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Mack Sennett's slapstick in a strange lowbrow comedy starring a female impersonator...
BOSWELL BROWNE was a famous female impersonator of the WWI era appearing in vaudeville acts with his Salome routine and other comic acts as a female impersonator. Mack Sennett uses him here as the American soldier who uses his wiles on the Kaiser (FORD STERLING) and his son (BEN TURPIN) so that he can perform a Mata Hari kind of spying on the German army.
It's a strange comedy (to put it mildly) and if all the laughs weren't so dependent on outrageous slapstick buffoonery from the entire cast, it may have worked. Film quality is sometimes very poor due to age but for the most part it's given a halfway decent print on TCM that is at least watchable.
All of it is very obvious lowbrow humor making fun of the inept German army and it's only worth a look as a curiosity piece. Not at all in the same category as Chaplin's SHOULDER ARMS or his WWII comedy THE GREAT DICTATOR, it's merely fluff of a crude kind capitalizing on sophomoric humor.
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