No doubt Chevalier did come pretty cheap at this time (this was one of his first two films and he was not credited) but the young Maurice was already making a bit of a name for himself as a singer and performer and this is very much in his early performance-style, exuberant and zany (he was also a bit of a cocaine-fiend a the time). For his stage-act, he originally wore a hat called a "girondin" (fashionable at the time for the Revolution) but apparently had some curious accident where he got his head stuck in it, so is here wearing a topper instead. He was something of a wild young man; his stage-act was a bit smutty and he himself was already an inveterate chaser of skirts, as he was all his life. He was also known at this time for his long-legged gangling look (he plays Gigas le long in the 1914 film Le Royaume nain de Lilliput contre Gigas le long, prince des géants, where the cast is otherwise entirely more or less made up of dwarfs who refer to him scornfully as "grand gigue" and "grand zigoto". This little comedy is charming and, with suitable accompaniment, would be a lot of fun, if not quite as good as the somewhat similar First prize for cello of the previous year.
The waltz intended, incidentally, is Strauss' "The Marry Widow" (it is specified in the catalogue description)
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