Wife and Auto Trouble (1916) starring William Collier Sr., Blanche Payson, Joseph Belmont, Alice Davenport, Mae Busch directed by Dell Henderson Movie Review

Wife and Auto Trouble (1916)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Wife and Auto Trouble (1916) starring William Collier Sr., Blanche Payson, Joseph Belmont, Alice Davenport, Mae Busch

Mother-in-Law Trouble

Having once again come down to breakfast to find himself playing second fiddle to his brother-in-law (Joseph Belmont) thanks to a dominating mother-in-law (Alice Davenport) and a battle-axe of a wife (Blanche Payson) a meek husband (William Collier Sr.) heads off to work where he has been secretly carrying on with an office stenographer (Mae Busch). It just so happens that his brother also has a thing for the stenographer and seeing something going on tries to set his meek brother-in-law up. Things backfire and get even more complicated when a man shows up with a car at his office which the meek husband has to quickly explain that he brought for his wife but this leads to the involvement of the cops.

It never fails to amaze me how much is crammed into these old silent movies as in just the 14 minutes which "Wife and Auto Trouble" runs it has comedy, characters as well as some entertaining stunts and special effects. Now I am not going to tell you that "Wife and Auto Trouble" is anything special, in fact it is just a stereotypical example of these early comedies but it is a lot of fun with some nice scenes and at just 14 minutes a good movie to use to introduce new audiences to old fashioned silent movies.

But there are some things worth mentioning about "Wife and Auto Trouble" starting with some special effects including the original version of someone stuck 12 foot in the air on top of the spray from a burst fire hydrant. There is also a rather smooth special effect when the Stenographer leaps backwards into the air to perch on top of a window frame, obviously done but for a movie almost 100 years old looks surprisingly effective. But the most effective part is when we get the Keystone cops give chase and the stunt work with them grabbing on to a speeding vehicle and being dragged along is still spectacular. Maybe for some it will seem corny but compared to modern movies which would do the stunt using CGI to see it done for real makes you appreciate the skill of the stuntmen involved.

What this all boils down to is that "Wife and Auto Trouble" is just a routine old silent comedy which is coming up to being 100 years old. But despite its age it is still amusing and features some decent stunt work which always impresses.