The Dummy (1916)

Film details

Alternative titles

  • Lupino Lane Film Acquisition


At a house party two rivals in love for a young woman participate in a running race to determine who should marry her. At the same time two men engage in a confidence trick with a beautifying machine.

No main titles. A house party group is seen on tennis courts. (13) Intertitles. (16) Nipper is seen punting on a river. He gets stranded by a tree and tries to climb up on to the branches. Meanwhile the tennis party continues. Nipper tries flirting with the young hostess and gets involved in a fight with a rival. The two men squabble, finally appealing to her to choose between them. She turns to her uncle for advice but then decides that whoever wins the walking match later that day should marry her. Her uncle announces the competition to the house guests and the two competitiors shake hands. Horseplay continues. In the next scenes the two men are seen in the walking match each with their own coaches. Nipper switches a signpost to the swimming baths, where the race will end, to confuse his rival. Meanwhile the rest of the party are seen enjoying themselves at the swimming pool. Inside a gym Nipper causes chaos amongst several men who are exercising there. The rival arrives in a state of exhaustion at the pool. Meanwhile two men arrive at the pool and ask the manager if they can set up their machine, which they do. Meanwhile Nipper continues his exercise in the gym. The two men set up their machine which bears the notice," While you wait we make you beautiful." A young woman approaches the machine. In the gym an athlete goes through his paces. The con men in the machine comb the young woman's hair, brush her small dog, then steal it. At the end of the grooming session, the woman realises that the dog is missing and goes in search of the pool manager. In the gym Nipper is seen swinging on a rope. He flies through the open window and lands in the pool, leaving his jacket attached to the swing. The house party continues around the swimming pool. Meanwhile a second, older woman arrives at the beauty machine. The men perform a similar service, removing the woman's wig as they powder her head and steal it. Finally she is shown a mirror and she runs off in horror. The men inside the machine laugh. The woman is seen complaining to the pool manager. Nipper arrives at the machine. He places his coin in the slot but it is attached to a piece of string. As a result he receives harsh treatment from the men inside and is finally thrown backwards almost falling into the pool. He laughs at his narrow escape, loses his balance and falls in. Meanwhile the manager summons the police with a whistle. Nipper uncovers the two men inside the machine. A policeman arrives. A three headed policeman appears over a wall. A dwarf policeman comes running along the edge of the pool. (1121)

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