De drie vrijgezellen


On New Year's Eve, Mouillarbourg, Pétin and Cacolet resolve to remain bachelors. If one of them marries he is to give the others 10,000 guilders. Some months later, when they complain to their elderly housekeeper, Gertrude, that the coffee is cold, she indignantly gives notice. Mouillarbourg, the oldest of the three, advertises for a housekeeper who "preferably must be ugly and not younger than fifty". The house is stormed by aspirants for the position, but not one of them finds favour in the eyes of the gentlemen. Still, in desperation, they engage a woman, only to dismiss her soon afterwards because she cannot cook. Henriette and Marie, poor and out of work, have also read the advertisement. Although young and attractive, Henriette decides to apply for the job, making herself look older by wearing a wig, a pair of spectacles and a fichu.

She is immediately accepted. She writes a letter to Marie, telling her of the success of her deception and asking her to visit her. One evening, tired after a day's work, Henriette takes of her wig and spectacles and falls asleep. With their coffee the bachelors want a liqueur but they have no glasses. They ring in vain for the housekeeper. Pétin, the youngest bachelor, goes to the kitchen to investigate. He is surprised to see that Henriette is an attractive young woman. When she begs him not to betray her, his heart is softened. In gratitude, she kisses Pétin and he, forgetting his resolution, declares his eternal love. Disturbed by the doorbell, they hide in the pantry. Marie has arrived and, finding no-one in the kitchen, sits down to wait. Cacolet, wondering what Pétin is doing, goes to find out. When he sees Marie it is a case of love at first sight and he too forgets his resolution. Henriette and Pétin come out of their hiding place and explanations follow. The two men wonder how they can avoid paying Mouillarbourg the forfeit of 10,000 guilders. The arrival of a young laundress gives them an idea. She must seduce him with the aid of Dr Mac Aron's electric belt. When Mouillarbourg is asleep in front of the fireplace, the girl puts the belt under his coat. He gets lively and embraces her, but the belt falls off. She manages to replace and tighten it, whereupon the man wakes up and kisses her. Henriette, Pétin, Marie and Cacolet, who have been watching through the crack of the door, come in and catch Mouillarbourg in the very act.


original title
De drie vrijgezellen
foreign release title
Les trois célibataires
production year
release date
original distributor
production company

Technical notations

original length
Black & White


G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), pp. 128-129

R. Bishoff, Hollywood in Holland, Amsterdam (1988), p. 119

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