Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
October 30
Max Linder October 30, 1925
Max Linder dies

In the 9th arrondissement of Paris is the Max Linder Panorama, one of the best theaters in the city. A beautiful wide screen, a balcony and mezzanine — the single-screen palace harkens back to a time when a night at the movies was an elegant occasion. But, today, few remember the man for whom the cinema was named, one of France’s great film actors and also a director, producer and comedian whose work was a clear influence on silent greats like Charlie Chaplin. Born Gabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle in 1883 to a family of vintners, “Max Linder,” as he dubbed himself, created a character, Max, who starred in over 100 comedy shorts as a wealthy rogue constantly getting into trouble with women. After success in France Linder traveled to the States where he effectively replaced Charlie Chaplin in a series of shorts, but the actor’s work didn’t catch on. There was also World War 1; Linder was injured while working as a driver, an injury that plunged him into depression. He and his young wife made, it is a said, a suicide pact, and on October 31, 1925, they both succeeded in killing themselves, leaving a young daughter behind. That daughter remembered her father with a documentary, The Man in the Silk Hat, shown in Cannes in 1983. And, in 2009, Cannes screened Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which features its Jewish resistance fighter/theater owner Shoshana planning a Max Linder festival at her theater.


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October 30, 1968
Ramon Navarro murdered

Ramon Navarro came to LA in 1913 with hopes of making a new life for himself. While working at the Alexandria Hotel, he was spotted by director Rex Ingram who cast him first as an extra, and then as the lead of Prisoner of Zenda in 1923.

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October 30, 1925
Max Linder's Tears of a Clown

A tragic end for the sadly forgotten figurehead of French silent comedy.

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