Ambrose's First Falsehood  
  12 December 1914  
  Keystone Film Company/Mutual Film  
  silent short  

DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess -    
Director Producer Cinematography Editor
F. Richard Jones Mack Sennett ? ?

(click image for LTL Publishing)

Ambrose (Mack Swain) and Charley Chase are paired up with a couple of young ladies as they go out for a drive.  Ambrose's pal Charley sends a messenger to deliver a hand-written card (supposedly from Ambrose) informing Ambrose's wife that he has been called out on business and will be on 'The Frisco Flyer'.  His wife receives it and doesn't give it a second thought.
The foursome stop off at a restaurant (owned by Edgar Kennedy) where a stage act is performing a provocative dance. The dancer finishes her routine then approaches the table, where Ambrose looks cleary uncomfortable. That afternoon, Mrs. Ambrose picks up the newspaper to see that the 'Frisco Flyer' has been wrecked and all on board were killed.  Oblivious to this disaster, her husband continues to enjoy himself in the company of the other women he is out with.  If things couldn't get any worse, another dancer comes to the table and performs a suggestive dance, wiggling her rear end in front of Ambrose before leading him onto the dance floor, clearly against his will.
Back at the house, a funeral director (Josef Swickard) arrives to comfort the wife, but he is smacked around the face and dismissed when he takes advantage of her.  At the restaurant, things get out of hand when the manager breaks up the dancers with a considerable aggression.  The foursome quickly depart the premises but the floozie complains that one of the men stole her purse.  Ambrose arrives back home, sporting a blackened eye, much to the horror of his weeping wife. She shows him the newspaper and he quickly comes up with a story to cover himself.
Ambrose also gives his wife the stolen purse just to sweeten things a little.  However - things take a turn when a later edition of the newspaper arrives (unceremoniously, I might add), which sheds a little more light on the wreck.  The second paper confirms the original story to be erroneous.  Ambrose tries desperately to convince his concerned wife when the restaurant owner and the floozie turn up at his door.  They barge in and expose Ambrose for stealing the purse, which the lady reclaims.  The beefy Edgar Kennedy adds his weight to the 'discussion' and leaves Ambrose to explain to his wife what is going on.
Ambrose's wife once again points out the newspaper article whilst dismantling the wreaths and funeral arrangements from the room.  Ambrose sits at the table looking sheepish before receiving a large framed portrait over his head.  She warns him that there will be a "real" wreck... and smashes him over the head with a glass bottle.  She sits down on a chair and begins to cry.
The surprise end has Ambrose getting up out of his chair and comforting her without any resistance from her.

A pretty bland one-reeler (just a shade under 9 minutes in total), included on this site owing to the appearance of Charley Chase - whose screen time is minimal.
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess -

•Filmed November 18-23, 1914.
•Brian Anthony's book, "Smile When The Raindrops Fall" states the film was directed by Dell Henderson; the IMDb states it was directed by F. Richard Jones.  According to film historian Brent Walker, Jones was the director and is credited accordingly here.
•All of Charley Chase's scenes are in the first half of the film, mostly at the restaurant.
•The restaurant scene was shot in downtown Los Angeles.
Did you notice?
•Charley Chase offers to write a note to Ambrose's wife on his behalf and even signs it from "Ambrose".  When she receives it, does she not think it odd that a note supposedly from her husband was written with someone else's handwriting?
•The restaurant owner, played by Edgar Kennedy, is constantly smoking a cigar.
•Mrs. Ambrose's home has two wreaths. One which reads, "Gone But Not Forgotten" and the other, "In Loving Memory".  Considering this all takes place in the space of only a couple of hours, she doesn't hang about does she?!
•Wow - just how inappropriate are the funeral director's actions when he plants a kiss on the "widow's" lips!
•What a novel way to deliver a newspaper - throw it through someone's window from 20 feet away!
•The updated newspaper retains the original stories which featured in the first printing, seen earlier in the film.  Both versions are included in the intertitle cards section on this page.
•The floozie turns up at Ambrose's home and opens their door.  A bit rude, don't you think?

Mack Swain
Minta Durfee
Mrs. Ambrose
Edgar Kennedy
Café proprietor
Charley Chase
Ambrose's buddy
Cecile Arnolde
Ambrose's buddy's girlfriend
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Dixie Chene
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Billie Brockwell
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Grover Ligon
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Josef Swickard
Funeral director
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Ted Edwards
Funeral director's assistant
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Slim Summerville
Café patron
Billy Gilbert
Café patron
Helen Carruthers
Café patron


Acknowledgements: (Silent
Smile When The Raindrops Fall by Brian Anthony & Andy Edmonds (book)
Brent Walker (source for director credit, shooting dates)
Dave Stevenson (Looser Than Loose Publishing) - DVD and intertitle cards

This page was last updated on: 03 October 2017