1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
21 October 2009
This breezy comedy is about a cub newspaper reporter who goes to
investigate a family feud, which has erupted into violence againa
parody of the real Hatfield-McCoy feud. Notably, Buster Keaton would
also make a burlesque of the family feud with "Our Hospitality" (1923).
"The Cub" isn't especially funny, though. It was, however, competently
made by one of the better directors of the 1910s, Maurice Tourneur.
Assisted by his usual editor and assistant director Clarence Brown, the
photoplay contains continual, well-paced crosscutting between the feud
and the newspapermen. Johnny Hines plays the cub reporter, but doesn't
seem to me to be a particularly interesting comedian. He also had some
forgettable, minor parts in other Tourneur films around this time.
The opening credits of "The Cub" are worth mentioning. Hines rotates
cards with credits on them while the actors appear behind a frame.
Lengthy credits where performers are introduced by individual titles
and their image seems to have been common in the period of early
feature-length films and was probably seen as a good way to create
stars. Otherwise and later, actors tended to be introduced by title
cards when their character first appeared in the narrative, in addition
to brief titles at the beginning, and this sort of performed
introduction outside of the narrative was dropped. "The Cub" has one of
the more creative such introductions I've seen. Overall, "The Cub"
isn't especially interesting and not one of Tourneur's best ("A Girl's
Folly" (1917) and "Victory" (1919) are my favorites).
(Note: It's clear that this film has been nicely restored, but the home
video copy from the Great Lakes Cinephile Society should have been
windowboxed or such, which was evident for me during the credits
sequence, as some of the titles were severely cutoff on the left side.
More annoying, however, was the constant green trademark of the
distributor's name at the bottom and corner of the image.)
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