A Fool There Was (1914)

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This one-reel comedy made history when the right to its title was disputed in court -- the first time this happened with a play or film. The plaintiffs were the producers of the famous stage play A Fool There Was (the 1915 film version of the play -- something very different from this comedy -- would make a star out of Theda Bara). The defendants, Lubin, lost the suit and renamed their film He Wanted a Car. George (Jerold T. Hevener) courts Bess (Mabel Paige), but she's bored by just sitting around on the porch, so he goes out and buys a secondhand car. The first time they take it out, however, George knocks down a traffic cop (Oliver Hardy), and Grace returns home via streetcar. After that, George hires a chauffeur (Frank Griffin, who also directed), who starts up a flirtation with Bess. The car breaks down and the chauffeur makes George work under the hood. While George is preoccupied with the repairs, the chauffeur and Grace grab a taxi. The next time George goes to visit Grace, he discovers that she has just wed the chauffeur.

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car, chauffeur, courtship, streetcar