A Clever Dummy (1917)

Keystone Film Company
Starring:
 Ben Turpin, Chester Conklin, Claire Anderson
Directed by: H. Raymaker

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: A building custodian (Ben Turpin) is in love with the daughter of an inventor whose assistant is her fiancé.  Ben takes the place of their invention, a mechanical man (who looks suspiciously like Turpin) and ends up on a vaudeville stage.

Cat Burglars (Scene Stealers): The inventor’s daughter (Claire Anderson) is introduced as one who trains animals, although it is never explained what she’s training them for.  In her introductory scene she is with a group of kittens; four white ones and one black.

A Clever Dummy - four white kittens and one black kitten

She isn’t training them as much as playing with them.

A Clever Dummy - Claire Anderson playing with kittens

The daughter is shown holding one as she hears a noise in the other room.

A Clever Dummy - Claire Anderson holding white kitten

Later when the custodian is taking out the trash we see some of the kittens on the windowsill above.  The black kitten is climbing on a bottle of milk.

A Clever Dummy - black and white kittens on windowsill with milk bottle

Moments later the black kitten knocks the bottle of milk off the ledge and onto the custodian’s head.

A Clever Dummy - black kitten knocks milk bottle off windowsill

After her father and fiancé are done with their tests on the robot the girl takes her fiancé into the room to show him one of the white kittens.

A Clever Dummy - Claire Anderson holding up white kitten

During the next scene the white kitten is seen sitting on her lap.

A Clever Dummy - Claire Anderson with white kitten on lap

Final Mewsings: Cats have been knocking things off windowsills and onto comedians’ heads since the early days of film!


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