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Film / Matrimony's Speed Limit

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Don't do it!

Matrimony's Speed Limit is a 1913 short film directed by Alice Guy-Blachè.

Fraunie is a businessman who has a rich girlfriend, Marian. After Fraunie is ruined in the stock market, he breaks off his engagement to Marian. Marian offers to bail him out, but he refuses. Marian then hits on an idea: she will fake a telegram to Fraunie in which he is told he will receive a large inheritance, but only if he marries that day. However, Marian doesn't consider that the time pressure might lead Fraunie to marry someone else.

Alice Guy-Blachè was film's first female director. She happened to see one of the first screenings of the Lumière Films in 1895 and within a couple of years was making her own movies; she worked until 1920.

Compare Seven Chances, a Buster Keaton feature with a similar premise.


  • Easily Forgiven: Fraunie eventually finds out that the telegram, which almost caused him to marry a stranger and then almost caused him to kill himself, was Marian's trick, and thus she tricked him into marrying her. One kiss and she's forgiven.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Marian is shown in her first scene flouncing around the garden picking flowers, establishing her as sweet and feminine.
  • Fainting: One decidedly plain woman faints dead away when Fraunie makes his proposal.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: Fraunie, despondent when he thinks he's failed to get the inheritance, decides to kill himself, and lays down in the road in front of a car. It's Marian's car, which screeches to a halt Just in Time.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: A lot of exaggerated gesturing from Fraunie when he finds out he's ruined.
  • On One Condition: Not really, but the fake telegram Marian sends Fraunie says he has to be married by 12 that very day in order to collect his inheritance.
  • Race Against the Clock: Fraunie has a tight deadline to get married by 12 noon in order to get the money. Or so he thinks.
  • Race for Your Love: Marian has to go on a frantic cross-town chase to make sure Fraunie marries her and not some other woman.
  • Unable to Support a Wife: Never mind that Marian is loaded and doesn't need supporting; Fraunie's broke so he won't get married.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: Fraunie thinks he's gotten one.
  • Zany Scheme: Marian's whole plot to trick Fraunie into marrying her. She doesn't take into account the possibility that a pending deadline might cause Fraunie to marry someone else.