fan blowing and the hoover sucking at the same time, this causes the model to spin around like a carousel.

•Filmed in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
•Working title: 'The Artist'.

Did you notice?

Billy West
Mary Ross
Janitor's wife
*billed as Mary Taylor
Leo White
Rich artist
Oliver Hardy
Poor artist
Ethel Marie Burton
Poor artist's sweetheart
Budd Ross
Bell boy
Ethelyn Gibson
The model
Joe Cohen
Florence McLaughlin


Acknowledgements: (
"Laurel OR Hardy" by Rob Stone (book)

This page was last updated on: 01 July 2014