Although Stan did not really find his character and timing until about 1925 when he was working for Joe Rock, this comedy he starred in three years earlier, when he was alternating between random gags in one-reelers like THE NOON WHISTLE and good but standard travesties like MUD AND SAND is a bit of a revelation. His gag construction runs down a bit at the end, but some of them are novel and beautifully performed, and the extended sequence where he cannot go out to rescue the heroine because her dog has him trapped in her house is well set up, performed and edited. Nor is his character the simpleton he plays elsewhere. Although the pace of gags causes failures, he is a young man with the occasional spark of inventiveness who is overwhelmed by a random world, until that random world turns around and rewards him -- a bit of a cross between Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton that might have turned out well. But chance and circumstances led him elsewhere, and we have nothing to complain about in the end, nor in this movie.
Of note is the fact that one of the settings is the same stairs in the Silverlake district that he would climb with Oliver Hardy in the lost HATS OFF and in the Academy-Award-winning THE MUSIC BOX. It's a brief throwaway, but sometimes these ideas need development....
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