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The Non-Stop Kid (1918)

Bebe is surrounded by suitors, but her father wants her to marry Professor M. T. Noodle. Harold makes his move by impersonating the professor.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Harold
...
Snub, the butler (as Harry Pollard)
...
Miss Wiggle
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Bebe's father
Sammy Brooks ...
Short bearded man
Billy Fay ...
Prof. Fay
...
(unconfirmed)
Lew Harvey ...
(unconfirmed)
...
(unconfirmed)
...
(unconfirmed)
Gus Leonard ...
Old man at party
J. Darcie 'Foxy' Lloyd ...
(as James Darsie Lloyd)
...
(unconfirmed)
Dorothea Wolbert ...
(unconfirmed)
...
(unconfirmed)
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Storyline

The popular young Miss Wiggle has many upper-class suitors, but she prefers Harold to any of them. Her father, though, chases Harold away, because he is arranging for his daughter to marry Professor Noodle. When Harold learns this, he intercepts the Professor on his way to tea at the Wiggles' house, and he then impersonates the Professor. Written by Snow Leopard

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Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

12 May 1918 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Non Stop Kid  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Harold impersonates Professor Noodle, inventor of "winding soup"
17 September 2005 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

This is one of the earliest Harold Lloyd comedies I've seen, and while it's not the best short he ever made The Non-Stop Kid is very much the kind of pleasant, fast-moving and light-hearted romp that helped establish Harold at the top of his profession by the beginning of the 1920s. The plot is a simple concoction: pretty Bebe Daniels is surrounded by suitors, including Harold, but her father wants her to hold out for Professor M. T. Noodle ("empty noodle," get it?). Harold manages to waylay the intended fiancée, arranges for him to get knocked unconscious, switches clothes with him, and shows up at a tea party at Bebe's home disguised as the Professor. Comedy ensues.

This film was made less than a year after Lloyd abandoned his 'Lonesome Luke' character, which he freely admitted in later years was a shameless Chaplin imitation. At times, however, Harold still seems to be impersonating Charlie: for instance, as he steps up to the door of Bebe's home he bumps his shoe on a step and glances back at it in an unmistakably Chaplinesque manner. Once inside, he is handed a cup of tea that has been over-sugared, and his nauseated reaction suggests Charlie once again, a resemblance enhanced by the fake mustache he wears and by the fact that his own hair was still quite bushy at this time. Even so, there are a number of touches along the way that prefigure the Lloyd style soon to emerge, such as the sassy, joke-filled title cards and the eccentric dance Harold performs at the party, which owes nothing to Chaplin. (Actually, the dance may remind latter-day viewers of Groucho Marx!) The ending, when Harold and Bebe manage to escape from her tyrannical father, is very much the sort of triumphant finale Lloyd would favor in his great works of the '20s, a finale that leaves the audience with a warm glow.

So, all told, this is a pleasant little film. Perhaps it was meant as an inside joke that the fake mustache Harold dons as part of his disguise is a throwback to his former screen character, Lonesome Luke. If so, it may have been intended as a farewell to the more primitive comic style Lloyd and his colleagues were leaving behind. From here on, for the most part, there would be much less reliance on silly get-ups and gags borrowed from Chaplin or anyone else.


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