R: Louis J. Gasnier. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1906
During its premiere at the Omnia Pathé in Paris, on Dec. 14, 1906, a “live” rendition of the song “Le pendu” accompanied the film. For this upload, a recording from 1902, sung by André Maréchal was used.
“‘Attempted Suicide’ is a travesty on the ‘red tape’ of the French police service; at least the characters seem French and the uniforms worn are of that nation. (…) That personage, while alarmed, declines to hasten until his necktie and scarf have been properly adjusted, when all run to the woods, and the presumed suicide (by this time) is laid upon the ground. Upon his sweetheart arriving he embraces her madly, having been playing ‘possum, which may be detected by the audience through seeing a hook attached to the end of the rope in his coat. This relieves what would be otherwise a gruesome sight, and for real pure fun, with the burlesque on the idiotic police system always to the fore, ‘Attempted Suicide’ will be difficult to beat.”
Variety, Feb. 9, 1907
“Unlike the later comic suicide attempts by Harold Lloyd in Haunted Spooks (1920) and Buster Keaton in Hard Luck (1921), the act is here performed nearly-dead serious, with zero gags to make up for it, and thus our distance to the execution remains arguably too slight for us to laugh at it. However, upon the film’s release in the United States, one reviewer in ‘Variety’ praised the brief scene, suggesting it to be most of all a ‘travesty’ on French police. (…) Travesty or not, Le pendu is perhaps most notable today for displaying Max in a role akin to the one he was to make his trademark, sporting dark bowler and light suit. He is plainly approaching the gentleman boulevardier of his later films.”
Snorre Smári Mathiesen: Max Linder: Father of Film Comedy. BearManor Media 2018
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