The moment that Mack Sennett popularized the notion of a feature-length slapstick comedy with Tillie's Punctured Romance, scores of other comedy filmmakers jumped on the bandwagon with their own multireel mirthspinners. One of the best of these was Vitagraph's The Man Behind the Door, a 4-reel vehicle for funnyman Wally Van (who also directed). The star played a slightly over-aged college undergrad, whose skill as an oarsman is matched only by his prowess with the ladies. After several amorous escapades, Van finally settles down with Nitra Frazer, the virtuous daughter of a stuffy professor. Stealing the focus in several scenes was venerable stage favorite Cissy Fitzgerald, whom Vitagraph had previously coaxed out of retirement for The Win(k)some Widow.
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