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Romans and Rascals (1918)

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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 19 users  
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(as Lawrence Semon)


(scenario), (scenario) (as Lawrence Semon)
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Title: Romans and Rascals (1918)

Romans and Rascals (1918) on IMDb 4.1/10

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Cast overview:
Caesar / A Minstrel
Madge Kirby ...
Pietro Aramondo ...
(as Pete Aramondo)
Owen Evans
Frank Alexander ...
Rotund senator
Paul Rondas
James Donnelly


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Plot Keywords:

two reeler | See All (1) »


Short | Comedy





Release Date:

27 May 1918 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Don't fiddle while it burns
5 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is quite a fun little one-reeler from that perhaps most clownish of silent clowns, Larry Semon. From what I have seen of his work it is not his most typical, but none the less enjoyable. It's set in ancient Rome, where Larry is both King Seezer and a wandering minstrel (with some good early split-screen, it seems), so they switch places and Minstrel Larry gets a little too far with King Larry's favorite concubine.

The Roman setting provides ample opportunity for a very high concentration of gag titles, many of which are quite witty and many of which are quaint for deriving their humor from the juxtaposition of having ancient Romans use a lot of hip 1918-era slang. The whole thing is an excuse for a good send-up of how the Roman Empire has been depicted in "serious" plays, movies, &c.

When we reach the climax we are set up for a chase and some of Semon's trademarked large-scale and highly visually inventive gags, highlighted for me when he kicks over the Roman guards like a line of dominoes. This is much fun -- a nice silly treatment of a broad historical setting and more contained in its reel than what else I have seen from Semon.

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