Cannibal King (1915)

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Although he's very funny in this Lubin split-reel comedy, Oliver Hardy displays none of the courtly but dimwitted persona that would later make him famous when he teamed up with Stan Laurel. In need of money to buy his sweetheart a birthday gift, Willie (Hardy) finds work at a movie studio. The studio casts him as a cannibal in their latest production and the makeup artist does such a good job that Willie's sweetheart, Grace (Frances Ne Moyer), does not recognize him when she takes a sightseeing tour. She has shown up with Willie's rival, Fred (J. Frank Glendon, who would become better known for drama than for comedy), and when Willie sees the two of them together he goes berserk. He creates a ruckus in the studio because everyone believes a real cannibal is on the loose. Pursued by the police, Willie hides in Grace's home, scaring away the cowardly Fred. While Fred is gone, Willie explains everything to Grace and proposes. She accepts, and when Fred reappears she tells him he has been replaced. Fred, still unaware it is Willie, thinks Grace is marrying a cannibal.