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Rival Barbers, The (1905)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

A barber emerges from his shop and hangs a sign outside with a picture of a neatly clean-shaven man and the written assurance that this is HOW YOU LOOK AFTER BEING SHAVED HERE. After briefly admiring his handiwork, he goes back inside.

Another man, also clad in a barber's apron, walks past the shop and inspects the sign. Removing a crayon from his pocket, he adds a moustache, substantial beard and a razor-cut on the cheek to the man in the picture. He then returns from whence he came, making an offensive gesture towards the door as he passes.

A small boy walks past the sign, sees it and bursts into uncontrollable laughter. He calls his friend over, who reacts the same way, as does a passing gentleman in a top hat. Hearing the laughter, the barber emerges from the shop, and the boys quickly run off. The barber assumes the top-hatted man was responsible, and starts a fight, which is watched with great amusement by the other barber. The barber wins the fight, picks up the man bodily and carries him into the shop.

There, he covers his face with foam and shaves off his eyebrows. The man breaks free, runs outside, picks up the sign, breaks it over the barber, and runs off. The rival barber comes up to him and feigns sympathy.