While blindfolded and playing pin the tail on the donkey with some lady friends, our hero is mistaken for an escaped initiate of a kooky fraternal order. He is abducted and initiated into ...
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While blindfolded and playing pin the tail on the donkey with some lady friends, our hero is mistaken for an escaped initiate of a kooky fraternal order. He is abducted and initiated into the order, the process involving various hilarious indignities. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
A very nice transitional film for the great Harold Lloyd
In the mid to late 1910s, Harold Lloyd made quite a name for himself in films due to his rather one-dimensional and obnoxious 'Lonesome Luke' character. Luke was in many ways a knock-off of Chaplin's 'Little Tramp' and Lloyd was one of scores of actors who rode on Chaplin's coat tails. Fortunately, by the time he made PAY YOUR DUES, Lloyd was so fed up with his Luke character that he finally abandoned him completely for his 'Every Man' character--the familiar bespectacled nice guy who gets himself into trouble. While this character wouldn't evolve into the great character it was in the 1920s (with such perfect films as SAFETY LAST and THE FRESHMAN), it was a vast improvement over Luke. Because in many ways the character looks like the 20s character but wasn't quite what we're familiar with, the Lloyd films of 1918-1920 are more like transitional films--with some old time slapstick but also a more refined and likable lead. Like most of the transitional films (before Lloyd left Hal Roach Studios and branched out on his own), this one also has Snub Pollard, though his supporting role is much smaller than in most other films of this era.
The film begins with two blindfolded guys awaiting initiation in some men's club. The first man is tossed about and hazed pretty badly--so much so that the other guy runs away when he peaks out from behind the blindfold. Unfortunately for nice guy Lloyd, at the exact same time he's playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey with a group of female cuties and the club members think HE is the runaway initiate!! So, they grab Lloyd and put him through the full treatment--with lots of pranks and thrills. While not the deepest film of Lloyd's film, the joke does work well and is a pleasant change of pace and is worth watching--particularly for Lloyd fans (of which I am definitely one).
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