Martha Mansfield and Max Linder


Directed by                       Max Linder
Written by                        Max Linder
Starring                            Max Linder, Martha Mansfield
Studio                                Essanay Studios
Distributed by                  Essanay Studios
Release date                      26 March 1917
Country                             USA

This film is part of our series 'Hidden Gems'. It can be watched by registered users who make a donation. For more details, please click here.


"Max Wants a Divorce" is a short comedy starring Max Linder and our star Martha Mansfield.  It was her second film ever, and her second of three films with Max Linder for Essanay Studios.


Martha and Max are just married when he gets a letter from his lawyer notifying him that he will receive a 3 million dollar inheritance if he is not married.  As anyone would do, Max starts concocting a plan to keep both the money and his wife Martha.  His idea is to cause a divorce, obtain his inheritance, and get married with Martha again.

Martha at first is not fascinated by the idea: she slaps Max and bombards him with china.  Nevertheless, his promise to buy her a string of pearls after he receives the money is a strong incentive and Martha is sold to the idea of a divorce.

Details of the plan reveal Max's intention to find another woman, get caught in a staged adulterous act by a private eye sent by Martha, and voila!  Martha, however, is jealous and distrustful and makes sure she is present at all time with Max and his would-be mistress.

Complications arise when Max's rendezvous with the other woman turns out to be next door to a psychiatric clinic, but everything turns out well with a surprising ending.


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Below is a short preview of the film.