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Good Short
Michael_Elliott10 March 2008
Why Mr. Nation Wants a Divorce (1901)

*** (out of 4)

This Edison short is a spoof of their Kansas Saloon Smashers, which was released the same year. While Mrs. Nation is out busting up saloons, her husband is at home watching the kids, which leads him to do something the wife wouldn't approve of. Having watched this after the original film makes it a lot more funny and the big twist at the end was expected but it was still funny. I'm sure some might be offended at the idea of a "woman's place is in the house" but then again, this is 1901 we're talking about. Co-director Porter once again doubles and does the cinematography as well.
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7/10
For 1901, it's pretty darn funny
MartinHafer27 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This film by the Edison Manufacturing Company was a followup to their film, KANSAS SALOON SMASHERS--a short that supposedly featured Carrie Nation destroying a saloon. This first film was just okay, but WHY MR. NATION WANTS A DIVORCE is pretty funny--a nice followup to the dry first film.

While Carrie is out doing "God's work", poor Mr. Nation (a fictitious creation) was stuck at home ineptly trying to care for the kids. This film was meant to make fun of hen-pecked husbands AND the sanctimonious Ms. Nation. That's because the kids were NOT being properly cared for AND Mr. Nation is shown drinking while he waits for his wife to return! What makes it work even better are the juxtapositions--Mr. Nation spanks the kid and puts the baby to bed with the bottle; then Mr. Nation begins drinking from his own bottle and when caught, he's spanked over Ms. Nation's knee! Pretty funny stuff for 1901 and at 2 minutes, it's a typical length film.

By the way, this film is part of a DVD set entitled "Treasures III"--a set of four DVDs all about social issues and reform. The second disk (where you'll find this one) is about women's issues in particular.
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6/10
Kansan Getting Smashed
boblipton26 October 2019
That's supposed to be Mr. Nation pacing the floor with the kids, sneaking a drink while his wife, Carrie Nation, was out busting down saloons with her little hatchet, making the city a decent place for the good people of Kansas and a roaring H*ll for anyone else. These were the good, Christian people who preached about turning the other cheek.

Anyway, this early movie by Edwin S. Porter is no THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, but it pretty much sums up the opinion of the Northeast urbanites who liked to take an occasional drink, and if your children can't look upon the wine when 'tis red without getting blackout drunk, maybe there's something wrong with the way you raised them.

And then she'd splt your skull open with her hatchet.
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