Max Lindner (born Gabreil-Maximilien Leuvielle, 1883-1925), is considered the first international movie star. The diminutive (5' 2") actor/writer/director was a major influence on Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and other great comedians of the silent era. He made his first film in 1905 and soon his top-hatted dandy character Max (Chaplin reversed the character to create his Little Tramp) made him loved on both sides of the Atlantic. By 1912, he was the highest paid entertainer in the world, making a million francs a year. Drafted into the French Army in World War I, Linder was gassed and suffered ill health afterward, which affected his chances do American films. Linder felt that many of his films from the 20s were failures but critics felt that this was some of his best work. Linder dies in 1925 in a suicide pact with his wife.
Max, the Heartbreaker, also known as Max Between Two Fire, starts slow as Max (the dog!) romances two women at the same time, enjoying that the women are battling over him. Soon, however, the movie moves into frenetic comedy, making it a gem for its -- or any -- time.