Silent movies are not above having ridiculous plots, including ones that include mistaken identity. In “Mr. Fix-It,” directed in 1918 by Allan Dwan, Douglas Fairbanks agrees to impersonate his Oxford University friend to his family. The friend, who hasn’t seen his relatives for 15 years, hopes the charming Fairbanks can soften up his rich but stuffy family so they will accept his new London fiance. Fairbanks arrives at the family estate and manages to upend all the family traditions and habits.
During Fairbank’s stay at the friend’s estate, a group of criminals descend on the family, but they provide no match for the clever and acrobatic Fairbanks. Eventually, the friend returns with his fiance, the ruse is exposed, and all is well. This lost film recently played at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, with a restored print. The George Eastman House, the restoring source, does such wonderful work and I look forward to many years of seeing these lost delights.