Better known in 1916 for light comedy rather than heavy drama, John Barrymore effortlessly breezed through the four reels of Famous Players' The Red Widow. Even Barrymore's character name -- Cicero Hannibal Butts -- was conceived to induce loud laughter. While embarking on his honeymoon, Butts receives all sorts of portents of bad luck, beginning with an upside-down horseshoe. He'd been warned not to marry a widow, and now Butts seems to be paying dearly for his marital misstep. But after several slapsticky situations -- not the least of which involves a gang of Russian Nihilists -- our hero is at last able to settle down for some well-deserved connubial bliss. The Red Widow was based on a stage play by Channing Pollock and Rennold Wolf.
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