Father's Choice (1913)

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This Keystone half-reel comedy is "distinguished" by some of the most outrageous racial stereotypes ever preserved on celluloid. It all begins when papa Ford Sterling refuses to consent to the marriage of his daughter Mabel Normand. To avoid Sterling's wrath, Normand and her boyfriend disguise themselves in blackface and elope. As an added fillip, Sterling unwittingly agrees to serve as Best Man at their wedding. Some of the offensive ethnic humor in Father's Choice must be seen to be believed: at one point, a subtitle refers to the blacked-up hero and heroine as "Only a pair of coons." The film was originally released in tandem with A Game of Poker.