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His Wedding Night

Released: August 20, 1917
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Story: Joe Roach
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast: Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John, Alice Mann, Arthur Earle, Jimmy Bryant, Josephine Stevens

 

Roscoe is a soda server and gas attendant at the “Koff & Kramp” country general store. At this innocent little place, black women are given charcoal for face powder, gas prices can rise or fall depending on which car the gas being pumped into, and the soda floats are strained with a well-used comb. Roscoe and the manager’s daughter Alice are in love, and so he proposes to her with the best ring he can afford. But Roscoe’s rival Al wants to marry her too. When she refuses, he chokes her. Upon seeing this, Roscoe throws him around the store, pelts him with food, and throws him out.

The wedding is on, and Buster, the milliner’s assistant, delivers the dress. Alice asks him to model it for him, and he does. Downstairs, Roscoe has trouble dealing with customers who want to sample perfume. Often, they sample too much. A gay man eventually enters and annoys Roscoe, so Roscoe puts chloroform in the sample bottle to knock him out if he comes in again. However, another woman tries the “sample” and passes out. Roscoe initially worries about this, until he realizes he can kiss her when she’s out cold. The woman eventually revives and leaves. Another woman comes in, but something strange happens. She not only isn’t knocked out when Roscoe sprays her, but also likes the chloroform enough to drink it! Roscoe tries drinking it too, but knocks himself out.

Meanwhile, Al and his gang hold up a carriage in an attempt to kidnap Alice. They drive over to the store to do their deed, but instead kidnap Buster (still wearing the dress!) and put a bag over his head. Roscoe and the manager also think it’s Alice. They give chase to the kidnappers with the help of a stubborn mule. Roscoe follows Al over to the Justice of the Peace, holds up the proceedings, and takes Buster into another room. Then the real Alice shows up and Roscoe realizes it was Buster who was kidnapped. He throws Buster into the next room to fight with Al and his gang. Roscoe gives the Justice several bills to marry him and Alice, but then he realizes better and sprays him with chloroform. — Nick Ciccone