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Film / That Little Band of Gold

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That Little Band of Gold is a 1915 two-reeler (approx. 20 minutes) comedy film directed by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, starring Arbuckle and Mabel Normand.

In this, one of their thirty-odd pairings, Arbuckle and Normand are a well-to-do couple. Their initial wedded bliss curdles into drunken carousing by Fatty, which Mabel resents, and nagging by Mabel's mother, which Fatty resents.

One night the unhappy trio goes out to the opera. Fatty, bored stiff, spots a kindred spirit in Ford Sterling. Ford has grudgingly taken his wife and her friend (his friend? His sister-in-law? It's not clear) to the opera but, like Fatty, longs to escape. Fatty gives into temptation, sneaking out of the theater and meeting Ford, and Ford's women.


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This film provides examples of:

  • At the Opera Tonight: They go to see Rigoletto. Fatty hates the opera. His uncouth behavior—unbuttoning his shirt, putting his feet up on the box—draws derision from the rest of the audience.
  • Buxom Is Better: Fatty and Ford sneak out of the opera, Ford's women trailing behind. The women exit and the friend shucks off her coat, revealing a lush curvaceous figure. Ford grins and makes the universal "hourglass" sign with his hands. (Ford's wife is much more slender.). Fatty for his part makes a beeline for the friend, refusing Ford's attempt to palm his wife off on Fatty.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: After Fatty finds out that Ford was the one who called Mabel and told her about Fatty's cheating, Fatty whacks a bottle over Ford's head. Ford staggers around in a slapsticky way before keeling over.
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  • Have a Gay Old Time: "A gay and festive gentleman for a night" is how Ford is introduced.
  • My Beloved Smother: Fatty is continually harassed by his mother-in-law. Although, given what a bad husband he is, she's got cause.
  • Nice Hat: Mabel wears one of those ridiculous old-style fashionable hats, with a giant feather. The feather gets in Fatty's face as he's trying to take his seat at the opera.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where Mabel puts the wad of cash Fatty has to give her in divorce court. When they change their minds outside and go back in to get remarried, Fatty makes sure to pluck the bankroll out of Mabel's Compartment.
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Fatty makes a pass at the maid. Later, he sneaks out of the opera to romance Ford's friend.
    • Ford for his part seems to be going straight to Polyamory, putting the moves on the friend in full view of his wife. Unfortunately for Ford, his wife isn't having it.
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