Arbuckle's last contribution to the silver screen before a certain scandal ruined him
After almost ten years with a gigantic success to the movie-going public, and with Charlie Chaplin as his only big competitor in the business, Roscoe Arbuckle's reputation is given a blow from which it would never recover after a few weeks of scandals in the newspapers. I suppose most readers are familiar with the story. Roscoe is accused of murder; through three court trials he is declared completely innocent, but thanks to gossip-papers and people's tendency to believe everything bad they want to believe, his career is on the other hand declared ruined. This chapter in his career, as unjust as it is nasty, has in a way received more attention than it is worthy of; Roscoe's career and the talent that built it deserved so much better. To make matters worse, his last few films as a leading comic in the silent era remain yet another sad part of his time. When he sold his own studio to appear in features at Paramount, unbeknownst to him he had in fact sold his creative freedom. He was forced to perform in cheap "drawing-room" comedies scripted and directed by others, shot within days. CRAZY TO MARRY, probably the last to be released in the U.S. before the scandal took place, seems to be yet another of the bunch. Roscoe plays Dr. Hobart Hupp, a doctor able to rehabilitate by surgery and therefore reduce crimes. Press reviews of the time states one of the highlights to occur when the comic leaps into a fountain, trying to rescue a supposedly drowning woman -- and by force emptying all of the water from the basin with his weight. I still wish more of Arbuckle's Paramount-features were available for public screening, as I regard everything he appeared in to be of interest (due to his talent alone!), but the few that do survive are seldom or never worth to be remembered. Check out his best shorts with Buster Keaton instead.
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